Without cheese, the Swiss mountains would be like Paris without the Eiffel Tower
Cantonal Councillor Andreas Rickenbacher
Director of Economic Affairs for the Canton of Bern
As the land of mountains and cheese, we are proud to be holding the sixth Mountain Cheese Olympics. The attractive host region of Saignelégier, Bellelay and Tramelan covers a geographical area that forms part of two cantons, Jura and Bern.
The Swiss mountain regions make up two thirds of the area of the country. Every fourth person lives in a mountain region and every fifth person works there. Agriculture and dairy farming play an especially important role. The Swiss mountains without cheese would be like Paris without the Eiffel Tower.
A third of the cheese is exported and the agricultural markets will continue to open up. The high-quality products from our farming sector are clearly different from cheaper mass-produced goods. Mountain and Alpine cheeses are predestined to be specialities with high added value, ensuring that this strategy of leading the way in quality is successfully implemented.
In «Tête de Moine», we have an excellent ambassador for the Jura. The joint organisation of the Mountain Cheese Olympics is clear evidence that cantonal borders are no obstacle to cooperation.
I wish all the participants in the Symposium an interesting and productive event and I have no doubt that visitors to the International Cheese Market will find it a great experience.