Switzerland: Coop’s Pro Montagna Label: 5 Years of Protecting Traditional Swiss Food Products

Published by Wednesday, February 1, 2012 Permalink 0
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Switzerland: Coop’s Pro Montagna Label: 5 Years of Protecting Traditional Swiss Food Products

by Jonell Galloway

In 2005, Andy Imfeld, a montagnard and organic food producer, started discussing the possibility of selling Swiss mountain products directly in Coop supermarkets. After long negotiations as to how it should work, it was decided that for each mountain product sold, a certain amount of the payment would go directly to the families of farmers or projects in mountain regions.









Coop labeled the products Pro Montagna, and the project has been a great success, with some 200 products to date, from yogurt to bread, and including meat products and wooden toys.

The rules are strict. Products have to be in their natural state, and are required to be made entirely in the region from which they come.

The beauty of Coop’s support is that it actually helps protect certain regional products, such as cheese, sausage and bread, which were slowly disappearing due to lack of distribution and interest. Once the recipes and know-how for such products are lost, they risk slipping into extinction. In 2011 alone, 840,000 CHF were contributed to the Parrainage Coop, the entity that distributes payments to help support mountain farmers and producers.

Link: Coop


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  • Kit
    September 11, 2012

    Hi Jonell,

    Thanks for posting this – I never realised that was what the Pro Montagna label meant!

    I was also wondering if I could ask a question. This is only tangentially connected, but I was wondering – do you know what breed of cow is used in dairy production in Switzerland? A friend of mine is coming to visit soon, and she is trying to eat more mindfully. She will only drink milk from Jersey cows, as it is meant to be more compatible with human digestion.

    Now I’m wondering if you think this Pro Montagna milk might fit the bill?

    Thanks for the great blog, it’s been very interesting reading!

    • Jonell Galloway
      September 11, 2012

      I think that would take quite a lot of research, but I’ll see what I can do. I’ve also heard that Jersey cows are best, but this being said, in Switzerland, there is good local milk to be had in almost any village. You usually buy it at the “crèmerie”.

      • Kit
        September 16, 2012

        Thanks Jonell!

        I think, yes, I may have to go direct to the source. Maybe if I can see some photos of Jersey cows and match them up to the cows on the Swiss hillsides… 🙂