Robert Finger, Lucca Zachmann, Chloe McCallum*

The grapevine is economically and culturally central to Swiss agriculture, but it is also the crop with the greatest use of pesticides. By using fungus-resistant grape varieties, the use of pesticides could be significantly reduced while maintaining the same quantity and quality of production. However, these varieties have only rarely been used to date. Using survey data from 775 Swiss vine producers (from now on 'producers'), we examine factors that influence the use of fungus-resistant varieties and analyze in particular the importance of marketing channels and the role of short supply chains. 20.1 % of respondents grow fungus-resistant varieties, but the acreage is only 1.2 %. Our results lead to a simple conclusion: the closer producers are to the end consumer, the more likely it is that fungus-resistant varieties will be used. For example, producers who mainly sell their wine through direct marketing are significantly more likely (8-38 %) to use fungus-resistant varieties.

Continue reading