Switzerland announced on April 11 that it plans to abolish the emergency coffee reserve that the country has implemented for decades.
According to Swiss law, importers, roasters and retailers such as instant coffee Nestle must store raw coffee in bags. The country also stocks other staple foods such as sugar, rice, cooking oil and animal feed.
This emergency reserve system was established between the First World War and the Second World War, when Switzerland was preparing for possible wars, natural disasters or a shortage of epidemics.
According to the plan to solicit opinions from the public, the coffee reserve obligation will expire at the end of 2022, and the company can freely extract the coffee stored in the warehouse.
The Swiss government said: “The Federal Office of Economic Supply has concluded that coffee is not a necessity for life.” “Coffee is almost free of calories, so from a physiological point of view, it has no effect on the nutrients needed to sustain life.”
Switzerland’s mandatory coffee reserves are currently distributed in 15 companies, including Nestlé, totaling about 153,000 tons, enough to meet the three-month domestic coffee consumption in the Alps.
According to the International Coffee Organization, 8.5 million residents in Switzerland consume about 9 kilograms (20 pounds) of coffee per person per year, which exceeds the British average of 3.3 kilograms per person, which is twice the average American consumption of 4.5 kilograms.
The committee said that of the 15 companies that have forced coffee reserves, 12 companies want to continue doing so, in part because the existing system helps support the supply chain. Some also believe that people pay too little attention to the health benefits of such beverages, such as antioxidants or vitamins.
In a report to the media on March 8, the committee wrote: “The concerns of inventory operators clearly indicate that one-sided assessment and weighting of calorie as the main criterion for an important staple food does not treat coffee fairly.”
The government said that once compulsory stocks are cancelled, it expects importers who are exempt from coffee charges to pass on the saved costs to coffee consumers.