Free trade in cheese between Switzerland and the EU

As part of the bilateral treaties with the European Union (EU), the 2002 agricultural policy aims to improve the competitiveness of the Swiss agricultural sector. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on trade in agricultural products enters into force in 2002. Trading in cheese sees the biggest changes as a result of the new accord. Between 2002 and 2007, both parties reduce customs charges on an incremental basis, and from June 2007 the movement of cheese goods between Switzerland and the EU is duty-free. Since then, all border protections towards the EU for Switzerland's most important dairy product have been lifted. The domestic subsidies for the sale of cheese in the Swiss market are paid out for the last time in 2002. The export subsidies for cheese exports outside the EU remain in place until 2008, albeit at a continually declining level. This creates considerably more challenging conditions for the Swiss dairy industry as a whole.

2007 Stake in Ambrosi
Emmi acquires a 25 % stake in Italian cheese specialist Ambrosi. Both companies intend to offer their customers outside their domestic markets a comprehensive range of traditional cheese specialities from Switzerland and Italy. In a first step, the respective subsidiaries in France are merged to form Emmi Ambrosi France.
2007 Haerten & Interimex
Long-standing customer Haerten & Interimex becomes part of Emmi and assumes responsibility for sales in Belgium and Luxembourg.
2007 Walter Schmitt AG
Under the terms of the succession plan, Appenzeller® specialist Walter Schmitt AG is transferred to Emmi.
2008 Urs Riedener CEO
Urs Riedener becomes CEO, taking over from Walter Huber.
Milk quota system is scrapped in Switzerland

Since the turn of the century Swiss politicians have been weighing up whether or not to scrap its system of milk quotas. This is prompted by an earlier announcement by the European Union (EU) that it intended to review its quota system in 2003 and abolish it by no later than 2008. In 2003, the decision is made to exit by 2009. In the wake of the abolition of the milk quota system, milk volumes rise – and continue to do so until 2014. As the milk price falls, milk volumes stabilise in response to a slightly lower level. The number of dairy farmers sees a continual decline. In the EU, incidentally, the milk quota is not scrapped until 1 April 2015.