Criteria for determining the origin of foodstuffs

Most foodstuffs are processed natural products – at least 80% of the weight of the raw materials (which exist in Switzerland) must, according to the law, originate in Switzerland. In addition, the activity which gives the product its essential characteristics must take place in Switzerland.


General criteria

  • Basis: recipe
  • At least 80% of the weight of the raw materials used must come from Switzerland. The calculation is based on the recipe and not the composition of the foodstuff.
  • Calculation: annual product volume
  • The calculation should be based on the flow of goods in a calendar year for the product in question. If a processor has more specific data, the calculation may be based on this data.
  • Essential processing step in Switzerland.


The new legislation provides for several exceptions to the 80% criteria in order to take into account the realities faced by those industries that process raw materials. Thus, natural products that do not exist in Switzerland (for example, cocoa) or which are temporarily unavailable for reasons completely independent of the producers (for example, due to bad harvests resulting from bad weather or a livestock epidemic), can be excluded from this calculation. Raw materials that are not available in sufficient quantity in Switzerland are determined according to their self-supply rate:

  • If the self-supply rate is less than 20%, the raw materials concerned are not taken into account at all.
  • If the self-supply rate is between 20% and 49.9%, then only half of the raw materials concerned is taken into account.
  • If the self-supply rate is at least 50%, all of the raw materials concerned are taken into account.


The Ordinance on the Use of Swiss Indications of Source for Foodstuffs (HasLV) contains additional exceptions and flexible regulations.