It’s autumn and the start of the three months long sugar production season. Here are eight facts about Swiss sugar you might not have known, and there’s also a chance to win one of two beautiful Aarberg sugar tins to store your caster sugar!
One. Swiss sugar is produced from sugar beets grown in Switzerland. To make one kilogram of caster sugar, eight to nine beets need to be cut and pressed. The resulting juice is being cleaned and thickened and eventually results in caster sugar.
Two. There are two sugar factories in Switzerland, one in Aarberg (canton of Bern), the other one in Frauenfeld (canton of Thurgau). Both belong to the same company, fittingly called Schweizer Zucker AG.
Three. Only farmers who live a maximum of 30 kilometres from one of the two sugar factories can bring their beets to the factory by tractor. All other beets are exclusively transported by train, the ecologically friendliest option.
Four. Sugar production from sugar beets also recults in side-products such as fertilisers and animal feed.
Five. Most of the sugar sold in Switzerland is Swiss sugar. Coop sells 100% Swiss sugar with the exception of the small amounts of foreign cane sugar and coconut sugar. In Migros, 97% of the white sugar is from Switzerland.
Six. The Swiss sugar beet farmers and the sugar producer are struggling due to a steady price decline. Since the 1980ies, the price of sugar beets and sugar itself has shrunk to only a quarter of the original price, mainly due to the competition from the European Union.
Seven. Both sugar factories offer factory tours during their operating months from autumn to early winter which I can highly recommend as I found the tour fascinating. Details can be found on the company’s website. The company also has an online shop with some sugar products such as a beautiful Swiss sugar tin.
Eight. The author of this blog grew up in Frauenfeld, one of the two sugar producing towns. Read here how life revolved around sugar every autumn in her hometown.