Interview with Rolf Schweizer, Managing Director bio.inspecta Romandie
Which of the Romandie regions deserve a special mention?
Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, is something of a microcosm of the country and thus traverses all the regions, i.e. the Jura Mountains, the Swiss Plateau, the Alpine foothills, the Alps and the Swiss Riviera. Vineyards are well represented, with Romandie containing four fifth of the entire area under vineyards. But arable lands also occupy a major share of the area, such as in Ajoie and the cantons of Vaud and Geneva which are characterised by large arable holdings. In contrast, smaller mountain farms are more typical of Valais.
What has been your experience in your first year as CEO of the Romandie office?
The office in Romandie was very well received by our various partners. Proximity to clients is an important factor and our engagement on behalf of Romandie is strengthened by having a local office in Etagnières. bio.inspecta Romandie is also now accredited as one of the ÖLN inspection bodies auditing ecological performance on farms in Romandie.
You want to serve your clients well. How does the organisation of the office reflect that?
Mélissa Pittet is the first point of contact for clients in agriculture and in processing & trade. She can be reached Monday to Friday. Sophie Riedo, Juliette Kuntz and Pascal Gerber are responsible for audits in processing & trade, and stand in for Mélissa when she is away. I can be reached at the office in Etagnières on between one and two and a half days per week and otherwise I am in direct contact with our partners. Additionally, a number of freelance inspectors conduct farm inspections on our behalf.
Are there any advantages your clients particularly appreciate?
Our clients appreciate that we are close by. Not only in a local, spatial sense but also at a cultural level. The fact that we can deal with their concerns and queries in their native language makes it much easier for us to work together.
What kinds of companies or farms are among your new clients?
This year we already have 80 new clients in the Agriculture Division and we are expecting another 20 farms or so. The new clients primarily include beekeepers and viticulturists.