Zurich, 24 March 2020 – Following the initiative of Swiss business owners, the Swiss Fruit Association (SOV) and the Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers (VSGP) are taking an important step towards securing the 2020 harvest by entering a cooperation with flexible work platform Coople. In order to compensate for the travel restrictions that were imposed in response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, workers from other sectors are to be recruited as harvest workers via the Coople on-demand staffing platform.

Why is this cooperation important? Increasing travel restrictions in Europe are causing an acute shortage of harvest workers who are needed to secure the supply of domestic fruit and vegetables. Images of empty supermarket shelves have unsettled the Swiss population and wrongly conveyed the impression that Switzerland cannot guarantee the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.

To pre-empt such a scenario, the heads of the SOV and the VSGP have been discussing solutions for finding the workers necessary to bridge the gap during the phase of these travel restrictions. The cooperation presented today results from the initiative of private businesses in the catering and agricultural sectors. It proposes to hire workers from the catering and hotel industry, who are currently unable to work in their usual sectors due to Federal Council restrictions.

Martin Jucker, co-founder of Jucker Farm AG: “Jucker Farm has been both an agricultural and a catering company for a long time. In addition, we have been working very successfully with Coople for several years to recruit some of our employees. Combining these three elements into an innovative approach seems like an obvious solution: Coople normally provides staff for events and catering. They can now bring the same people to the agricultural sector. I am very pleased that we are able to implement this solution. It will ensure that the agricultural products reach the stores where consumers will be able to access them as usual. ”

“We are convinced that this new solution for meeting the staffing needs in fruit and vegetable production can spread rapidly and we know that many flexible workers are interested in these jobs,” says Viktor Calabrò, founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Coople, representing the partners involved in the new cooperation. “To make these jobs even more attractive in the short term, salaries must match the expectations of Swiss workers. We therefore expect the federal government to take the necessary measures to subsidize wages in agriculture in line with market conditions during this exceptional situation. In this way, the 315,000 people currently affected by reduced working hours could also benefit more from this new cooperation. Coople can take care of all administrative tasks, including payroll.”

Over 300,000 flexible workers in Switzerland are registered on the Coople platform. Many of them usually work in the catering and events industry during this time of the year. via this cooperation, Coople’s digital platform enables them to find work quickly and without a hassle in other sectors such as agriculture.

Matija Nuic, Director of the Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers: “Providing fresh vegetables for the Swiss population is our top priority. At this time, the security of supply in Switzerland is at stake. Many vegetable producers have reported to us that their seasonal workers cannot enter Switzerland. For this reason, we have started to look for solutions before the situation worsens further. I am very pleased that we have now found a promising solution with this partnership between the associations and Coople.”

Jimmy Mariéthoz, Director SOV: “Every year, several thousand seasonal workers in Switzerland contribute to cultivating our crops and harvesting fruit and berries. Due to the exceptional situation this year, we had to quickly find an innovative solution to provide the domestic population with the best Swiss fruit and berries.”

Initiators and partners of the cooperation

Jucker Farm AG
We have been combining agriculture with delicious and unique food experiences for 20 years. From cultivation and processing to direct sales in the farm shops, the farm restaurants, and at events. That is what Jucker Farm stands for.

Swiss Fruit Association
The Swiss Fruit Association (SOV) represents the interests of the fruit industry. The aim of the national industry association is to create good framework conditions for production and processing. The SOV represents the interests of the approximately 13,000 players in the fruit industry vis-à-vis authorities, other professional associations and the public. Important services are: Industry information, sales promotion of local fruit and fruit products, education and training.

Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers
The Association of Swiss Vegetable Producers (VSGP) has been the professional organization of Swiss vegetable producers since 1932. It represents the interests of all producers of fresh, stored and processed vegetables, regardless of their production methods. On behalf of its 2,000 members, it is heavily involved in trading, politics, professional training, cultivation, communication and marketing in order to strengthen the positioning of Swiss vegetables. www.gemuese.ch

Hotel industrySuisse
HotelSuisse sees itself as a competence center for the Swiss accommodation industry and, as an association of entrepreneurs, represents the interests of innovative and sustainable accommodation establishments in Switzerland. Since 1882, HotelSuisse, together with its more than 3,000 members, of which around 2,000 are hotels, has stood for a quality-conscious and forward-looking Swiss accommodation industry. The classic hotel industry alone, as a location-bound export industry and backbone of tourism, generates annual sales of over 7.5 billion Swiss francs and employs almost 80,000 people. The member establishments of HotellerieSuisse have over two thirds of the relevant Swiss bed supply and thus generate around three quarters of the corresponding overnight stays.As the umbrella organization of 13 regional associations,

Two Spice
The Two Spice Group is a creative, innovative gastronomy and lifestyle company from Zurich, in whose think tank various operating concepts and brands have been developed for over 30 years. More than ten restaurant brands, a wine shop and an internationally active trading company belong to the group. Marc Saxer & Daniel Kehl: “From the very beginning, it was an important concern for us to operate gastronomy at a professional level. Nevertheless, everyone, both the guest and the team, should feel at home in a relaxed atmosphere. This mixture of striving for quality and lively gastronomy has always characterized our establishments “.

Rathgeb Bio
Rathgeb Bio is a production and service company in Unterstammheim and specializes in the organic cultivation of vegetables and potatoes. Together with regional family businesses, it aims to supply consumers with fresh products. Crunchy, healthy, organic … obviously!

Erik Hämmerli / Bederhof
Erik Hämmerli has been running the Bederhof restaurant in Zurich’s Enge district since 2005. The Bederhof follows the Slow Food concept and focuses on a menu with home-style cooking. In 2011 he and his partners took over the Fischstube restaurant on Lake Zurich. Erik Hämmerli is involved in various catering companies and gives cooking courses.

Since Coople’s foundation in Zurich in 2009, more than 400,000 flexible workers and 20,000 companies have registered on its flexible working platform. Coople provides flexible staffing solutions to the catering, hotel, retail, aviation, logistics, events and promotion and office sectors. The company has been active in the UK since 2016 and in the Netherlands since 2020.