We take great care to protect, nurture and process our herbs and we pay the same attention when it comes to selecting Ricola cultivation areas.
Soil conditions and regional climate play a decisive role in helping our herbs to flourish. Ricola also ensures that its cultivation areas are not situated near industrial sites or the road networks to avoid contact with harmful pollutants. Over 100 self-managed farms are under contract to Ricola in the Valais, Emmental, Poschiavo, the Jura Mountains and in Central Switzerland. Ricola agrees fixed long-term contracts and is a fair and reliable business partner for Ricola herb farmers.
Emmental & Jura Mountains
The cultivation area stretches across the hills and mountains of Oberaargau and Emmental, starting in Melchnau and continuing through Sumiswald and on to Röthenbach. In the southern region of the Jura Mountains, herbs are cultivated on the southern slopes of the first chain of the Jura Mountains, from Wolfisberg near Niederbipp up to the Twannberg mountain. The Oberaargau/Emmental region is characterized by rather acidic, deep soils and relatively high levels of precipitation. There is significantly less precipitation in the southern region of the Jura Mountains, and the soils are more in the neutral range and rather shallow due to the chalky bedrock.
In Lucerne's hinterland, herbs are cultivated in the hills in and around the town of Hergiswil near Willisau. The climate in this region is rather harsh for cultivating herbs, with plenty of precipitation. The soil is mostly deep and rather acidic.
In Entlebuch, herbs are cultivated in the hills between Wolhusen and Escholzmatt. The climate in this region is rather harsh for cultivating herbs, with plenty of precipitation. The soil is mostly deep and rather acidic.
In the Valais, herbs are cultivated on the slopes of the Great St. Bernard valley and in central Valais on the southern slope between Martigny and Sierre. All herb growers live in the French-speaking part of the canton. The climate in the Valais is similar to that of southern Switzerland - warm and relatively dry. Herbs could not be cultivated at all without irrigation. The soils are in the acidic to neutral range, rather light and stony.
In Poschiavo, herbs are cultivated on the plain between the Lago di Le Prese lake and Poschiavo, at an altitude of just over 1,000 meters above sea level. The Poschiavo valley in the southern Alps tends to be warm and dry in summer. The deposits of rather light soil, rich in skeletal material, and the topography of this region are suitable for cultivating herbs.