72 percent of the Swiss have very high confidence in their local meat

The Proviande association study shows that a majority of consumers consider meat to be an important part of their diet. However, the willingness to pay a higher price for Swiss meat has decreased. It is gratifying that for 99% of those surveyed, the “Swiss” origin is important when buying meat.

Posted on Mar 05 ,00:10

72 percent of the Swiss have very high confidence in their local meat

Since 2001, Proviande has periodically carried out a quantitative image survey of private consumers on the subject of meat and an evaluation of the current knowledge of the Swiss population. The current survey offers exciting results:

  • 72% of those questioned have great confidence in Swiss meat. None of the respondents has no confidence in Swiss meat.
  • The «Swiss» origin is very important for 70% of the respondents and important for 29%. The importance of origin has tended to increase over the past few years. Only 2% of those surveyed said they had “great trust” in foreign meat products.
  • 54% pay attention to labels when buying meat, more than in 2019 (43%) and 2016 (38%).
  • In terms of animal welfare, the most important things to those surveyed were respect for the animals (57%) and exercise (55%).

What concerns consumers when buying meat is the environmental aspect and species-appropriate animal husbandry. They generally consider animal husbandry in Switzerland to be species-appropriate. According to Heinrich Bucher, director of Proviande, the meat industry therefore relies primarily on education and communication of facts in these two areas: "It is important to give consumers a better understanding of meat production in Switzerland. Switzerland has one of the strictest animal protection laws in the world and offers the best conditions for sustainable meat production: we need to communicate this more widely."

Knowledge about agriculture and meat production is as low as in previous years and partly characterized by false assumptions. The proportion of imported animal feed is massively overestimated: the respondents assume that on average 38% is imported, 15% is correct. On the other hand, the proportion of soy from certified cultivation is massively underestimated: Switzerland imports 99% of its soy for animal feed from certified cultivation - the respondents estimated this proportion at only 40%.

Many consumers also still need information in the area of animal feed additives: when asked about production materials that are banned in Switzerland, antibiotics (54%), hormones (44%) and genetically modified animal feed (41%) were mentioned most frequently. 

To protect consumers, there are strict legal requirements regarding the use of antibiotics in livestock, compliance with which is regularly monitored. This includes the mandatory prescription of antibiotics by a veterinarian and compliance with the withdrawal period after treatment: if an animal has to be given antibiotics because of a specific disease, it must not be slaughtered for a specified period of time. And this until the drug is completely broken down in his body.

There is obviously a great deal of ignorance about the cycles underlying animal production in Switzerland. Only 44% of respondents know that a cow must have a calf in order to produce milk. Even if this value has increased significantly since 2016 (23%), it is still low. In Switzerland, the dairy and meat industries are closely linked. Knowledge of these cycles is central to understanding sustainable production.

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