Swiss residents scoff more meat in 2013
Vegetarianism has yet to make major inroads with the Swiss population who in 2013 ate more meat than in the previous year, apparently brushing off concerns raised by horsemeat scandals, new figures show.
The average Swiss resident ate almost 52 kilograms of meat, slightly more (0.4 percent) than in 2012, Proviande, the trade association of Swiss meat producers said in a news release on Thursday.
More than half of the kilogram consumed weekly was pork, followed by beef and poultry, the association said.
Meat is on the plates of residents up to five times a week, according to the figures.
“The Swiss like to eat well and meat is an integral part of the local diet,” Heinrich Bucher, director of Proviande told the 20 Minuten newspaper.
“We do not know of any vegetarian boom.”
Residents consumed 426,771 tonnes of meat last year, four-fifths of it produced in Switzerland, Proviande said.
The total was up 1.4 percent, with the one percent increase in the country’s population accounting for much of the increase.
The figures do not include cross-border shopping, the association said.
The strong franc has driven many Swiss residents to shop for meat in neighbouring countries, such as France and Germany, where their money stretches further given the relative weakness of the euro.
Proviande, said , however that a market survey by LNK found that two-thirds of consumers in Switzerland place great importance of the provenance of meat.
The European meat industry has been shaken by scandals over horsemeat mislabelled as beef.
And recent reports have linked horsemeat imported to Switzerland to mistreatment of horses in North America and Latin America.
But the LNK survey showed that Swiss meat has a good image with consumers in Switzerland.
The results showed that “meat of Swiss origin is synonymous with quality and assurance, a guarantee of safety and worth its price”.