Over five million francs: That’s how much the federal government spends every year on meat advertising in TV commercials and to subsidize ads. The whole thing is called “agricultural promotion”. At the same time, Mr. and Mrs. Swiss already eat far too much sausages and minced meat. A representative federal survey found last year that, on average, the Swiss consume over three times much more meat, as what is recommended by the Food Pyramid.
The swiss animal rights organization Tier in Focus (Animal in Focus) is annoyed by this very much. In an open letter, the organisation calls on the Federal Office for Agriculture not to further promote meat advertising financially.
«Meat advertising increases the appetite for meat»
There is a regulation that was adopted this year and for the first time defines the implementation of agricultural sales promotion more precisely. It states: Marketing measures to increase the consumption of a particular product group may only be financially supported, if the Swiss do not eat from this product “significantly more” anyway.
This is exactly the case with meat.
The Federal Office of Agriculture argues that advertising of the industry association is not about increasing consumption, but about “improving the positioning of Swiss meat compared to imported meat”.
“The campaign shows why it makes sense to produce meat in Switzerland and how production differs from other countries,” says Martin Weber from the Department of Quality and Sales Promotion of the Federal Office of Agriculture. Therefore, no reduction in financial assistance is foreseen!!!
An argument that does not allow “animals in focus”. “Meat advertising increases the desire for meat, no matter which advertising message is transported.” In many sectors, there would be no need to promote the share of Swiss meat in the total consumption. “With the exception of chicken, the domestic share of meat is generally high,” says Tobias Sennhauser, president of the organization.
“Animal in Focus” has been fighting against state-subsidized meat advertising for years. Already in 2015, it petitioned that taxpayers’ money should not be used marketing efforts for the meat advertising.
A parliamentary initiative of SP National Council Beat Jans (54), which made the same request, however, sanded.
The argument of the opponents: The renunciation of the promotion of Swiss meat could favor the consumption of imported meat and thus damage the domestic production. And for this production, high demands were made in terms of animal welfare.
Sennhauser is not convinced by this argument either. “It is a mistake that Swiss farm animals are kept in an appropriate manner and do not have to suffer,” he says.
The goal of “animal in focus” is therefore that at some point no meat is consumed.
In addition, the organization supports the swiss initiative https://massentierhaltung.ch/, which calls for the abolition of factory farming in Switzerland.
(Translation Venus, with my best regards)