Every year, Swiss tax payers contribute CHF 5.4 million to the promotion and marketing of Swiss meat.
The money is paid to Proviande, a meat industry association, and it is used to promote and market meat produced in Switzerland.
For environmentalists, using public funds to promote and advertise an environmentally damaging product makes no sense. Meat production has a large carbon footprint, and average meat consumption in Switzerland, at around 50 kg per person per year, remains high.
Jean Pierre Grin, a farmer and member of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC/SVP), remains in favour of the marketing subsidy. He thinks the money is needed to support Swiss meat producers in the face of imports according to RTS. In addition, he argues that animals are needed to graze the quarter of Switzerland covered in pasture and that consuming local meat is environmentally better than importing it.
However, Adèle Thorens, a member of Switzerland’s Green party disagrees. She thinks we should be aiming to cut meat consumption for both health and environmental reasons. Plant-based diets have a significantly lower environmental impact, pasture can easily be converted to plant production, and the tax money spent advertising meat could be used for all of these things.