Switzerland will add a new twist to the old maxim that an army marches on its stomach by introducing more home-produced meat, bread, eggs, cheese and other dairy products to soldiers’ mess tins from next year.
The decision was influenced by a campaign from farmers, bakers and meat producers to make more use of local produce and calls by Swiss Animal Protection (SAP) to pay more attention to animal rights when sourcing food.
In addition to using more Swiss produce from the beginning of 2015, the army has also pledged to use more organic food and animal products, such as fish, with internationally-recognised sustainability labels.
At present some 75% of meat and 90% of eggs and cheese used to make the army’s 13 million meals every year are produced in Switzerland, according to SAP. The organisation welcomed the army’s decision to use only Swiss produce in these categories from next year.
But the change will come at a cost. From 2015 it will cost the army CHF8.75 to feed each person per day, up from CHF8.50 at present. According to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, this will add an extra CHF1.5 million to the army’s annual CHF63 million food bill.
SAP said it would adapt its ‘Swiss food for the Swiss Army’ campaign to other state-run departments.