Butchers beef about meat tourists

Every tenth franc spent by Swiss on meat is being spent abroad, according to the Swiss Meat Association.

This content was published on September 1, 2011 minutes and agencies

The Swiss franc, which has gained about 25 per cent in value against the euro over the past four years, is leading to an increase in shopping tourism, said the association’s director, Ruedi Hadorn, on Thursday.

One study quoted found that in 2009 around SFr600 million ($750 million) worth of meat was bought abroad. This figure increased to SFr800 million between May 2010 and April 2011.

Meat is in any case two or three times more expensive in Switzerland than in neighbouring countries, Germany, France and Italy. This, Hadorn explained, was due to tougher Swiss regulations for animal welfare, farming and food safety. Also, wages are higher in Switzerland.

The association wants the auctioning of import licences abolished. It says imports should instead be linked to how much Swiss butchers are able to supply.  It also wants to see customs procedures simplified.

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