FAQ - Frequently asked questions

  • Why is meat imported?
Large-scale livestock farming over large areas is not possible in Switzerland. Meat production cannot meet the growing demand for the best cuts of meat. Following agricultural law concerning animals kept for slaughter, it must therefore be ensured that the Switzerland is supplied with enough animals for slaughter and meat and the obligations set out by international agreements (eg. WTO) are observed.

  • How is imported meat different?
GVFI does not simply import meat but – in the case of beef of lamb – targets those specialities which Swiss consumers prefer and which the domestic meat industry cannot deliver in sufficient quantities to satisfy the market. These meat specialities come from parts of the world which are best suited to the proper and natural keeping of each type of animal.

  • How can one be certain that imported meat is produced as naturally and checked as carefully as domestically-produced meat?
GVFI only imports beef and lamb from traditional livestock-rearing regions which offer the best conditions for natural breeding and proper keeping. The meat only comes from certified firms and is bought directly from the producers..

  • Is foreign meat really safe?
Countries which naturally produce particular categories of meat are able to export meat to Switzerland. In order to serve the Swiss market, they must be able to demonstrate adherence to the necessary principles, guidelines and standards.

  • In what way and how fast does GVFI react when a crisis in meat production arises somewhere in the world?
GVFI reacts immediately, consistently and appropriately and works closely with the authorities. It assesses the situation and keeps all partners constantly and comprehensively informed. Where necessary goods are taken out of circulation or recalled from the market.

  • Are living animals or meat imported?
GVFI imports only meat and no living animals.

  • Following what criteria are areas of production and producers chosen?
According to the climatic requirements for raising livestock, the breeding and treatment requirements of the animals, the quality of the meat, the seasonally balanced availability and the freshness of the meat, as well as the price, which must be competitive.