Less animal suffering, shorter transport routes and therefore less environmental pollution – that is what many Austrians want. But in the supermarket or in the inn this no longer seems to matter.
Austria has taken on an absolute pioneering role in turkey production. Only Switzerland and Sweden come close to our figures. However, it is not about the number of farmers, the animals or the amount of meat we produce, but about the housing conditions of the turkeys.
Much more space
In this country, 40 kilograms of turkeys per square meter are allowed to live. In the rest of Europe, 60 to 70 kilograms is common. And this makes a huge difference to the big fowl – just imagine what it’s like to be in a car with three or five people. By the way, it doesn’t matter if you buy a turkey or a turkey in the supermarket, they are just different names. However, what makes a serious difference is the origin of the animal.
quality has its price
Because not only is the space available for domesticated turkeys better, litter and the use of antibiotics are also carefully regulated by law. It is therefore not surprising that two supposedly identical items in the refrigerator compartment have very different prices. The more expensive one is definitely the Austrian one.
Important consumer decision
When you buy a local turkey, you almost certainly buy a better product that includes animal welfare, shorter transport routes, GMO-free feed and strengthening the local economy as a whole. It is not enough to demand and have good farming conditions in Austria, they also have to be bought and paid to be maintained.
“Made in Austria”
When it comes to domestic turkey production, things don’t exactly look rosy. Because for turkey farmers like Dietmar Hipp and Andreas Holzmüller it is becoming increasingly difficult to survive. No wonder when you consider that 90 percent of the turkey meat served in inns and restaurants does not come from Austria. In times of generalized inflation, many have to pay attention to price. But maybe you can go without meat for once and then buy a better and local piece and enjoy it.
Comment: Domestic turkey under enormous pressure
Many consumers want our livestock to be kept better. In the case of turkeys, this requirement was met years ago. Since then, turkeys in Austria have had more space in the barn than in almost any other country in the world and are fed GMO-free. But once farmers shifted their production in favor of the animals, local turkey meat often remained on the shelves as many consumers preferred the cheaper alternative from abroad. That is completely absurd: we produce the highest quality turkey meat here in Austria, and then import cheap meat from other countries so that we can meet our own needs – with meat from animals that live in much worse conditions than here. Inflation does not make things any better: fewer consumers are currently buying Austrian turkeys than ever before. This is not only dramatic, it also threatens the survival of Austrian quality. When we don’t make a clear commitment to Austria when shopping – in other words, buy Austrian turkey and not a cheap turkey from somewhere – we sacrifice our high standards on the altar of cheapest price.
Hannes Royer, association “Land creates life”
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.