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  • Swiss statistics

From free-range hens to freedom of the press



And talking of Easter: Switzerland’s hens are pulling their weight, laying 1.1 billion eggs in 2021 – more than ever before. Our hens are also a little happier than they were, with the proportion of free-range eggs and organic eggs having increased by 185 per cent and 107 per cent respectively in the last ten years.


There are no more Covid restrictions in Switzerland – for the time being. Consequently, tedious traffic jams are back with a vengeance. Stretching 22 kilometres, the tailback on the southbound A2 before Easter was the longest so far this year. Talk about ‘freedom to travel’.


How about this for an ‘egg-quation’? All Swiss-produced eggs + all imported eggs ÷ the number of people in Switzerland = 194. That is the annual per capita consumption of eggs in Switzerland. Sounds like a lot, but egg consumption in other European countries is much higher. People in Singapore eat twice as many.


An eaten egg is a good egg. A discarded egg is not so good. Think of the waste! How much perfectly edible food does the average Swiss household throw away? A quarter of a tonne, or 260 kilos, every year. But the Swiss believe they are doing much better than they actually are, with two thirds saying that they are wasting a lot less food than this.


Are Easter traffic jams and Easter eggs too banal for you? Maybe some data revealing the behaviour – or misbehaviour – of Swiss banks will get your pulse racing instead. However, banking secrecy laws have recently resulted in journalists having to ‘censor’ themselves. Under Swiss law, bank-client confidentiality takes precedence over freedom of the press. This means that Switzerland has dropped out of the World Press Freedom Index top ten for the first time ever. It now languishes in 14th place.

Picture  The Swiss eat around 1.7 billion eggs every year, with Swiss hens laying 1.1 billion of them. Photo: iStock