Talking about beef with Thomas Butz, Niederuzwil

The President of Beef Event has already visited over thirty beef's!
    Thomas Butz

Thomas Butz, President of Beef Event, in the midst of his Charolais herd. (Photo: zVg)

Thomas, you've been President of Beef Event for four years now. How many beef’s were you actively involved with or visiting?

Since 2000 I have been to all beef's with the exception of two or three events. I was in Chur for the first time in 2000, and one of my Charolais cows was shown in the animal exhibition. Then I was often a visitor to the events and of course in 2008 and 2018 as a member of the organizing committee for beef.ch in Wil.

Which beef.ch did you like best so far? Why?

The ten-day events on the Pfannenstiel, which took place regularly until 2013, were the best for me. Here we could show the animals on pastures, where they belong. In addition, the programme with concerts and other events was always very rich and varied.

I was also impressed by the beef's in Sempach (2006) and in Küssnacht (2014). In Sempach it was successfully shown that beef.ch can also succeed in a city. Beef.ch in Küssnacht was very authentic. It took place on five farms against a unique backdrop. The visitors could see that the factories really look like how we show them in advertising.

What do you want to achieve with beef.ch?

We want to show consumers our way of producing beef. Suckler cow husbandry is species-appropriate and natural, that’s what visitors should experience at our events.

Thomas Butz' mother cows (Charolais)

How and where can you best achieve these goals?

We try to be present in different regions of Switzerland every year. The locations are a mixture of proximity to the city and events in the country. The more we are in the city centre, the more we can reach people who otherwise do not come into contact with agriculture. In the countryside, as I said, we have the advantage that we can show the animals in their natural environment, in the pasture. It’s important that the visitors feel the lifeblood of suckler cow husbandry, then success is almost certain.

Where do you see the challenges for beef.ch?

Today's consumers are demanding. It is no longer enough to put up a few information boards to convince them. We hope that we can find a good mix of entertainment and knowledge transfer at our events. We want to offer visitors an experience that they can take home with them.

Do you have a wish for visitors to beef.ch?

We are happy about every single person who comes to beef.ch and deals with us! I hope that our events will help to make the food and especially the Swiss-made products more valued.

Thomas Butz' farm in the Thurauen

Thomas Butz and his wife Monika manage a business in the Thurauen of Niederuzwil. The farm comprises a total of 45 hectares of agricultural land, of which 30 hectares are meadows and pastures, 6 hectares are used for ecological compensation, extensive meadows and pastures, orchard and around 1 ha of rotation of fallow land in the arable area. Spelt, rapeseed, silage maize and alfalfa grass mixture are cultivated. Thomas Butz keeps a herd of around 45 suckler cows with calves and a breeding group of Charolais cattle. Female slaughter animals are marketed as Natura beef. Bulls are fattened and sold as SwissPrimBeef Charolais.

More information at www.charolais-beef.ch.