A new post at Quality Meat Scotland has been created to counter negative pressure on the red meat sector.
Douglas Bell, previously QMS’s head of industry development, is to become the body’s director of strategic engagement.
He took up the new role in January just as the vegan lobby took its campaign to a new level of activity.
His appointment is one of a series of changes implemented under new chairman Kate Rowell and chief executive Alan Clarke.
Mrs Rowell said: “As a farmer and vet, I am well aware of the challenges faced by our industry and equally aware of the dedication and sheer hard graft that goes into producing the nutritious food source that is quality beef, lamb and pork.
“I am also very aware of the huge frustration being felt at grassroots level given the wave of unbalanced, and very often totally inaccurate, media coverage driven by some very well-funded organisations with an anti-red meat agenda.”
An estimated 50,000 jobs in Scotland are dependent on the red meat industry and Mrs Rowell urged all those involved – from farmers, processors and butchers to auctioneers, feed companies and hauliers – to support the forthcoming QMS campaigns.
A six-week ’Go Places with Pork’ campaign launched on January 21, with a run of peak-time television advert, will include billboard, press and social media activity.
The campaign has been partly funded by a £125,000 Scottish Government grant.
A ’Know Your Beef’ campaign will follow later in the spring.