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Time for UK farming to ‘reclaim’ January, red meat experts say

Veganuary will be countered with a co-ordinated message using expert speakers and social media influencers to promote healthy meat-based meals and combat misinformation about the UK farming industry.

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Time for UK farming to ‘reclaim’ January, red meat experts say

Farmers are the most trusted link in the food supply chain, with only six per cent disagreeing and 62 per cent of consumers feeling positive about British agriculture, a survey by AHDB ahead of Veganuary has revealed.

 

AHDB, which has joined forced with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), to turbocharge the promotion of red meat and its benefits for human health and the environment throughout January, said the industry should be proud to ‘hold its head up high’.

 

Veganuary, which encourages people to adopt a vegan diet for the whole of January, will be countered with a co-ordinated message using expert speakers and social media influencers to promote healthy meat-based meals and combat misinformation about the UK farming industry.

 

Will Jackson, AHDB beef and lamb strategy director, said it was time for the livestock sector to ‘reclaim’ January.


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“In the livestock sector, increasingly we approach January with a sense of trepidation. Why?

 

“There is a belief that the month is now ‘owned’ by those who follow alternative lifestyle choices and set out to convert others while spreading misinformation and mischief around livestock farming.

 

“But we are looking at this the wrong way. January should be seen as a huge opportunity to set the record straight, hold our heads high and shout about the positives of livestock farming in the UK.

 

Showcase

“More eyes are on us than normal so let us showcase what we do and how well we do it to keep this country eating a healthy, balanced diet.”

 

Mr Jackson said the levy board’s Consumer Insights: Trust, Transparency and Traceability study, showed why the industry should look towards the new year positively and not feel ‘under siege from the tiny minority of the population who cut out all animal products from their lives’.

 

In the last year, 98 per cent of UK households bought red meat, while 99.8 per cent bought a dairy product.

AHDB said this was a higher number of households than bought toilet roll.

AHDB’s research chimes with a survey of 2,009 consumers which found 79 per cent were proud of British farmers and the countryside they sustain.

 

Eighty-four per cent said the Government should ensure all imported foods meet the same environmental and animal welfare standards as food produced in the UK and 62 per cent agreed farmers should receive financial support from the taxpayer to ensure a continued supply of British food.


More details of the jointly funded AHDB, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), initiative:

 

  • High profile media medics will share informative content with their followers, highlighting the role red meat can play in combating tiredness and fatigue;
  • The programme will also continue an already successful collaboration with Celebrity Masterchef finalist Spencer Matthews, who has helped the levy bodies’ positive messaging reach millions of consumers across the UK and beyond. This year the reality TV star shot three engaging videos highlighting the nutritional benefits, tastiness and ease of cooking with beef, pork and lamb, successfully reaching over 5.2 million Brits within the target audience on Instagram;
  • In January, Spencer will continue to spread the word, talking with consumer media about his healthy lifestyle and the important role red meat plays within it;
  • Members of the Food Advisory Board will provide commentary in response to cases of media exaggeration on the topic of red meat and health. The members will also write and contribute to proactively placed advertorials in national press, with two scheduled to be published within the month.
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