Industry groups have rallied to made a stand against Veganuary and its ‘false claims of crimes’. Organisations said the month-long campaign should be used as a catalyst to promote the wealth of benefits UK farming provides.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) slammed Veganuary as ‘misguided and misleading’, and it neglected to mention the industry’s contribution to the environment.
NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “Behind the positive messages about Veganuary lies a co ordinated campaign against livestock farming.
“We are seeing criticisms from welfare campaigners, rewilders, climate change campaigners and health campaigners, but all these are connected and ignore the fact that UK sheep farming works very much in harmony with our environment, our landscapes and our human ecology.”
It came as Shropshire Council leader Steve Charmley took to social media with claims Veganuary bus adverts around the county – ‘a great country built on agriculture’ – were being used to promote ‘fake news of vegangalists’.
NFU Cymru president John Davies agreed, suggesting consumers should be able to make purchasing decisions based on the facts around the production of meat and dairy, ‘rather than being misled by the fiction cooked up by those whose agenda seeks to undermine the good reputation and high standards of the Welsh farming industry’.
Northumberland farmer Andrew Robinson suggested it was about ‘selling our quality product and getting our message across, not banning alternatives’.
NFU crops board appointee Sarah Bell added: “AHDB already takes a levy, some of which is about market development. Is it time to review what the art of the possible is?”