Farm promotion bodies from Scotland, England and Wales are joining forces to explain the benefits of eating red meat.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) Meat Promotion Wales and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) are uniting in a health-based red meat programme, financed by a £2 million fund which can only be used for collaborative projects.
This is the first time the three bodies, which each have their own health and education programmes, have delivered a united UK-wide programme of health activity focused on red meat. It is an issue on which they believe consumers are often ‘duped’ by pseudo-science or ill-informed commentators.
Christine Watts, chief marketing officer at AHDB, said: “This industry has a great story to tell, not just in terms of nutrition, but in terms of sustainability and environmental harmony. This programme will help to get these messages to consumers enabling them to make an informed choice.”
Core input will be provided by the meat advisory panel, which includes doctors, surgeons and nutritionists who communicate with consumers and health care professionals on the benefits of red meat in a healthy, balanced diet. Panel members also work to debunk myths associated with red meat consumption.
The joint initiative also represents an interim sharing of levy resources at a time when QMS, HCC and AHDB are continuing to seek longer-term solutions concerning what should happen to levies which are collected at point of slaughter in England for animals which have been reared in Scotland or Wales.
This has been a long-running issue for farmers in Scotland and Wales who have repeatedly campaigned for the return of ‘lost’ levy income.