Beef, lamb and pork-related organisations from across the UK have announced they are to launch major offensives in a bid to distract attention from the anti-meat Veganuary initiative – even before it begins next month.
Scotland’s Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) has claimed “busting the myths” around red meat consumption needs to be the top priority in 2020 if the industry is to have any future.
Since 2014 the high-profile Veganuary campaign has attempted to persuade consumers to try going vegan for the month of January, but in 2020 meat levy bodies in England, Scotland and Wales will be fighting back with promotional activity, including employing social media “influencers” to encourage the consumption of healthy, meat-based meals.
Experts have been engaged by the levy bodies to give positive messages around red meat’s nutritional role, and high profile media medics will share information on the role red meat can play in combating fatigue.
The Food Advisory Board will also contribute to two advertorials in the national press in January.
SAMW chairman Andy McGowan, chief executive of Scottish Pig Producers, claimed that consumers were confused by mixed messages, and made to feel guilty about choosing to eat meat after being exposed to anti-meat propaganda.
He said the counter arguments needed to be fact-based and clearly and simply presented.
“We have a strong and positive message to deliver on behalf of the natural grass-based livestock production systems on which the quality image of Scotland’s beef and lamb output is founded, alongside the impressive efficiency of our high health status pig industry,” he said.
“We need to unite as an industry in getting behind Quality Meat Scotland to present this strong message to the nation’s increasingly confused consumers.”