Farm levy bodies are gearing up to fight back against Veganuary and promote the benefits of red meat and dairy products to consumers next month.
Scottish red meat levy body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has launched an online toolkit to help those working in the sector have “positive conversations about red meat” in January.
UK levy body, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), is also launching a £1.5 million TV advertising campaign to promote British red meat and dairy products.
Both initiatives coincide with Veganuary – a campaign encouraging people to ditch meat and dairy to try a plant-based diet in January.
“Within the red meat industry, January can bring a sense of trepidation with anti-red meat rhetoric flooding social media,” said QMS chairwoman Kate Rowell.
“Although it can seem like the month is hijacked and distorted with misinformation, it is essential that farmers, butchers, hauliers, auction marts and processors feel like they are well equipped to positively engage, inform and promote the benefits of our industry, and this toolkit will support them in doing so.”
She said the toolkit, which is available here, includes key stats and facts about the role of red meat in a healthy, balanced diet, with a focus on vitamin B12.
QMS director of marketing and communications Lesley Cameron said the toolkit also included recipes for Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork, as well as responses to common questions about red meat, the environment and sustainability.
She added: “Our strategy is not to be defensive – it is to promote the benefits of our industry and support the red meat supply chain to be bold and take pride in what they do.”
Meanwhile, AHDB’s new campaign – Eat Balanced – will encourage British shoppers to continue eating meat and dairy produce.
It aims to communicate that red meat and dairy contain the essential vitamin B12, while promoting Britain’s world-class farming standards.
AHDB’s chief marketing and communications officer Christine Watts said: “This campaign aims to balance the negative commentary around farming as well as the importance of eating red meat and dairy as part of a balanced and healthy diet.
“AHDB is championing a message with consumers for a bright new year: Eat Balanced – enjoy the food you eat.”