ANM Group has launched a campaign to promote the green credentials of the Scottish red meat sector and defend livestock farmers in the climate change debate.
The north-east farmers’ co-operative, which runs livestock auction marts at Thainstone near Inverurie and Quoybrae in Caithness, said the campaign would be a “robust defence of Scottish farming’s environmental credentials”.
ANM Group said the campaign, which was launched to coincide with the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, aims to highlight the positive steps being taken by Scottish red meat producers to reduce and offset emissions.
The group’s chief executive, Grant Rogerson, said ANM was attempting to “stand up” for its membership and client base which is too often “misrepresented” in the climate debate.
“As a group, ANM is determined to do everything necessary to stand up for the sector,” said Mr Rogerson.
“Like many of our members, ANM has been frustrated by a series of ill-informed reports and misinformation about the impact of livestock farming on the environment.”
He said the Scottish red meat sector was one of the most sustainable industries in the planet, with livestock production accounting for less than 6% of the UK’s net carbon emissions compared to 27% caused by transport and 21% caused by power generation and supply.
“Too often, Scottish red meat production is misrepresented as a heavy emitter to global emissions, when in fact, this is simply not the case,” said Mr Rogerson.
“Unlike other parts of the world where livestock is farmed intensively, Scottish livestock production actively manages carbon outputs by utilising sustainable grazing systems and offsetting on-farm emissions with our positive climate actions on the land.”
He said instead of advocating reduced red meat consumption, policymakers needed to be promoting the transfer of consumption from carbon intensive foreign production to Scottish produce founded on high environmental standards.
“Scottish red meat is the green alternative to sourcing from outwith our country and offshoring the problem,” added Mr Rogerson.
ANM plans to run the campaign for the remainder of this year and into 2022, when it celebrates its 150th anniversary.