Farming industry efforts to maintain sales of meat and dairy in January – the same month as the Veganuary campaign encouraging people to adopt a vegan diet – have paid off with sales of both up on the year.
Scottish red meat levy body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) said an additional 912,000 retail meat purchases were made in Scotland in the four weeks to January 24, compared to the same period in 2020.
It said the data from consumer research body Kantar also reveals Scottish meat sales were worth more than £31.6 million in January – up £7m, or 29%, on January 2020 – and sales of meat substitute purchases were up 7.6% in the same period.
UK levy body, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), said the figures also showed a rise in dairy sales in January – up almost 12% across the UK with sales of fresh cream up 21%.
QMS and AHDB ran campaigns to counter the Veganuary initiative and both organisations have praised the latest sales figures.
QMS chairman Kate Rowell is now encouraging all farmers and crofters who engaged with its campaign, which sought to promote positive conversations about red meat, to continue promoting their sector.
Shoppers have a high confidence in the quality of Scotch meat. Don't forget to download our Veganuary Unwrapped assets and continue to spread positive messages around red meat consumption: https://t.co/YK28hcJQVg#scotchmeat #scotchbeefpgi #scotchlambpgi pic.twitter.com/X6PVXpV68u
— QMS (@qmscotland) March 2, 2021
“There’s always a lot of noise around Veganuary, and off the back of a politically, socially and economically challenging year, January 2021 brought a sense of trepidation around anti-red meat sentiments escalating on social media,” said Ms Rowell.
“But our industry can be proud of the united front presented which spread the positive messages of Scotland’s red meat industry.
“Consumers are hearing more about the industry from the industry, particularly in relation to our welfare standards and sustainability, as well as the role of red meat in a healthy balanced diet.”
She said QMS had updated its toolkit for having positive conversations about red meat and the new kit – Veganuary Unwrapped – contains key statistics and facts about the industry for those involved in the red meat supply chain to share with members of the public.
QMS director of marketing and communications, Lesley Cameron, said: “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, which is clearly making an impact reflected in strong red meat sales.”
The toolkit is available at qmscotland.co.uk