British levy boards continue fight against meat misinformation

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

British levy boards have joined forces to dispel myths regarding meat
British levy boards have joined forces to dispel myths regarding meat

Related tags: Beef, Pork, Lamb

Levy bodies from England, Scotland and Wales have entered a second year of marketing activity to promote the positive side of the meat industry.

Launched last year by Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the campaign sought to dispel misinformation surrounding the meat industry in Great Britain.

An end-of-year review by the three levy boards revealed that the first year of the campaign helped positive messaging reach more than 1.4m people, who might previously have missed targeted work from the bodies working in isolation. Run via social media, one of the main aims of the campaign was to educate young singles and busy parents on the ease with which lean meat can be incorporated into their mid-week meals, and the health benefits its inclusion can provide.

The campaign utilised three celebrities from across England, Scotland and Wales for video content: Welsh, British and Irish Lions rugby star Shane Williams; television presenter and Celebrity MasterChef winner Angellica Bell, and ex-Scotland rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Thom Evans.

The marketing activity is funded by a £2m pot of AHDB meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects, managed by the three GB meat levy bodies.

Over the next 12 months, the activity will focus on: engaging influencers to build a visible presence on social media; coordinating proactive media stories with key national and trade titles; broadening pool of experts to ensure the ability to respond to growing trends/issues and engaging with experts on upcoming issues and leverage expertise for reactive and proactive opportunities.

Jane King, AHDB CEO said: “In a world of confusing headlines and bogus science, it is essential that the important role meat plays in a healthy, balanced diet is communicated accurately. We seek to help consumers make informed choices about the food that they consume.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues from HCC and QMS to help collectively tackle some of the misinformation currently available in the public arena around meat​.”

Gwyn Howells, chief executive of HCC, said: “Promoting meat’s positive health credentials is a vital piece of work for our industry. It’s important that the public is informed about the advantages of lamb, beef and pork as part of a balanced diet, and we’ve been delighted to work with Shane Williams and others to emphasise how meat can be a convenient and nutritious cooking ingredient for people with active, busy lifestyles​.”

Alan Clarke, chief executive of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) added: “It is absolutely imperative that we continue to strongly communicate the facts about the role of meat in a healthy balanced diet to consumers who are facing a constant flow of unbalanced, and often inaccurate, coverage by some parts of the media.

“A joint-industry push-back on this misinformation is key as we continue to drive public awareness of the many health benefits of meat.”

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