Network of 100 farmers help promote meat and dairy

The network of farmers will promote and share the benefits of meat and dairy on social media
The network of farmers will promote and share the benefits of meat and dairy on social media

A network of 100 farmers will highlight the benefits of meat and dairy as part of an industry campaign, as new research shows producers are getting better at telling the story of farming.

The 'We Eat Balanced' consumer marketing campaign, spearheaded by the AHDB, highlights the positive role meat and dairy can play in a sustainable and healthy diet.

The network of farmers will promote and share the key messaging on social media during the first part of the £3.5m campaign running to the New Year.

Throughout September and October, the benefits of beef, pork, lamb and milk, which contain vitamin B12, an essential nutrient not naturally present in plant-based foods, will be highlighted.

The network of farmers will also be sharing the high food and farming standards of UK meat and dairy production, which is some of the most sustainable in the world.

And with ongoing trade talks raising a wider debate around food import standards in the run up to COP 26, the campaign will share the story of British farming in the form of short videos.

The autumn phase of the campaign will be followed up in January 2022 with a new TV advert and supporting social media campaign.

AHDB’s head of marketing Liam Byrne said: “The pilot We Eat Balanced campaign which ran in January this year showed consumers were receptive to messages reminding them of the role beef, lamb, pork and dairy can play in a balanced diet.

“It also positively shifted consumer attitudes towards the health benefits of meat and dairy, while increasing the likeliness of customers purchasing those products by 11% and 3% respectively.

“We also know that consumer trust in farmers and their role in food production remains robust and our campaign is now building on that with a focus on producers sharing their stories."

The autumn campaign comes as new AHDB research also shows that over half (53%) of people surveyed say that farmers are improving their communication skills.

And 7 out of 10 consumers say they trust farmers when it comes to the UK’s food system – making them the most trusted group in the supply chain.

Staffordshire dairy farmer Liz Haines is welcoming the return of the campaign as it is challenging misinformed messages regularly seen in the press and on social media.

She said: “Seeing campaigns like We Eat Balanced gives people the reassurance they can make healthy and sustainable choices when they choose to eat meat and dairy and that is a really important message for the future of British farming.”

Meanwhile pig producer Fergus Howie said farmers need the chance to put the record straight: “During the past five years, I have witnessed myself how the media landscape has radically changed.

“Social media has a power I am not sure many of us could have predicted, where opinions, instead of facts, are widely reported and perpetuated.”