Pro meat campaign to highlight health benefits

Promoting meat’s health credentials is a 'vital piece of work' for the industry
Promoting meat’s health credentials is a 'vital piece of work' for the industry

The British public will be exposed to more positive messaging on meat thanks to a new £2 million campaign.

The initiative, now in its second year, has undertaken a range of activity to help counter recent misinformation in the media on the role of meat in the diet.

An end-of-year review has revealed that the first social media campaign alone has helped positive messaging reach more than 1.4 million people.

The aim of the social campaign was to educate people on the ease with which lean meat can be incorporated into meals, and the health benefits its inclusion can provide.

Videos, featuring celebrities such as rugby players Shane Williams and Thom Evans, highlighted the nutritional benefits of lamb, beef and pork.

They said that beef is naturally rich in protein which helps muscle growth and supports muscle mass, while lamb contains seven different vitamins that support good health.

In addition, a nutrition factsheet was distributed to healthcare professionals to support the advice given to patients on sources of essential nutrients, highlighting the part meat can play.

The initiative is a result of a joint project from the levy bodies in England, Scotland and Wales, which includes the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Reacting to misinformed coverage on meat

The programme has worked closely with the Meat Advisory Panel (MAP), which comprises impartial and authoritative doctors, surgeons and nutritionists.

They seek to keep the public informed on the virtues of meat as an important component of a balanced diet.

Through these experts, the programme has been able to respond reactively to misinformed, negative coverage surrounding meat.

This has ranged from industry reports - such as Eat Lancet - recommending people cut down their intake, to the suggestion of its association with cancer.

This commentary has appeared in a range of national and trade titles, with unique monthly users and combined circulation totaling 514 million.

Jane King, AHDB CEO, said the levy bodies are seeking to help consumers make informed choices about the food that they consume.

“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 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,” she said.