Red meat industry urged to do more to communicate with public

Scottish red meat industry workers and producers have been urged to support upcoming marketing campaigns by seizing every opportunity to talk about the industry.

Speaking at a Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) briefing to announce ambitious plans for the year ahead, chairman Kate Rowell emphasised a key focus of the organisation’s activity for the 2019-20 year will be to upweight the work it already does to protect and promote the industry.

“The work we do to protect and enhance the reputation of the industry has never been more important,” said Rowell.

“In the coming weeks, we will be launching our brand new ‘Meat with Integrity’ campaign – which focuses on the industry’s sustainability and animal welfare messages.

QMS is inviting farmers and others who work in the industry to help us with this campaign. The industry’s support will make a huge difference.

She added: “As a farmer and a vet, I am well aware of the challenges faced by our industry and equally aware of the dedication and sheer hard graft that goes into producing the nutritious food source that is quality assured beef, lamb and pork.

“Having spoken with hundreds of people in my first six months charing QMS, I am also very aware of the immense frustration being felt at grassroots level about the wave of unbalanced – and very often totally inaccurate – media coverage driven by some very well funded organisations with an anti-red meat agenda.

We are encouraging everyone to miss no opportunities to share their pride in the care and commitment which goes into producing the quality assured beef, lamb and pork we are famed for throughout the world.

“I sincerely believe there is a real opportunity ahead of us to unite as an industry to collectively communicate our commitment to sustainable farming and our moral obligation to produce a nutrient-dense food source in Scotland – a land abundant with water, which is ideally suited to converting grass into food.”

Rowell added that Scottish livestock farmers share immense pride in maintaining Scotland’s landscape and providing habitats for wildlife – some of which could not survive without the existence of grazing animals.

“We will also be asking farmers and others involved in our industry to join with us in actively celebrating and showcasing farmers’ commitment to enriching the environment on their farms, ahead of World Environmental Day on June 5,” she said.