DEFRA minister Jim Paice has added his backing to Great British Beef Week, which launched on Monday morning (23 April).

The week, designed to promote and drive awareness of the quality and versatility of British beef carrying the Red Tractor logo, is organised by the group Ladies in Beef.

“With the world’s population growing fast, Britain’s got huge opportunities to export our high-quality beef and breeding stock to the world,” said Mr Paice, who attended a photo call with a tractor in Westminster which was timed to coincide with St George’s Day.

“I fully support the valuable work being done by Ladies in Beef to generate growth in the industry, which will go hand-in-hand with all the work this Government is doing to rebuild confidence and respect for British farming.”

Great British Beef Week is also drawing support across the industry from livestock markets to independent butchers.

Major supermarkets including Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons have also agreed to add their weight to the initiative by carrying special on-pack logos.

This year, Ladies in Beef are raising funds for the national Help for Heroes charity, which aims to provide better facilities for British servicemen and women wounded in action.

Minette Batters, Ladies in Beef co-founder, said: “We have very little resource and not much time to spare but what we do have is a determined group of women who are passionate about creating a sustainable future for British beef. Great British Beef Week was established not only to raise awareness of the industry, but the vital role livestock production plays in the management of our beautiful countryside.”

To help inspire people to get cooking with beef, the Ladies in Beef have created a variety of recipes which can be found on the Great British Beef Week website.