Farmers hit back against anti-meat agenda with new campaign

British farmers are set to fight back against recent anti-meat coverage with a four-week campaign of their own, promoting the benefits of home-produced meat.

Over the next four weeks, livestock farmers will be appearing in The Sun newspaper every Saturday throughout November, encouraging people to support, seek out and consume more quality British meat.

The NFU has teamed up with Colman’s for the campaign, which will kick off on Saturday (9 November) with a four-page pull-out supplement in The Sun’s food and lifestyle section.

See also: Meat eaters or vegetarians: Who has the better arguments?

The message is British meat needs Colman’s – and it needs British meat. British meat is full of flavour and hasn’t travelled miles to get from field to plate.

The advertorials will feature case studies of farmers across the country producing pork, lamb and beef. It will include information on the Red Tractor assurance standard and promote Colman’s products and their tie-in with British meat.

Farmers will also highlight the NFU’s Back British Farming messages about provenance and high animal welfare standards.

Yorkshire sheep farmer and NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay, who will be featured in The Sun on 16 November in northern and Scottish editions, said: “British farming has a fantastic story to tell.

“As a farmer, I am immensely proud to produce some of the highest-quality, tastiest and most nutritious food in the world, and at some of the most affordable prices.

“We need to be doing all we can to spread the Back British Farming message even further, and encourage the public to buy local and buy British.

“With the current political uncertainty and the low farmgate prices many livestock farmers are facing, it is more important than ever to galvanise public support for our fantastic farmers and their world-leading products,” Mr Findlay added.

Richard Findlay standing by a fence

Richard Findlay

Tesco advert

In recent weeks, British livestock farmers have faced criticism from climate change, anti-meat and pro-vegan groups.

Last month, the NFU raised objections over a new Tesco advert promoting a vegetarian diet, which the union said “demonised meat”. The ad featured a young girl telling her father: “I don’t want to eat animals anymore.”

NFU member and dairy farmer Abi Reader later featured in a debate on ITV’s This Morning, where she stressed that, no matter what diet they choose, consumers must be better informed about meat as part of a healthy diet.

Meat is naturally rich in protein and is a good source of iron, zinc and essential vitamins. There are certain parts of the population, especially teenage girls, who are currently not eating sufficient quantities of these micro-nutrients to fulfil their dietary requirement.

British farmers and growers to feature in the advertorials

  • David Bond, Norfolk mint grower (9 November, nationwide)
  • Richard Findlay, Yorkshire sheep farmer and NFU livestock board chairman (16 November, northern and Scottish editions)
  • Jacob Anthony, Welsh sheep farmer (16 November, Welsh editions)
  • Jilly Greed, Devon beef farmer (16 November, southern editions)
  • Michael Sly, Cambridgeshire mustard grower and NFU sugar board chairman (23 November, nationwide)
  • Bridget Borlase, Hertfordshire beef farmer (30 November, southern editions)
  • Elaine Timmis, Shropshire beef farmer (30 November, Midlands editions)
  • Anna Longthorpe, Yorkshire pig farmer (30 November, north-east editions)
  • Richard Spencer, Derbyshire sheep farmer (30 November, north-west editions)