Setting the record straight on some of the misconceptions around livestock, dairy and poultry production is the aim of a new NFU initiative aimed at improving the public perception of animal farming.
Called “A closer look at…”, the online series is designed to equip NFU members with the facts around the environmental and animal welfare impacts, and the nutritional benefits of livestock production.
“The British farming industry is such a fantastic success story and has many positive stories to tell,” said NFU president Minette Batters.
“But at times, if you read certain sections of the press and social media, it can feel that we are constantly under attack.
“We need to be better at explaining how food is produced in this country, and these new fact sheets are a valuable tool to help us do this, containing messages and facts we can stand behind.”
The hope is that the three digital spaces will provide farmers with the information they need to counter common misunderstandings when talking to MPs, journalists, industry stakeholders and the public.
For example, “A closer look at livestock…” has a section on how methane differs from other greenhouse gases, being short lived, meaning it is not as much a threat to global warming as most climate change activists like to suggest.
The dairy document explains how antibiotics are used and recorded, to make sure there are no traces of antibiotics in food destined to end up on our plates.
And the poultry document has a section explaining the different systems of egg and meat production systems, explaining how they operate to meet bird requirements.
Each document also includes a case study, to illustrate how much care farmers take to ensure the wellbeing of their animals, while graphics promote the nutritional benefit of meat, milk and eggs.