The booklet, called Proud Beef and Lamb, has been published to highlight the “huge benefits” the sector brings to the country.
Eblex senior director Nick Allen explained that the book included 10 key facts, from export levels to water use, as well as the number of people employed in the beef and sheep meat sector. According to Allen, the book should act as a “handy reminder” for producers and stakeholders about some of the achievements that make the sector great.
As well as being focused on the industry, Eblex said the booklet would prove “thought-provoking” for the wider public, who often know little about the industry, other than what they see in mainstream media.
Allen said: “Farmers kept asking us for some sort of crib sheet they could refer to when speaking to the public to highlight the good things about the industry and what we are achieving. Often, members of the public only know the last exaggerated headline they read in the popular press and this can quite often be inaccurate or a sweeping generalisation based on a global picture that does not reflect how we do things in England.
“We can all list many things that are good about beef and sheep farming, but just having that resource there to refer to and hand out was something that was missing.”
Key facts highlighted in the publication showed that 89,000 people were employed on English beef and sheep farms; the country exports a third of the lamb it produces; and that only 67 litres of piped water is needed to produce one kilogram of beef.
Allen highlighted how the mainstream media often misconstrues this latter fact and said: “With depressing regularity you will read reports in the newspaper and online that it takes 20,000, 50,000 or even more litres of water for every kilogram of beef produced. Our own research shows we actually use less piped water than it takes to fill a bathtub for each kilogram of beef produced, and we are left fighting to set the record straight.”
The countryside and climate in this country makes it one of the most efficient places in the world to produce beef, Allen added. He said: “Our producers are working hard to improve further and reduce our environmental footprint. We want to get this, and many other messages, out there more prominently to educate people, and Proud of Beef and Lamb is another tool to help us do that.”