Meat promotion to support FMD hit sector

A major promotional campaign for Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb (QSM) is to get underway this week in a bid to help the beef and lamb sector recover from the impact of the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

Although further decisions are still to be made at a European level, the industry now faces a period where it will not be allowed to export beef and lamb from Great Britain.

"We believe consumers will want to show their support for livestock farmers in the wake of recent events, and they can do so by asking for, and buying Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb," said John Cross, chairman of EBLEX.

"Beef and lamb exports combined are now worth a total of £30 million a month to the industry. Many beef and sheep enterprises have only just started to recover from the impact of the 2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic, so encouraging consumers to choose quality beef and lamb as a mark of their support will help farmers at this critical time."

Cross added: "EBLEX is now investing a substantial amount of money in Quality Standard Mark promotional work, including a new lamb foodservice campaign being launched tomorrow (Tuesday).

"In addition, we will be working with retailers to persuade them to go that extra mile in sourcing Quality Standard Mark product over the next few months and also with the supply chain to help maintain a balance between supply and demand."

Tomorrow a giant sheep bearing the EBLEX Quality Standard Mark will be unveiled on a hillside beside the M62 in Bradford to mark the start of the latest campaign. It is estimated over 1.7 million vehicles a week will pass the sheep, which is 1,000 square metres in size.

This Autumn, EBLEX Quality Standard Mark promotional activity will focus on a new series of press adverts which will appear in selected consumer and women's press in early September.

These ads will run alongside an airing of two 'Beefy and Lamby' TV ads for the Quality Standard Mark - 'Rubbing' for Quality Standard lamb, and 'Box' for Quality Standard beef mince. Independent research has shown that 88% of the QSM target audience is aware of the ads.

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