Are we too late on climate change PR?

Has the meat industry left it to late to be taken seriously when it comes to tackling the climate change challenge?

At the Langford Food Industry conference last week, a government advisor slated the industry for its apparent inactivity, and, when informed action was being taken, pointed out that none of that information was getting through to the people who decided policy.

Following this, we've now got leading policy-makers announcing to the national press that they will be urging consumers to ditch meat in a bid to save the planet.

The industry can, and will, do what it needs to cut and reduce its emissions. But has it already lost the publicity war?

Earlier this year, Richard Lowe, chief executive of EBLEX, warned the industry not to allow the simplistic message of "eat less meat" to gather pace. Now it would seem the government is considering embracing that attitude, and from what government advisor Gareth Edward-Jones told delegates at the Langford Conference, this is down to the lack of industry engagement with government on the subject.

The industry is beginning to look at the subject, although perhaps it needs to step up the pace a little. But most importantly, it needs to go on the front foot as a matter of urgency and start to counter the growing calls for cuts in meat consumption.

If we sit back and do nothing, the anti-meat lobby will have free rein and the outcome will not be in anyone's interest.

l Meanwhile, one way in which the meat industry is cutting its carbon footprint is by cycling to Paris! Don't forget to add your support to our "green" charity venture by visiting justgiving.com/butchers-on-bikes and donating the children's inheritance... or a fiver. Your choice.

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