Editor's Comment

The news that the UN, or at least a branch of it, appears to be backing a reduction in meat consumption is yet another blow to the beleaguered meat industry, So it's perhaps time that we upped our game on responding to these issues.

At the moment, it would seem we are under almost daily attack, from animal activists on one side, and vegetarian rockers on the other and indeed, MTJ's recent environmental survey revealed the industry felt it was under siege. But now, with respected authorities such as the UN joining the chorus, it's in danger of tipping into the mainstream consciousness.

For those who took comfort from the recent Eblex data showing most consumers were not yet worrying about meat consumption and the environment, I would suggest a rethink. Consumers are fickle beasts, and demands and trends can change fairly rapidly in some cases.

A constant barrage of negative information can easily seep into the public's perception and, left unchallenged, become the established view if we allow it to go unchecked.

While the Eblex figures might have shown that 75% of people aren't worried, that still meant a quarter of them are and that's still a pretty high number.

We need to invest some real time and energy in tackling this issue. While we're making some headway in reducing our footprint although more could always be done we need to get those messages out there and start challenging some of the extremist organisations looking to distort the debate to their own agenda.

We've got task forces to look at pig labelling, so why aren't we setting up a task force to tackle this issue? Not wishing to belittle the origin debate, but I would suggest the environmental argument is potentially a far more damaging issue than whether our bacon is from the UK or Denmark.

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