Championing British livestock - get involved!

Charlie Beaty with Back British Farming sign_71367

The NFU is working to ensure members have access to positive messages championing British livestock farming in the new year.

Every day during January 2020, the NFU will be sharing positive messages about British livestock farming across Twitter as well as using its Instagram and Facebook accounts to help galvanise public support for the NFU's Back British Farming campaign.

Alongside this, the NFU will be actively supporting a number of proactive activities planned by AHDB throughout January to support the reputation of meat and dairy. These include:

  • Advertorials in the Daily Mail on meat and health
  • AHDB podcast on how to have a positive conversation with consumers
  • New social media assets on promoting a balanced diet - click here to view and download
  • Retailer activity supporting new pork TV campaign launching 13 January
  • Farmers Guardian piece from AHDB beef and lamb sector director Will Jackson on how to make the most of consumers’ trust in farmers.

Get involved

The NFU is asking all members to get involved by using our suite of social media content to showcase the valuable role British farmers play in protecting and enhancing the environment, and producing nutritious, tasty food to some of the highest environmental standards in the world. Help us send a positive message about British farming by sharing this content on your social media channels.

You can also share these links to pages on the NFU's public-facing Countryside website:

Milk with back British Farming logo_24857

Tips for using social media:

  • Stick to positive messages that celebrate British livestock farming
  • Share the NFU’s posts on Twitter and Facebook
  • Encourage others to get involved to help us spread the word

Ideas for talking about meat and nutrition

The key message when talking about meat and nutrition is balance. Different food groups work best when consumed together in moderation as part of a balance plate approach. Beef, pork and lamb can play an important role in a healthy, balanced diet.

Here are some key facts from AHDB you may wish to mention:

  • Red meat is naturally rich in protein, low in salt and provides a range of vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health, including iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin B12 and niacin.
  • Protein helps the maintenance of normal bones and growth in muscle mass.
  • Potassium contributes to normal muscle and nerve function and helps support normal blood pressure.
  • B vitamins can help with energy production in the body. They also help with the normal function of the immune system, psychological function and the reduction of tiredness.
  • Zinc helps with fertility and reproduction.
  • Red meat is low in salt (sodium), reducing consumption of sodium supports normal blood pressure.
  • Our bodies absorb iron and zinc from meat more readily than they can from plants.

Ideas for talking about dairy and nutrition

As with meat, the key message with dairy is balance. Different food groups work best when consumed together in moderation as part of a balanced plate approach. Milk and dairy foods are important sources of several nutrients which contribute to our positive wellbeing, including calcium, iodine and protein.

Here are some key facts from AHDB you may wish to mention:

  • A single glass of 200ml semi-skimmed milk provides 31% of our daily recommended calcium. It also contributes 74% of our recommended intake of Vitamin B12.
  • A 30g serving of hard cheese (for example cheddar) gives us 15% of our daily recommended protein.
  • A 150g pot of low-fat fruit yogurt provides 48% of our recommended daily intake of iodine.
  • Calcium is needed for maintenance of normal bones, and helps nerve and muscle function.
  • Vitamin B12 helps us feel less tired and benefits our immune system.
  • Protein helps the maintenance of normal bones and growth in muscle mass.
  • Iodine contributes to the production of thyroid hormones and function.

Cattle, sheep and the environment

The UK remains one of the most sustainable places in the world to produce beef and lamb. Due to our weather and topography it requires very few inputs to produce nutrient dense, high quality food.

Here are some key facts from AHDB you may wish to mention:

  • Latest Defra figures show UK agriculture is responsible for 10% of total UK emissions, with livestock production making up just under half of that.
  • Since 1990, UK agricultural emissions have decreased by 16%, while production has increased.
  • Currently, not all mitigating factors are taken into account when assessing the impact of livestock production on the environment, painting livestock in an unfair negative light.
  • Different methodologies are used to calculate carbon equivalents, meaning it is difficult to make fair comparisons across food types and industries.
  • Just over 60% of UK agricultural land is grassland, less suitable economically and environmentally for anything other than livestock grazing.
  • These grasslands capture and store carbon from the atmosphere, provide a habitat for wildlife and aid biodiversity.
  • Over 90% of beef and sheep feed is grass, silage and brewers grain, meaning the industry is not driving global soya production.
  • In the UK, only 67 litres of tap water is required to produce per kg of beef, and 49 litres per kg of lamb. The majority of the water comes from rain fed sources.
  • UK beef and lamb carbon emissions are 35% lower than the current global average, FAO 2016.

Here are some examples of effective Twitter posts to inspire you:

More from NFUonline for members:

Last edited on: 24:12:2019

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