NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts wrote to The Guardian in response to an article by environment editor Damian Carrington which put forward 18 reasons to adopt a meat-free diet.
Damian Carrington has singularly managed to turn the complex topic of climate change into an overly simplistic and binary discussion around whether or not to eat meat.
It’s not the case that all beef products are worse than avocados, or vice versa. You can grow avocados, almonds and palm oil unsustainably, or you can grow them to certifiable high environmental standards, just as with beef.
Limiting the discussion to red meat, without considering the sustainability of specific production systems, means limiting our progress when it comes to climate change. Cutting out meat is not going to solve the climate crisis. Yes, diet has a part to play, but any decisions need to be based on production systems – not the product itself.
In Britain, our farmers are already leading the way in climate-friendly food production and we have the ambition to be even better, working towards net zero agriculture by 2040. I find it concerning that this article did not recognise this industry-leading ambition.
So if you want to eat quality, nutritious red meat as part of a healthy, balanced diet and be confident that it’s been sustainably produced, buying British is a great place to start.
NFU Deputy President
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