UK: Farmers launch advertising campaign in wake of horsemeat scandal

The NFU's advertising campaign this weekend has been launched in the wake of the horsemeat scandal

The NFU's advertising campaign this weekend has been launched in the wake of the horsemeat scandal - Credit: Archant

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is set to run a ‘Buy British’ advertising campaign in 10 national newspapers this weekend in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

The adverts will highlight the ‘great British food produced by British farmers’ message. Shoppers will be asked to look out for the Red Tractor farm assurance logo.

The NFU said the campaign is in direct response to the scandal which has seen horsemeat being passed off as beef in some imported frozen foods, which has highlighted the complexity of the food chain in some products.

NFU regional director Pamela Forbes said: “Farmers are as shocked as everybody else by the revelations of the last few weeks.

“They take pride in the crops they grow and the animals they rear and feel badly let down by what’s happened further down the supply chain. All of us have a right to know where our food comes from and have confidence about what is in it.

“Thankfully, we’re seeing strong public support for farmers over this issue and this campaign aims to build on that.

“With public backing something positive can come out of this sorry saga, with more people buying British food sourced from British farmers and increased demand for home-grown ingredients from the food industry.”

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Suffolk NFU representative and beef farmer Stephen Rash said: “British farmers are rightly proud of the quality food we produce and it’s good to see the NFU taking this action to get that message across.

“I think we’ve all been stunned by the revelations of the last few weeks and just how far some processed food has travelled before it ends up on our plates. It never occurred to me that food could be produced like that.

“We produce quality British beef in this country and there’s no need to source ingredients from half way around the world when it is available here.”

Using the twitter hashtag #buybritish the NFU will be championing British produce on social media, encouraging consumers to show their support and buy the high standard food produced on British farms.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “Our meat industry is highly regulated and it is imperative that we remind consumers that British farmers work to some extremely stringent standards.

“The NFU is telling the public that they can buy British in confidence. Look for the Red Tractor logo, as products bearing it have been independently inspected to accredited standards, and are traceable from farm to pack.

“The supermarkets have an important role to play in rebuilding consumer confidence too. We want them to throw their weight behind independent assurance schemes like Red Tractor, which will help to reassure consumers and Great British farmers.

“Consumers should have the confidence that the products they buy are what they say they are. Our message to them is that British farms produce high quality produce and we want the public to continue to show them support.”