UK farming bodies capitalize on horsemeat scandal

The NFU, Eblex, and Red Tractor Assurance are among the farming bodies launching a marketing blitz encouraging British consumers to buy quality assured, traceable British beef.

The NFU (National Farmers Union), Eblex (English Beef and Lamb Executive), and Red Tractor Assurance are among the farming bodies launching a marketing blitz encouraging British consumers to buy quality assured, traceable British beef in a bid to capitalize on the furor over horsemeat-contaminated supermarket food.

Eblex, Bpex (British Pork Executive), and Red Tractor will run a joint campaign comprising half-page ads in papers including The Sun, Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, and The Guardian.

The ads will highlight the provenance of fresh beef, lamb, pork, and bacon and carry the copy, "Quality Assured. Now more than ever, it's important to know that the meat that you're buying comes from a trusted source."

The NFU is also running its own campaign this weekend in ten nationals, with ads stating it is "Leading the way in high standards" and telling UK consumers to "Buy British.”

Tomorrow's ads may well be followed by subsequent marketing pushes. A spokesman for Eblex told Marketing that the body was monitoring developments concerning horse-contaminated meat and would react accordingly.

Meanwhile, north of the border, Quality Meat Scotland is running an eight-week campaign co-funded by the European Union and aimed at 5.3 million Scottish consumers. The activity will push two messages, "Get Behind the Label", which features two Scottish farming families, and "Great Quality of Taste.” Activity will span media including in-store, print, outdoor, and digital.

Peter Kendall, NFU president, said: "British Farmers are very proud of what they produce and are quite rightly furious about this current situation.”

"They feel let down by what looks like a criminal element in an isolated part of the food chain, which has certainly not helped in reassuring consumers that the food they are buying is what they say it is,” he said.

News of the ad push by farming bodies comes on the same day that Tesco said it would launch a new "farm and factory" website as part of plans to open up its food supply chain to consumers, in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.

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