£1.3m PR push to put English lamb and beef on the menu in Europe

A major public relations programme by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is due to launch in April in a bid to boost exports of English beef and lamb to Europe.

The aim of the game is to put English lamb and beef back on the menu in Europe
The aim of the game is to put English lamb and beef back on the menu in Europe
The AHDB, an executive non-departmental public body funded by farmers via statutory levy, is to spend more than £1.3m on PR to promote beef and lamb in France, Spain and Belgium.

One of the main challenges faced by the AHDB’s comms team and its agencies is overcoming memories of the BSE scandal, which resulted in a decade-long ban on beef exports to Europe between 1996 and 2006. 

French agency Vivactis Public Relations has been awarded a two-year contract - worth £610,000 – to raise awareness of the AHDB’s Quality Standard Mark and its St George lamb branding.

"For PR events for the Parisian food service sector, all field marketing activities are designed to increase the visibility of a selection of brands on menus where meat is positioned at the core centre of the menu.

The outcome would be the visibility of British beef or lamb appearing on Parisian menus," states a recently released tender document.

The promotion of English lamb is aimed at consolidating its position in "the French retail sector and to develop a concept that strengthens loyalty of supermarkets across France to the brand."

A similar challenge faces Avance Comunicacion, a Madrid-based agency, which has been given a four-year contract worth £185,000. 

It will focus on securing media coverage to coincide with Spanish trade shows, keeping AHDB’s social media accounts and website up to date, and conducting activities "designed to increase visibility of assured product and to strengthen further commitment of major retailers."

In Belgium, AHDB plans to appoint an agency for a four-year contract worth around £500,000 – to promote the merits of English beef and lamb to restaurants in Brussels and supermarkets in Belgium.

Guy Attenborough, director of corporate affairs for AHDB, told PRWeek: "AHDB undertakes export market development work in a number of EU countries, some of which includes PR activity. Some existing contracts for local in-country agencies who support us in this are coming to an end and we are looking to retender to meet our future PR needs in these markets."

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