Eat less and better meat and dairy, say campaigners

A powerful alliance of 52 organisations have set out their stall for how to eat meat and dairy more sustainably
calendar icon 19 April 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

Eating Better and its partners including Friends of the Earth, Sustain, WWF and Compassion in World Farming today release a report which sets out how a ‘less and better’ approach to meat and dairy is better for people, animals and the environment.

The report, Principles for Eating Meat and Dairy More Sustainably: the 'less and better' approach is well-timed, as the UK Government is currently consulting on a post-Brexit food and farming strategy. Eating Better is calling on DEFRA to integrate a less and better approach to meat and dairy into its plans, and to do more to encourage and reward farmers adopting more sustainable and higher welfare animal farming methods.

The report sets out Eating Better’s ‘less and better’ approach including a guide to assurance and labelling schemes to help people choose better meat and dairy. There is practical advice to help policy makers, food companies and the public put this approach into practice. It also details eight principles explaining how meat and dairy consumption impacts upon the climate, animal welfare, nature, health, worldwide access to food, effectiveness of antibiotics, resource use and waste and the livelihoods of farmers.

Eating Better’s Executive Director, Sue Dibb, said:

“Industrial livestock production is having a devastating impact on our health, animal welfare and the health of the planet. As people are becoming more conscious about what they eat, a less and better approach to meat and dairy provides a positive way forward.

"But we urgently need the Government to play its part. Brexit provides a timely opportunity to put our livestock production and consumption onto a more sustainable footing and to support and encourage farming practices that benefit animal welfare, the environment and our health."

Interest in meat-reducing ‘flexitarian’ diets is growing with Eating Better research finding that 44 percent of Brits are willing or already committed to eating less meat. Savvy food businesses are recognising that providing a range of products that support a less and better approach to meat and dairy makes good business sense and will set them apart from competitors. The take away delivery service, Just Eat, reported a 987 percent increase in the demand for vegetarian options in 2017, from its UK customer base of 20 million people. Forbes have predicted that ‘flexitarianism’ will be all the rage in 2018.

As reported by Eating Better

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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