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A post on social media is calling on people to boycott supermarket Tesco.
The plea follows the release of the retail giant’s advert for vegan sausages, called Carl’s ‘All-Change’ Casserole, on the radio, TV, and posters earlier this month.
It features a father called Carl, who reformulates his sausage casserole recipe after his young daughter comes home from school one day and says: “I don’t want to eat animals anymore.”
Following the launch of the ad, the National Farmers Union released a statement accusing Tesco of ‘demonizing’ farmers.
“The NFU believes that messaging such as this is demonizing meat as a food group, which not only has negative connotations for farmers but also for the avocation of customers eating a healthy balanced diet,” it said.
“The NFU is clear that food and nutrition must be looked at as a whole, rather than food groups in isolation. Meat as a food group provides naturally rich in protein and are a good source of iron, zinc and essential vitamins.
“There are certain parts of the population, especially teenage girls, who are currently not eating sufficient quantities of these micro-nutrients to fulfil their dietary requirement.”
While the post does not mention the advert, it describes Tesco’s ‘behavior’ towards farmers as ‘unacceptable’. A post shared in groups on Facebook says: “This November please support our British Farmers in boycotting Tesco.
“Time and again, they have penalized and walked roughshod over our farmers, and it’s time we stood united with them.
“A boycott for November will send a clear message that their behavior towards British Farming is unacceptable.”
‘Always offer choice’
A Tesco spokesperson said: “Our Food Love Stories celebrate recipes both with meat and without. For those customers who tell us they are looking to eat a little less meat, our Plant Chef range offers a delicious, affordable alternative.
“Our aim is always to offer choice. We remain absolutely committed to working in partnership with all our UK farmers, and we value the vital role they play in providing food for our customers.”
‘Love and support farmers’
Derek Sarno, Director of Plant Based Innovation at Tesco, told Plant Based News: “I love farmers and totally support all farmers, British and everywhere. We’d be doomed without them!
“I particularly support arable farmers, the more mushrooms, fruit, veg, grains, and potatoes we can grow for human consumption, the better. Not everyone wants to eat animals (for whatever reason), and many people are trying to cut down on the amount they do consume for health and environmental reasons.
“Lots of people want delicious, easy, affordable, convenient options that are free from animals, and we’re finally seeing these become more readily available in both high street markets and Tesco. The more choice, the better.”