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The Welsh meat lobby has launched a massive £250,000 campaign – in a bid to promote meat as the plant-based sector continues to soar.

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) – says it wants to promote how ‘sustainable and healthy’ Welsh meat products are, and has ‘dipped into its financial reserve’ to try and promote its products.

The campaign will run across social media, as well as television, and print media.

‘False claims on veganism’

According to HCC chair Kevin Roberts, the organization wants to ‘combat false claims…regarding veganism and climate change’.

“We will defend, and positively commend, our industry’s position on climate change,” he said in a statement. “We say that it’s time to combat the constant rat-tat-tat of cheap jibes and false claims on matters that make a great difference to our businesses regarding veganism and environmental issues.

“We’ll make consumers more aware of how the Welsh Way of rearing livestock is completely different from intensive production systems elsewhere. Our way is non-intensive, our landscape is ideally suited to rearing livestock on natural grass and rainfall, and our farms act as a carbon sink which can help mitigate climate change.”

Plant-based growth

The campaign launches during a time of sustained growth for the plant-based sector, which is being driven by omnivores as well as vegans.

According to Kantar, an estimated 92 percent of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans. In addition, estimates put the number of self-identified ‘flexitarians’ in the UK at around 22 million.

Over the last two years, retailers and eateries have added vegan options to their line-ups, with major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose among others launching own-brand lines.

‘Very different reasons’

According to Tesco boss Dave Lewis: “What we’re seeing more and more is that the group of people that want to have a vegan-based diet is growing, and for very different reasons.

“For some people a particular niche is very important based on belief or intolerance. Then there will be other people who want a healthier diet and therefore go for a slightly different proposition.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.