NFU UK voices agreement with The Times opinion piece on sustainable meat

National Farmers Union (NFU) Deputy President Stuart Roberts has written to The Times about eating sustainably and why going meat-free for January may not bring the expected climate benefits.
calendar icon 13 January 2021
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

Deputy President Roberts letter is in response to John Pallagi’s opinion piece, A meat-free month isn’t the best choice for us or the planet.

Roberts says that Pallagi, an online butcher, is right when he says eating meat sensibly throughout the year is the best way to have a positive impact on the environment (A meat-free month isn’t the best choice for us or the planet).

The UK produces red meat and dairy very well. British beef production emits half the amount of greenhouse gases other countries do on average and our farmers are striving to do even better, working towards agriculture being net zero by 2040.

Roberts continued, “we have the climate to produce bountiful lush grass so our red meat is predominantly fed on forage, and our farmers take great pride in how they care for their animals and the land.”

“The diet debate is complex. As Mr Pallagi states, it’s not the cow, it’s the how, and it’s the same for all foods. What matters is how food is produced, where it has come from and how suitable the available natural resources are to that production.”

Roberts letter says that a sustainable and climate-friendly diet should prioritise balance throughout the year. Consumers should look for responsibly sourced food across all sectors – meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables and cereals. Roberts tells consumers that they can do their part by, “buying local, buying seasonal and buying British.”

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