THREE celebrities are to front a new GB-wide campaign to highlight the positives of lean red meat as part of a healthy diet.

The new campaign has been launched across Scotland, England and Wales by Great Britain’s three red meat organisations; Quality Meat Scotland, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales.

The initiative aims to 'inspire and educate' people about the healthy role of lean red meat by conveying the facts about the nutritional value it has to offer. It will also serve to counter misinformation which has, said the organisers, 'grown arms and legs' in recent years.

Fronting the campaign from Wales is Welsh and Lions rugby star Shane Williams, while in England’s corner, television presenter and Celebrity MasterChef Winner Angellica Bell will do the honours. The home nation will be championed by ex-Scotland rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Thom Evans.

Appealing to young people will be a major focus of the campaign as research has shown that a proportion of young people are limiting their red meat intake and are not aware of the positive role that red meat can play in the diet.

By adopting a social media focus, the campaign will highlight the nutritional value, ease and versatility of lean red meat in line with approved health claims, and the opportunity to enjoy more midweek meat meals. Key health messages will be communicated by the celebrities whilst cooking up three healthy red meat dishes with an unsuspecting member of the public.

QMS chief executive Alan Clarke said: “More than ever, it is essential that the important role red meat plays in a healthy, balanced diet is communicated accurately. Working with AHDB and HCC on this project means we can collectively tackle some of the misinformation currently available in the public arena around lean red meat,” he stressed.

AHDB communications officer Christine Watts said: “This campaign is a great example of what can be achieved when the three organisations work together on behalf of levy payers across Great Britain. Angellica, Thom and Shane are excellent advocates for the role of red meat in a healthy balanced diet and we anticipate seeing positive engagement from consumers.”

HCC chief executive Gwyn Howells added: “We have a good story to tell on the positive role that lamb, beef and pork can play in a healthy balanced diet, supplying a wide range of essential nutrients. We’re pleased to be working together with our colleagues in Scotland and England on this campaign, and with leading sports personalities who can underline the value of red meat for people with an active lifestyle."

This activity is funded by the £2 million fund of AHDB red meat levies ring-fenced for collaborative projects which is managed by the three GB meat levy bodies.

The ring-fenced fund is an interim arrangement while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England, for animals which have been reared in Scotland or Wales.