It’s not yet a year since the BBC shocked the farming community with the unfair production of the ‘Dark side of dairy’ – which was a poorly balanced and inaccurate account of the transportation of male dairy calves overseas.

This served only to misinform the public and vilify an increasingly targeted agricultural industry. It zeroed in on a perfectly legitimate trade, with very high welfare standards and used mis-matched footage to achieve a result that it had clearly set out to portray. There were few attempts to give a balanced view.

Last week, we saw the release of ‘Mad cow disease: The great British beef scandal’ – an account from the people whose lives were impacted by the outbreak of BSE, which first infected British herds in the late 1980s.

From start to finish, we heard emotive dialogue from scientists and politicians who were caught up in the outbreak and fingers were pointed to the ‘greedy’ farming industry for trying to make as much money from their carcases and the government for ‘favouring’ the beef sector over public health.

Mention was made of supermarkets putting pressure on farmers to up their volume production, but the blame was repeatedly placed on farmers for feeding their cattle ‘meat and bone meal’, despite failing to explain that scientists and the government were advising farmers to do just that.

Although it was a tragedy for the families who lost loved ones to the fatal human variation of the disease – variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – the documentary used these heart-rending stories as a mask to hide the extensive work which was subsequently carried out to crack down on future outbreaks and to tighten up surveillance measures.

The UK meat industry has pointedly been attacked over a variety of emotive subjects in recent years and these constant blows from a mis-informed and clearly biased media are serving only to widen disruption of the industry. Within the bowels of the BBC there seems to be some deep-rooted agenda to take pot shots at agriculture – and never mind the facts. The British public deserves better.

This week’s launch of the ‘Meat with integrity’ campaign by QMS shows that the red meat sector has a fantastic story to share. This collaborative approach by the industry will showcase the high standards of production and care that go in to meat production and the people behind the brands who are working passionately, hand in glove with nature, to produce some of the finest produce in the world.

The scaremongering by the BBC – and it is not alone in this – will, hopefully, be robustly rebuffed by this campaign and we can only hope that members of the public are waking up to the sound thinking of sourcing local quality produce, which is subjected to some of the strictest standards of production anywhere in the world.

As an industry, we must all play a part in dispelling the ‘fake news’ about the red meat sector. There is a collective responsibility for us to better engage and educate the many positive aspects of the industry to the public.