CONSUMERS SHOULD be given more credit in their ability to make educated decisions about the food they eat – those were the sentiments of Scotland Food and Drink chief executive James Withers, responding to the BBC documentary - Meat: A threat to our planet?

“Within the industry, we know the arguments in favour of our system of production. The ongoing effort is to make that case to consumers, and we should give real credit to QMS, NFUS and others for the work they’re putting in to that. We certainly shouldn’t think the debate is lost; it is just beginning and right there to be won.

“Consumers are smart, inquisitive and they are more likely to consider complex issues around food than we often given them credit for. The BBC programme missed an opportunity to contribute in a balanced way to the meat and climate debate. I sense some in the BBC know that, hence they’re now publishing the more balanced footage that appears to have been cut out.”

Ahead of the programme on Monday evening a more balanced article was published by the BBC taking in to account a broad range of views of experts on both sides of the debate. There has also been footage released showing a clip of US farmer explaining to presenter Liz Bonnin about the work he is doing with regenerative agriculture, but the clip didn’t make the final edit.

Mr Withers continued: “I watched the programme and felt like throwing things at the telly but, reflecting on it, it has created another platform for us to ride in with an answer to the meat versus planet debate.

“What an opportunity we now have to promote Scotland’s rain-fed, grass-based system. The world needs climate-friendly protein, so it will be increasingly knocking on our door in the coming years. As an industry, we need to stay positive, united and all play a part in telling our story. There has never been a better or more important time for it to be told,” he concluded.