The topic of “why livestock are integral to sustainable farming systems” and “their importance to soil health and fertility, and unique ability to convert inedible plant-based crops into highly nutritious food” is doubtless interesting enough, but let’s face it, when described like that? A little dry.
Livening up this surely important but, at first glance, slightly dull subject is no small feat. And unfortunately one the AHDB didn’t quite overcome in Farming a Greener Future (online, available now).
Of all the potential formats for communicating the benefits of livestock farming – documentary, data visual, graphic novel, stop motion animation – the board went for a news-style show, partnering with ITN Business to create the half-hour programme.
It started with Kate Arthur, AHDB lead nutritionist, in the news studio being interviewed by ITV London news presenter Duncan Golestani. Both appeared to be sticking very much to script, and Arthur’s message failed to stand out from the grey, sterile setting.
Fortunately, most of the show’s segments were reporters out in field – literally – one featuring an interesting enough interview with organic sheep and arable farmer John Pawsey at his farm in Suffolk. There were several chunks of sponsored content too from various farming industry suppliers, which were largely a bit of a yawn.
The AHDB is a serious organisation doing serious work. But serious isn’t always the best way to get a message heard.