Sir, As well as highlighting continued confusion about the use of antibiotics to treat farm animals, your article ‘Antibiotics top list of meat health concerns’ (2 July) indicates that the UK’s commitment to tackling the global challenge of resistance remains largely unrecognised.
Over the past five years the UK has reduced antibiotic use in the poultry meat sector by 44% and moved around a third of the national pig herd to centralised, electronic recording of medicine use. Food companies and retailers have also been collecting and benchmarking usage data and ensuring responsibly. So yes, we need to communicate better, but the wider food sector could support our efforts enormously by clarifying why medicines are used in farming, emphasising the measures in place to prevent antibiotics entering the food chain, and spreading the word about the very real progress being made at farm level to reduce use while safeguarding animal welfare.
Gwyn Jones, chair, Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA)
Craft beer can score
Sir, Your Focus on… Beer & Cider (25 June) made a great point about how the summer of sport could boost the sector. Yet with England’s sorry exit from the Euro football championships, we need to hope there are other areas in which beer and cider brands can make an impact with consumers. There has been a huge increase in the number of craft/micro brewers in recent years, showing a high level of expertise and craftsmanship and delivering a wide range of different but consistently high quality beers. Many trade off a strong local provenance and an enhanced sense of personality and character, something many big name lager brands struggle to do credibly. Enlisting the help of creative agencies can help develop strong, credible and polished brand expressions worthy of any big beer brand. For many, packaging is the only tangible manifestation of a brand’s core values and proposition, so it’s vital they pay close attention to both as they continue to hone and expand their offerings.
Ben Lambert, creative director, PB Creative
Swipe helps you connect
Sir, Retailers need to get smarter about how they make mobile a seamless part of their omnichannel customer experience. New technologies present retailers with opportunities beyond brand loyalty and customer experience.
As an example, swipe technology can provide retailers with reactions to upcoming designs, which can increase forecasting accuracy, aid the planning of operations, and result in savings. Ambitious entrepreneurs are quick to apply these to instantly connect with younger generations.
Oren Cohen, head of mobile EMEA, Optimizely