Long castigated by campaigners as ‘bad for you and bad for the planet’, red meat is finally catching a break. The backlash against sugar (and resultant drop in concern about fat) has already eased some pressure on the health side, and now it looks like the green lobby is also easing off.

“Red meat is finally catching a break from the green lobby”

British beef and lamb producers have long argued it’s unfair to have their production systems lumped in with the more environmentally damaging feedlot-based systems of the US. As they have pointed out, there is vast difference between intensively-reared, grain-fed US beef and the grass-fed beef from the UK.

That message is finally starting to stick: as we reveal this week, WWF is poised to change its campaigning focus in the UK away from red meat. 

Make no mistake: WWF is still concerned about overall meat consumption (and increasingly about intensively reared chicken), so it’s not a straightforward green thumbs-up. But its recognition of the work of British meat producers is still welcome: here’s hoping it marks the beginning of a more nuanced approach to meat and diet.

Carina Perkins, fresh foods editor