The campaign kicks off in late November and revolves around a dedicated website (www.greatbritishbeef.co.uk) offering hundreds of beef recipes. It will also host videos showing beef 'cookalongs' with Bellingham and a 'meet the butcher' section with information on how to choose the best beef cuts. There will be an ad campaign across the BBC's Olive, Delicious and BBC Good Food web portals to support the launch.
Asda and Morrisons have already signed up and have committed to supporting it through their Facebook and Twitter pages and by providing shopping vouchers to be given away in a competition. The NFU said it was talking to Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose, and hoped they would join the campaign soon.
The initiative was a great example of supermarkets and farmers working together to promote British food, said NFU head of food chain Lee Woodger, adding he was particularly pleased the mults were supporting the campaign with their own resources. "When you pitch something like this, the first question you get from the retailers is 'what's your budget for supporting this?'," he said. "As the NFU, we don't have the means, so we were asking retailers to support the industry instead. It is exactly the kind of partnership working the industry needs."
Bellingham, who rose to fame after starring in TV adverts for Oxo stock cubes for 16 years, had been chosen to front the campaign because of her family appeal and resonance with women aged 35 to 55, the NFU said.
The campaign would encourage mothers to "put more beef on the menu" and highlight the animal welfare and environmental credentials of Red Tractor-assured British beef, it said.
The NFU is running the campaign in partnership with Ladies in Beef, the farming organisation for women beef farmers.