The term ‘British’ and union flag imagery will be included in AHDB marketing for the first time when the levy board’s We Eat Balanced push returns on 8 September.
AHDB had previously been restricted from using ‘British’ as the primary message of its ad campaigns because of EU State Aid Rules. However, new, post-Brexit UK guidance – as part of The Subsidy Control Act – was published this year, opening the way for the switch.
Running until 22 October, the push “will seek to foster long-term positive attitudes towards naturally produced British red meat and dairy”, AHDB said.
Future use of ‘British’ will also be reflected in its Love Pork campaigns, plus export activities, where AHDB event stands will prominently feature the union flag.
Both the World Trade Organisation’s subsidy rules and the UK Subsidy Control Act do not prevent AHDB from utilising ‘British’ and the union flag in marketing campaigns, provided it does not disrupt international trade, the levy board said.
“This exciting opportunity allows AHDB to better showcase its support to levy payers and levy spend on promotional activities,” it added.
“By incorporating the ‘British’ message, which we know is important to consumers, our aim is to highlight the exceptional taste and quality of our home-grown meat and dairy, whilst advocating its role in a nutritionally balanced and sustainable diet,” said AHDB director of marketing, Liam Byrne.
“We believe through these efforts we can foster a strong and enduring connection between consumers and our British farmers, who are so passionate about providing quality and sustainable food at every step of its journey, from field to fork.”
The move has been welcomed by farmers, AHDB pointed out, while trade body the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers said incorporating the union flag and explicit ‘British’ messaging to communications was “excellent news, adding a further layer of consumer facing messaging to what is already a very strong campaign”.