UK farmers fear MAFF ad push

The National Farmer’s Union (NFU) fears Government plans to launch a £5m campaign to promote British food may undermine its own “Buy British” campaign, also announced this week.

The National Farmer’s Union (NFU) fears Government plans to launch a &£5m campaign to promote British food may undermine its own “Buy British” campaign, also announced this week.

The NFU is calling for a fully co-ordinated campaign to avoid confusing consumers.

The initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food (MAFF) will focus on livestock and educate consumers in the UK about improved standards of health and safety on farms.

The NFU campaign is to launch next spring. It will cost more than &£2m and aims to create a British food brand across all food categories.

The NFU is calling for urgent talks about the affair.

PR manager Simon Rayner says: “One of the key things people said in our research was that they wanted one label to go across all products. That’s why it is vital that the Government talks to us soon, otherwise it is going to lead to confusion.”

The NFU is planning an above-the-line campaign and is expected to draw up an agency shortlist soon.

The MAFF initiative comes just three weeks after it said there was no more cash for marketing and also includes &£10m to back organic farmers.

A MAFF spokesman says: “Nobody was consulted on this plan – Nick Brown and Tony Blair simply had a chat and we ended up with &£15m for British agriculture. However, I can assure the NFU that we will be working closely with them to avoid confusion.”

The media for the MAFF campaign has yet to be decided, but it could be handled in-house.

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