A COUNTER-ATTACK to Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) popular “eat lamb on Australia Day” campaign could have benefits for the fresh produce industry.
Animals Australia launched its own Australia Day campaign calling for Aussies to take a “mate off your plate” and avoid eating meat in the lead up to January 26.
The campaign involves a one minute video set to Advance Australia Fair featuring iconic Australian images.
The website also lists 10 reasons to not eat meat including number four which promotes vegetable consumption saying: “Because you CAN win friends with salad. Especially a grilled tempeh salad with sweet corn, roast capsicum, rocket and avocado”.
The animal rights group targeted general meat consumption with its e-mail newsletter as well in the lead up to the national holiday, making a number of bold statements about the industry.
The annual MLA promotion features media identity Sam Kekovich fronting various tongue-in-cheek campaigns urging Australians to eat more lamb out of patriotic duty.
Running for almost a decade, the Australia Day campaign has been linked to notable spikes in lamb consumption and created heightened brand awareness.
MLA global marketing general manager Michael Edmonds said the 2012 campaign contributed to lamb sales, in value terms, increasing by 32 per cent for the week leading up to and including Australia Day and a record month for January.
Animals Australia’s new campaign calls on Australians to give animals a day off on Australia day, “by throwing some cruelty-free tucker on the barbie”.
It blames meat product consumption for rising obesity and a heart disease epidemic, “conditions linked to the over consumption of animal products”.
Ausveg communications and public affairs manager William Churchill said the grower representative group hadn’t sided with either promotion.
"We don’t want to entertain any campaigns by groups which aim to politicise Australia Day. That's just un-Australian,” Mr Churchill said.