The National Sheep Association (NSA) and Waitrose have agreed to work together to raise awareness of UK sheep farming’s “positive impact on the environment,” following a row.
The NSA slammed supermarkets for bleating “misinformation” about lamb’s carbon footprint this week.
It criticised Waitrose for recommending customers could slash their impact on the planet by eating pork rather than lamb.
NSA chief executive Phil Stocker previously said shoppers were being “bombarded” with messaging about how “diets can help combat climate change.”
“We will work with [Waitrose] to talk about the benefits of lamb and sheep farming in future magazine editions,” Stocker told CityA.M., following what he described as a “really good conversation” with the grocer.
A spokesperson for Waitrose said: “The line being referenced is not part of a marketing campaign but a single sentence in a long and balanced article about pork. We also regularly promote other protein sources that we sell.”
“There is no doubt that the data being used to substantiate these messages is flawed. It’s not full life cycle, it’s not holistic in its structure,” Stocker previously said of supermarkets’ messaging.
The National Food Strategy had highlighted that the overseas part of the carbon footprint often isn’t taken into account, Stocker said.
“It is completely misleading not to reflect the true picture, we must be considering broader sustainability metrics,” he added.
The trade body had called on supermarkets to examine their messaging.
While across the world livestock makes up 14 per cent of all greenhouse gases, in the UK gases from livestock production totals six per cent, meaning it is one of the smallest contributors, the organisation said.
The NSA also took issue with Sainsbury’s urging customers to eat lentils instead of British red meat.
Sainsbury’s is keen to to look at how it can empower customers with advice on how to diversify their protein options and increase their plant intake, CityA.M. understands.