No love for plant based fake meats in major UN-Oxford University consumer survey

James Nason, 17/02/2021

RESULTS from the largest ever opinion poll on climate change have just been released by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Oxford University – and buried deep in the report is a fascinating statistic.

More than a million people in 50 countries were questioned, with 64 percent of participants agreeing climate change was a global emergency.

However, deep  in the report was a result that contrasts strongly with claims from plant-based protein manufacturers that their product is set to replace animal proteins.

Out of 18 policy suggestions presented to the respondents, the least favoured was switching to a plant-based diet, which failed to attract majority support in any country – See more details here.

The survey showed that globally people are interested in climate change and acknowledge action is needed.

However, it also suggests that many have not bought into the hype surrounding plant based alternatives to meat.

“This reinforces the opportunity Australia’s red meat industry has to continue to promote red meat’s positive attributes and the ongoing work of our producers and industry to improve productivity and become more sustainable,” Meat & Livestock Australia managing director Jason Strong said.

“So while the community want something done on climate change, and rightly so, they also want to continue to enjoy red meat as part of a healthy diet and it’s our job to provide the evidence that says its absolutely okay to keep doing that, and not let those with an anti-red meat agenda create noise and confusion.”

Mr Strong said the UN/Oxford University research reflected results from MLA’s own consumer sentiment research, which confirms consumers trust and feel very positively about Australia’s red meat sector and they are not turning away from meat in their diets.

He said the industry needs to continue to tell its positive story about environmental management and our environmental stewardship of vast areas of Australia, whether that be the work of producers being innovative on farm to lift productivity and lower their emissions or the latest technology or R&D.

“For MLA, we are investing in research and technologies to support red meat’s transition to a carbon neutral position, and will continue to do so,” he said.

“Let’s understand that our customers, consumers and the wider community increasingly are interested in environmental stewardship, providing an opportunity to demonstrate our world leading credentials in sustainable red meat production, delivering high value, high quality products to over 100 global markets.

“At the same time, through initiatives like CN30 – and our evidence based Australian beef and sheep sustainability frameworks – we are leading the world in ensuring we are leaving our vast grazing lands in better condition than we found them, delivering profitable businesses for future generations and doing something positive for the environment.

“The path to carbon neutrality for Australia’s red meat sector provides a huge opportunity to meet the growing interest from consumers and be rewarded and acknowledged for doing so. Importantly, the pathways to success we have identified don’t require the heavy hand of regulation.

“It will be our industry’s people, customers and consumers who will empower industry to achieve CN30 while remaining a trusted supplier of the highest quality protein.”




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  1. Vicki M, 18/02/2021

    I cannot understand why the world at large continues to ignore the evidence and suggestions outlined by Sir David Attenborough on his ‘A life on Our Planet’ production. Climate change is shown to be directly linked to deforestation. Trees are the lungs of the earth and cows don’t need trees cut down in order to live.

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