Butchers hark back to beef's salad days
Meat and Livestock Australia will use print, television and in-store advertising aimed at arresting the decline and ''restoring beef as the centre-of-plate'' protein, its managing director, David Palmer, said. But the organisation will be watching closely to ensure the campaign does not harm the popularity of its other key commodity, lamb.
''We can't invent another meal and we know that Australians eat roughly 100 kilograms of all meat each year … it's finite … it is about how we divide that,'' Mr Palmer said.
A spokeswoman for the Dietitians Association of Australia, Melanie McGrice, said nutritionists recommend eating three or four serves of red meat a week, but ''people need to be choosing better types of meat [rather than] high-fat choices such as salami and sausages''.
Meat and Livestock has courted controversy for some of its previous campaigns - a 2002 lamb campaign that parodied Advance Australia Fair drew the ire of the RSL - but the beef campaign would be less gimmicky, Mr Palmer said. ''Lamb is distinguished more by a larrikin element, whereas the beef program is not intended to ape or masquerade the lamb program.''
The announcement comes as the NSW government rushes out new legislation on beef labelling which will see ''economy'' replace ''budget'' to describe meat from older cows, while banning the use of terms such as ''prime'' and ''export grade'' to market meat.
In draft form, the legislation would have required the terms ''low grade'' or ''low quality'' to accompany ''budget'' labels on steaks from older cattle.
But industry groups pressured the government into dropping the requirement in favour of the ''economy'' label, which critics argue will cause confusion.
Source: Melissa Singer, www.smh.com.au
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