Several food organisations have written to the City of Edinburgh Council over plans for ‘Meat Free Mondays’ – claiming the campaign is misleading and shows “a very serious lack of understanding of the Scottish red meat industry”.
The council has been asked to reconsider the move, which it claims will improve children’s health and help to protect the environment.
Jim McLaren, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), said: “There is, of course, no problem with schools including meat-free meals as part of their regular range of meal choices. Our disappointment is that an organisation, particularly one linked with education, should position their decision to support a campaign with a clear anti-meat agenda.
“An opportunity to educate and inform our urban based young people about local food production systems in Scotland has been missed by an ill informed and ill-judged decision which risks completely misleading pupils and parents.”
Children, Education and Families Convener, Councillor Ian Perry, said: “By participating in Meat Free Monday schools are also raising awareness of the environmental impact of livestock production, as well as the poor standards in which some animals are farmed.”
Other signatories on the letter opposing the plans include Scotland Food & Drink, NFU Scotland, the National Sheep Association, the Scottish Beef Association, the Royal Highland Education Trust, the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Associations and the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers.
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