EU’s ‘Eat plenty of meat’ campaign sparks controversy

EUs Eat plenty of meat campaign sparks controversy

The EU Commission, the executive body of the European Union, allocated a budget of approximately 90 million euros for campaigns to be organized to encourage more consumption of meat and dairy products in 2022.

Animal rights defenders and environmental organizations are reacting to this decision of the commission. According to the organisations, greater consumption of meat and dairy products contradicts the EU’s climate and health targets.

The EU Commission aims to promote meat, milk and dairy products produced in Europe all over the world and find buyers in a wide market. For this reason, a budget of approximately 54 million euros was allocated in 2022 for advertising campaigns for the sector.

In addition, 39 million euros will be spent by the commission for campaigns aimed at the consumption of meat and dairy products.

A campaign was launched on the website “” (Miracle beef), supported by the EU Commission, encouraging consumers to demand more meat and dairy products.

With slogans such as “Tasty, safe, guaranteed: Enjoy European beef”, “Our beef is naturally irresistible” and “Be a Beefatarian”, a reference to vegetarianism, the website also includes recipes for various meat dishes.

Advertising in the USA and Canada

Within the scope of the campaign, it is aimed to encourage the consumption of this product in the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and France, where beef is not very popular. 1.7 million euros will be spent on promotion and incentive campaigns in these countries.

In the USA and Canada, an advertising campaign of approximately 2 million euros will be organized to promote European meats.

In advertising campaigns, it is aimed to change the “stereotypical understanding of red meat” and to popularize the trust in this product again.

A comprehensive advertising campaign will be launched with the support of the EU Commission to increase pork consumption in Denmark and Sweden. Because in Scandinavian countries, especially young people consciously consume very little meat.

Consumers prefer as little pork as possible. Therefore, the EU administration will encourage the consumption of pork in the Scandinavian countries.

The organization “Dier & Recht”, which fights for animal welfare, criticizes this initiative of the EU Commission.

According to the organization, which argues that it is strange to spend the money of European taxpayers in this way, the campaign also goes against EU climate and health targets.

Dier&Recht manager Frederieke Schouten thinks EU subsidies should be limited to sustainable and plant-based products.

Environmental organizations also

Following the research that the meat and dairy sector causes more greenhouse gas emissions, environmental organizations also oppose the EU’s decisions that encourage the consumption of these products.

The EU Commission decided to reconsider the promotion of agricultural products in 2020 after the reactions. However, this decision has not yet been implemented. According to animal welfare and environmental organizations, meat lobbies in Brussels have a big impact on this.

“Countries with conservative agricultural policies like France stop this kind of thing,” Jan Huitema, a member of the European Parliament (EP) Environment and Agriculture Commission, told the Dutch newspaper Trouw.

MEP Huitema, arguing that the EU should not interfere with consumers’ food choices, wants the market to decide what to eat, not governments.