The dairy industry fights back: Prepare yourselves for #FebruDairy
The dairy industry is set to emerge from January battered and bruised as more customers gravitate towards plant-based alternative. Enter: #FebruDairy
Thousands of individuals, countless restaurants and most major supermarkets are joining in with Veganuary, leading to an accelerated growth of this already booming dietary choice.
But as more people turn away from the dairy and meat produce they’ve been buying their whole lives, there’s one group who are not feeling in the plant-based spirit: farmers.
As mainstream culture has slowly turned on them, the businesses of dairy farmers across the land are flagging, and as a result, the Farmer Guardian is full of tales of decreasing markets and margins (read here and here).
The dairy industry is under constant fire from the vegan movement which argues it is inhumane, exploitative and environmentally irresponsible.
Back in 2018, leading lights in the dairy industry decided to launch a Veganuary equivalent to combat the rapidly declining public impression of dairy farming. This year, for the third year on the trot, the dairy industry is looking to turn the tide on its critics and reignite the nation's love of milk with #FebruDairy.
The Farmers Guardian reported that farmers can break the cycle of negative criticism about the dairy industry by ‘[inundating] Twitter with positive and informative content.’
Looking at the few examples given across a number of farmer news websites, this consists largely of filtered images of cows in luscious fields, and happy farmers wearing Barbour gear.
Interestingly, the ambitions of the dairy industry have been squandered somewhat by vegan activists. Predictably tech-savvy, these plant-powered protesters have bought the domain name ‘februdairy.org’ and created a website full of anti-dairy data.
This website is the very first result when searching ‘februdairy’, and before clicking, it’s easy to miss the signs that this is not endorsed by the dairy industry.
Once you’re there, though, there’s no mistaking the fact that this is not ‘positive’ content like the Farmers Guardian anticipated. The creators of the site have even included a message addressing the baffled farmers.
This year, Animal Equality UK is stepping up the fight, and taking it offline. Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, they have raised enough funds to put up 10 anti-dairy billboards across the UK in the month of February, promising to reveal the ‘dark secrets’ of the dairy industry.
The fierce opposition which has met Februdairy in previous years has caused it to backfire, and it has morphed into a month in which the dairy industry is under even more scrutiny than usual, with some consumers even using #Februdairy to switch away from dairy milk.
I wonder this year whether they will have any better luck?