BBC presenter and activist Chris Packham found himself engulfed in a social media storm this week, after being called out publicly for making incorrect claims on twitter about veganism in the UK.
In an extraordinary tweet , Mr. Packham brazenly claimed: “So half a million people have signed up to veganuary to reduce their food-related carbon footprint by 73 per cent in line with a 26 per cent increase in Waitrose plant based meals/products in 2020. Even [the] NFU admits 25 per cent of the UK will be vegetarian/vegan by 2025. Why wait?"
His tweet prompted a direct response from the National Farmers Union (NFU), who replied: “This is incorrect. We have not said this.”
NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts also questioned Mr Packham’s claim. In a response, he said: "For the avoidance of doubt the NFU has never ever said this".
In an attempt to defend his original tweet, Mr. Packham explained that he was referencing a 2019 report published by Sainsbury’s, which cited the NFU’s own Future of Food 2040 report.
However, it is now understood the Sainsbury’s report to which Mr. Packham had referenced, included a misquote from the NFU food report, adding to the confusion.
Mr. Packham has yet to issue an apology or clarification following the incident.
Meanwhile, new retail sales figures for December 2020 published by Kantar Worldpanel, show that 645,000 more people in Britain bought a beef roasting joint in December compared with the same period in 2019, and overall spending on beef was £1.1m higher. Consumers also spent £2.2 million more on pork and £445,000 more on lamb during their lockdown Christmas.