EU citizens fund billboards across Europe to expose environmentally reckless, unhealthy food advertising
Brussels, 20 September 2021
European citizens have donated thousands of Euros to expose the conflicting messages at the heart of existing EU food policy. The billboard campaign ‘thismakesnosense.org’, launched by ProVeg International, directly calls out the EU’s considerable efforts to encourage the public to consume more meat and dairy while simultaneously urging people to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy and transition to a plant-rich diet.
Just days before the EU launches the publication of its ‘Complete Impact Assessment of Policy Options’ in October, new billboards and bus posters will appear all over Brussels urging policy makers to acknowledge the disparity and take immediate action. The campaign takes off in tandem with an open letter from 50 NGOs urging the European Commission to cease the promotion of meat and dairy.
Between 2016 and 2020 the European Commission spent nearly a third of its annual €776.7 million-euro agricultural promotion budget on advertising meat and dairy. Campaigns such as Let’s Talk About Pork and Become a Beefatarian have been explicitly aimed at increasing meat consumption in the name of helping the EU’s animal-agriculture sector to stay competitive.
The October publication is supposed to be an impact assessment of the EU’s agricultural-promotion policy that “helps its farmers and food industry sell their products in an increasingly competitive global marketplace”. The review is aimed at enhancing the EU’s “contribution to sustainable production and consumption in line with the shift to a more plant-based diet, with less red and processed meat and more fruit and vegetables”.
As global NGOs and leading scientists such as Dr Jane Goodall pointed out in a recent open letter, the promotion budget should indeed be used for sustainable and healthy diets. Last month, a public consultation gave citizens an opportunity to speak up on this issue and 95% of citizens who completed the public consultation stated they want to “exclude products that are not in line with a shift towards a more plant-based diet”. Moreover, the Dutch government made it clear that they would prefer the EU to abolish the EU agricultural food promotion programme. The results of the consultation were presented at the review on 12 July, and, now, through the ProVeg billboard campaign, there will be a last chance to reach policy makers.
ProVeg International has created a crowdfunding page at thismakesnosense.org where, for as little as five euros, you can help fund a billboard in Brussels. A recent Eurobarometer survey showed that European citizens believe that climate change is “the single most serious problem facing the world”. Funding a billboard sends a message to policy makers: you cannot ignore the voice of European citizens.
Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, said: “We are pleased to see that the European Commission has given the public an opportunity to share their views. We fear, however, that corporate interests will prevail and determine the outcome. That’s why we want to give European citizens one last chance to say ‘we don’t want our tax money being spent on environmentally damaging advertisements’ – with the message broadcast right where the decision makers work and live.”
Visit www.thismakesnosense.org now to help fund a billboard!
+447508 125 611
ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.
ProVeg works with decision-making bodies, companies, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less reliant on animal agriculture and more sustainable for all humans, animals, and our planet.
ProVeg has offices in nine countries across four continents and is active around the world. ProVeg has permanent observer status with the UNFCCC, special consultative status with ECOSOC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.