Businesses need us to stop giving things up

Did you know it is Meat Free Week this week?

The campaign asks Australians to stop eating meat for a week and has a lot of noble sentiments and high profile advocates behind it.

The Meat Free Week campaign website tells people that “the idea of ‘the farm’ as we knew it has been replaced by factory farming”.

The problem is Meat Free Week is not exactly great news for many of Australia’s farmers, abattoirs, butchers and retailers.

Many independent producers and retailers don’t deserve to be tarred with the brush of factory farming.

NSW farmer Tegan Nosh has launched her own virtual farm tour in response to some of the more negative sentiments in Meat Free Week.

“I’m a little disappointed in the campaign really, because it tries to encourage people to get the impression that farming is all factory farming, that there is not a lot of thought into the way meat is made, whereas I know for a fact that Australian farmers abide by a lot of really strict regulations,” she told the ABC.

Meat Free Week is the latest initiative to hit SME businesses, following the footsteps of Feb Fast where participants give up alcohol for February.

The teetotal initiative, which has about 6,000 participants, cut alcohol sales by 30% in some Melbourne bars according to the Restaurant and Catering Association.

Let’s not forget “Buy Nothing Month” in Sydney last year, which encouraged participants to avoid buying anything new for a month, much to the horror of retailers and the NSW Premier.

Australian businesses need consumers to support them rather than to engage in constant boycotts.

They may all be for a good cause but so is that horribly old-fashioned campaign to buy Australian made and grown.

It’s not tied to a particular month or week but it’s something all Australian businesses benefit from.

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