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MLA raises a fork to celebrate the value of red meat during World Iron Awareness Week

28 August 2023

As the world celebrates World Iron Awareness Week, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) proudly joins the global effort to raise awareness about the pivotal role that red meat plays in a healthy diet.

This annual campaign, taking place this week from 28 August to 3 September 2023, aims to highlight the importance of adequate iron intake and its impact on global health.

According to the latest Consumer Sentiment research from MLA, 73% of Australians see red meat as an important source of nutrition, with 58% noting it being a rich source of iron as the main health reason for consuming beef and lamb.

Managing Director for MLA, Jason Strong, said it was no secret that red meat is an essential source of iron, but many people do not currently get enough iron in their diet.

“Red meat is a crucial component of a balanced diet, especially for individuals with higher dietary iron needs. Its heme iron content allows for more efficient absorption, helping to reduce risk of iron deficiency and other associated health issues,” Mr Strong said.

“This World Iron Awareness Week we’re encouraging consumers across the world to make informed dietary choices and incorporate red meat responsibly and sustainably, ensuring they reap the maximum health benefits.”

Iron deficiency remains one of the most prevalent and critical nutritional challenges worldwide, affecting millions of people, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Red meat, such as beef, lamb, and goatmeat, is an excellent source of heme iron, which is the most easily absorbed form of iron by the human body.

Heme iron is essential to produce haemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. Consuming red meat as part of a balanced diet can help address iron deficiency and contribute to overall improved health and well-being.

Across MLA’s international markets, including the United States, Japan and Southeast Asia, MLA is conducting a series of events, social media campaigns, and outreach programs during World Iron Awareness Week. The aim is to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools to make informed choices and safeguard their health.

Within Australia, MLA has launched a website all about the importance of iron in a healthy diet. Australian Good Meat will also feature a series of informative content across its website and social media channels.

MLA’s marketing brands Australian Beef and Australian Lamb will advertise the importance of red meat as a source of iron, while information will be communicated to producers, stakeholders and the media through MLA’s website, social media and newsletters.