The American Meat Institute is taking a new route to help consumers understand meat production – a grassroots campaign that will employ help from meat science professionals interested in educating consumers about meat products.
The Communicators Advocating Meat and Poultry or CAMP program, AMI says, will enlist professionals who are committed to sharing the measures farmers take to ensure meat products are safe, wholesome, nutritious and humane.
AMI will kick off the program at the American Meat Science Association's Reciprocal Meat Conference.
AMI has partnered with AMSA for several years to crush myths through the Meat MythCrusher Program and now AMI is asking the meat science community to sign up to receive communications alerts and news about new resources that they can, in turn, share online through social media channels.
AMI also will recruit CAMP members from within its members and other scientific associations.
Also through CAMP, AMI is encouraging people to be proactive in offering to give talks to schools as part of career days or in connection with relevant lessons in science and agriculture. Similarly, AMI is encouraging talks to civic and business groups.
CAMP members may participate in any form of communication they choose to, from Facebook to speaking in schools, and may do as much or as little as they like.
To help CAMP participants prepare to engage, AMI is offering a series of webinars and workshops covering the basics of social media, advanced social media, media training, talking to children and delivering talks in business settings.
Upcoming sessions are as follows:
• Social media 101 – June 26, 2 p.m. EST or July 1, 3 p.m. EST
• Social media 202 – June 27, 2 p.m. EST or July 2, 11 a.m. EST
• Mini Media training – July 21, 2 p.m. EST or August 26, 3 p.m. EST
• Full Media Training – January 2015 During IPPE, Date and Time TBD
• Blogging 101 – September 17, 2 p.m. EST
• Speaking to Kids School, Scout and other settings – August 27, 2 p.m. EST or September 4, 11 a.m. EST
• Speaking to the Community – September 10, 2 p.m. EST or October 2, 11 a.m. EST
Participants will earn Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum status for taking classes or for active engagement and will be recognized through colored ribbons attached to badges at AMI events. To register for the webinars, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Researchers have documented that consumers' willingness to extend general trust to others has declined in recent decades, says AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley. "Rather, consumers today tend to extend 'particularized trust' – the kind extend to those who they perceived to share their values, like the members of their church, school board, local community, political organization or civic group," she said.
"These social changes make it more important than ever that members of the meat and poultry industry communicate facts about the industry and our products within our own circles, where people trust us and where we stand a better chance of being heard."