An alliance of high profile farming organisations has been formed to promote a positive message about meat and dairy.
The 'who's who' of the Irish agri-food sector is understood to have employed Red Flag consulting, a well-known communications agency - which represents British American Tobacco, Monsanto and a number of other agri-chemical companies at EU level - to work with the group in providing public relations and lobbying advice to counteract negative sentiment about farming in relation to climate change.
The members of the group, often at odds with each other on domestic issues in the agri-food sector, are: IFA, ICMSA, Bord Bia, Meat Industry Ireland (MII), Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) and the National Dairy Council (NDC),
The agri-food sector has endured a series of negative headlines and criticism from the growing vegan movement in recent months.
It's understood the decision to form as an alliance happened in spring this year and the objective is to ensure the messaging around climate change and the agri-food sector is co-ordinated and accurate.
It's understood the group approach will be based on science-based responses to news stories and reports that present the agri-food sector in a negative light.
Earlier this year the move by a British university to ban beef from its canteens prompted the industry players to consider their response collectively to media coverage of the event.
A war chest to fund the group's communication strategy, which includes a website www.meatanddairyfacts.ie, is understood to be funded by the co-equal partners.
A range of spokespeople will be used from within the group, depending on the subject matter.
Speaking at the ASA conference on Friday, Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said the group was set up to proactively communicate the health benefits of meat and dairy.
"We want to showcase our pride in how we treat our animals. We want to demonstrate the sector's commitment to sustainability."
So much information is misinformation, she said, and it's not about "bashing other people's dietary choices or about being anti-something, this is about being proactive.
"Information to date is out there, but it's not packaged in a way the consumer is looking at.
"This is not an Irish problem, it's a global problem.
"If we as an industry don't learn internationally from what is happening we will find ourselves behind."
The agri-food sector has come under pressure in recent months from a range of pressure groups calling for action from the sector over its environmental credentials.
It's understood Red Flag won a competitive tender to spearhead the operation, with its experience of working with the meat industry in the US a key factor for the alliance.