Meat and Dairy Facts and Red Flag consulting have parted ways after six months of working together to promote positive messages around meat and dairy.
Communications agency Red Flag was appointed to work with the group, a who's who of the Irish agri-food sector, before it launched in September, to provide public relations and lobbying advice to counteract negative sentiment about farming in relation to climate change.
However, the group (made up of IFA, ICMSA, Bord Bia, Meat Industry Ireland, Dairy Industry Ireland and the National Dairy Council) has moved to work with another communications agency.
A spokesperson for Red Flag confirmed Meat and Dairy Facts is no longer a client, while a spokesperson for Bord Bia said Red Flag was appointed to provide communications services "at launch phase from July to December 2019".
Bord Bia added that an agency "with a specialist consumer team has been appointed" to "direct consumers towards science-based information about the nutritional benefits of meat and dairy during the current phase of the campaign."
However, it's understood the group has had internal clashes on a number of issues surrounding the prominence of some member organisations in its communications.
The member organisations were often at odds with each other on domestic matters in the agri-food sector, before they joined forces. The decision to form the an alliance happened in spring last year with an objective to ensure the messaging around climate change and the agri-food sector is co-ordinated and accurate.
It's understood Red Flag, which represents British American Tobacco, Monsanto and a number of other agri-chemical companies at EU level, won a competitive tender to spearhead the operation, due in part to its experience of working with the meat industry in the US.
Its appointment at the time raised some eyebrows in the sector, which has endured a series of negative headlines and criticism from the growing vegan movement.