Time to Clear up the Sugar Confusion

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, weighs in on the sugar debate.

It is no secret that the childhood obesity crisis in the UK is no longer a looming threat but a real peril for the future of our younger generations.

All food and drink sectors have a duty to take the right steps to address it and dairy processors and manufacturers have been working relentlessly to ensure they deliver wholesome and nutritious dairy products to consumers.

Quite rightly so, policy-makers have moved tackling obesity to the top of the public health agenda with the Department of Health's upcoming Obesity Strategy and several reports and debates in Parliament.

However, in the last few weeks, a number of statements, reports and initiatives have raised several red flags on whether appropriate methods and solutions are being considered to tackle the issue.

The "war on sugar" is gaining more support every day, from politicians, interest groups and even opinionated celebrities. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution and targeting individual nutrients does not provide a balanced view of certain foods and often leads to serious misunderstandings about the overall value of whole foods.

Look at yogurt for example. An all-time favourite of children and grown-ups alike, yogurt is one of the simplest and healthiest dessert or snack. In addition to tasty plain yogurts, fruit yogurts offer a wide range of options to suit different tastes and expectations.

Yet the recent Public Health England campaign on Sugar Swaps has dropped yogurt in a 'pudding swap' category alongside sugar jellies and puddings, turning it into a product parents and children should be afraid of. Worse, the campaign app, Sugar Smart, exacerbates the confusion on yogurt and other dairy products with mixed messages on the difference between naturally occurring sugars in milk or fruit and free sugars.

It is true that we consume too much added sugar in the UK and the idea of a campaign aimed at helping people understand the amount and types of sugar in their food could seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, although the concept had potential, Public Health England has failed to deliver.

The Sugar Swaps advice was recently updated to reflect the new Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommendation of 5% of energy from free sugars. At the time of the publication of the SACN report, we welcomed the recommendations as we agreed there was a need to clearly distinguish total sugars from free sugars. This was in light of well-established evidence that naturally occurring sugars such as lactose in dairy products or sugars in fruits do not have adverse effects on health.

Nevertheless, in spite of the updated guidelines, some of the information listed on the campaign website and provided in the app do not differentiate natural sugars from free sugars and use an array of intriguing sizes for sugar cubes supposed to represent set amounts.

When scanning the barcode of a product with the app, the cubes of sugar that appear on screen indicate the total amount of sugar contained in this product, including natural sugars, instead of focusing solely on free sugars. This is particularly hard to understand given that Public Health England's own report "Why 5?" warned that there was "potential for confusion as food labelling legislation requires the declaration of total sugars, not free sugars."

The SACN report also states that "with the proposed reduction in the population intake of free sugars, their contribution toward recommended total carbohydrate intake should be replaced by starches, sugars contained within the cellular structure of foods and, for those who consume dairy products, by lactose naturally present in milk and milk products." As natural sugars are not properly distinguished from free sugars, the Sugar Smart app cannot help consumers achieve these swaps.

Talking to The Grocer this week, I had to wonder why Public Health England campaigns seem intent on singling out whole foods such as dairy products which contain a wealth of essential natural nutrients. Why vilify a natural and healthy dairy product such as yogurt when milk and dairy products only account for 7% of the intake of non-milk extrinsic sugars for children aged 11 to 18 compared to a staggering 40% coming from nutrient-poor soft drinks and juices and 21% from confectionery?

And that's not just yogurt. Not only does the Sugar Smart app not make distinction between natural and free sugars for flavoured yogurt but it also fails to define the small amounts of lactose found in cheese or butter as natural sugars.

There are many more issues with the Sugar Swap campaign including complex access to relevant information or out of date and erroneous data. Yet Public Health England has been working hard to promote the app as a useful tool to help consumers make enlightened choices about what they eat and as a great initiative in the fight against obesity. It is therefore very worrying to see that the information in this app is either misleading, in contradiction with other campaign material or sometimes plainly mistaken.

Consumers may be savvy shoppers but not all are nutrition experts, nor should we expect them to be. Given its mandate on consumer education, Public Health England should take responsibility for its own material, commit to providing accurate and user-friendly information to all consumers and take the appropriate steps to fix the app's inaccuracies.

We will be meeting Public Health England shortly to address these issues. In the meantime, we have alerted a number of key decision-makers both in Whitehall and Westminster to ensure that the right messages and proper tools are used to tackle obesity. There is still much to do but a blind war on sugar is not the answer.


Categories: 2016


Dairy UK Response to the AHDB Consultation on the AHDB Dairy Business Plan

Dairy UK has responded to the AHDB consultation on the AHDB Dairy Business Plan for 2016-2019.

In its submission, Dairy UK states that a properly funded industry development body is important for the future of the industry and we welcome the opportunity to input to this consultation. Dairy UK also supports the ring-fencing of levy funds within AHDB to ensure that money collected from farmers in each sector is spent on their behalf and would support the continuation of the levy at the existing level.

The submission puts forward opportunities for domestic market development as well as the development
and the expansion of overseas market opportunities for British produce.

Dairy UK believes that AHDB Dairy should support a targeted, pre-competitive marketing campaign that reinforces key rational and emotional values of dairy within one or more key consumer segments and would complement and magnify brand marketing activity.

Dairy UK also asks AHDB Dairy to make a financial contribution towards overseas inspection tours to the British dairy industry in order to develop and expand overseas market opportunities for British produce.

The full document is available here.

Categories: 2016


Dairy Industry Needs to Take Charge of its Own Destiny

The UK dairy industry needs to take control of its own destiny in order to meet future domestic and international challenges successfully, Dr David Dobbin, Chairman of Dairy UK, said today.

Speaking at the Semex conference in Glasgow, Dr Dobbin said the industry is having to endure extremely difficult conditions as a result of oversupply of milk globally, intense price competition in falling markets, lower returns and deflation.

He said: "We know what the problems are and there is no shortage of them. We understand that global milk supply is still growing too fast and is outstripping demand and we are not immune to significant factors such as the slowdown in the Chinese economy and the Russian ban on importing products.

"Our options are to wait it out, protest, face new legislation or we can up our game and take charge of our own destiny. Our industry's problems are down to global oversupply; we need to develop the demand for British dairy products and invest in promotion both at home and in target export markets."

"Speaking not only as the chairman of an industry body but also the chief executive of a dairy business, whether you are a farmer or processor, we all share the objective of economic sustainability and we need to build an industry where processors are profitable and able to pay a competitive and sustainable milk price to our farmers. The British dairy industry needs to become more competitive right along the total dairy supply chain reducing cost and becoming more efficient. Taking up the recent comments by Sir Peter Kendall, we need to increase the rate of productivity improvement on farm from the current average 1.4%. Genetics alone will give us an annual advantage of 1.5% to 2%."

Dr Dobbin said that the industry needed to get better not just bigger and there is a need for a business model that is viable for both processors and farmers.

He said: "We need to pursue sustainable growth, be market led rather than production led and develop strategies to grow in value as well as volume. If we can make a bigger cake, then there will be more share for everyone."

Dr Dobbin said Dairy UK will be submitting a new export strategy to the Government soon which will address key issues such as trade barriers, target markets, certification processes and compliance and audit standards. He said the UK industry will have to be more competitive to grow in home markets as well as export markets.

"We have to take out cost, be more efficient and build our own USP – we have tremendous, nutritious products which we can promote as we hunt out opportunities in domestic and export markets."

Categories: 2016


Dairy UK Welcomes Positive Steps Towards School Milk Scheme

Dairy UK welcomed today the European Council Special Committee on Agriculture's endorsement of a new compromise position for a revised EU School Milk Scheme.

The position expands the list of eligible products for EU subsidy to include a number of flavoured dairy products and increases the total budget from €80 million to €100 million.

The list of eligible products now includes drinking milk and its lactose-free variants, cheese, yogurt and other fermented products as well as a number of flavoured milks and yogurts. National health authorities would still need to approve which of these eligible products to distribute in schools across the UK. The compromise position also includes a breakdown of how much aid would be allocated to each Member State – the UK would receive just under €10 million per school year, which is amongst the four highest allocations of all European countries.

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "This is excellent news for school children across the UK. We are particularly pleased by the inclusion of flavoured milks and yogurts alongside plain dairy products as all can make important contributions to children's intakes of essential nutrients, particularly protein, calcium and vitamin B12.

"At a time when children and teenagers tend to eat less dairy and end up missing out on these key nutrients, it is crucial to ensure that nutrient-rich dairy products remain easily accessible to them. The School Milk Scheme plays a key role in ensuring that children have access to these nutritious foods and the importance of this cannot be stressed enough given the role nutrition plays in long term growth and development and overall health.

"Dairy UK has put in a lot of effort to get these messages across to representatives of all European institutions and we are delighted that our voice and those of our European colleagues were heard. We will maintain a constructive dialogue with Members of the European Parliament and other European institutions to ensure the new scheme is adopted."

The European Parliament still needs to give this position the green light before the process can continue. If accepted, the new EU School Milk Scheme would be applicable from August 2017.

Categories: 2015


Industry Publishes 2015 Dairy Roadmap Report

The 2015 Dairy Roadmap report shows that the UK dairy industry has made significant strides in its environmental performance.roadmap

The Dairy Roadmap is a leading supply chain initiative that represents the UK dairy industry's commitment to reduce its environmental footprint. The taskforce is made up of 25 organisations from across the UK dairy industry and encourages engagement between stakeholders including policymakers, NGOs and consumers to promote the industry's strong sustainability credentials and ethos. Together, these organisations define targets and produce regular reports on progress that the industry is making on environmental matters.

Since the creation of the Dairy Roadmap in 2008, dairy processors, farmers and retailers have made some key achievements.

  • Dairy processors have demonstrated at 16% improvement in overall energy efficiency, exceeding the original target of 15%;
  • 77% of dairy holdings are now implementing nutrient management plans. In addition to this, 69% of these farmers are updating their management plan every year;
  • Dairy processors achieved a 15% reduction in relative water consumption;
  • 78% of dairy farmers are currently taking action to reduce the GHG emissions on their farm;
  • There has also been a rise to 74% of liquid cartons in the dairy category which now carry the Forest Stewardship Council label to show they were made with responsibly-sourced wood fibre;
  • 78% of farmers have implemented water efficiency methods, going beyond the target of 70%;
  • Dairy processors are now sending only 4% of factory waste to landfill down from 32% in 2008, thanks to improved segregation of mixed waste, employee engagement activities as well as a greater use of energy from waste incineration and AD technology.

This is the third report since the roadmap was launched in 2008, uniting the supply chain to agree challenging and monitored environmental and sustainability targets. The 2015 report highlights a new set of targets for 2025, including some targets that have been expanded.

The full report is available for download here.

Categories: 2015


Britain's Got Talent Star Helps Chelsea Pensioners to Ring In the Festive Season

Britain's Got Talent star Charlotte Jaconelli helped to spread some festive cheer among the Chelsea Pensioners today.

Charlotte was the surprise guest of honour at the 300-year-old Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses. This tradition began in 1692 when the Royal Hospital Chelsea asked a local cheesemonger to provide the pensioners with cheese as a Christmas treat.

The singing sensation shot to fame on Britain's Got Talent as one half of 'Jonathan & Charlotte', the duo that brought the judges and nation to their feet in 2012. During the Ceremony, Charlotte delighted the Pensioners with her rendition of Pie Jesu and I Could Have Danced All Night from hit musical My Fair Lady.

Charlotte Jaconelli said: "It has been a great honour to meet some of the Chelsea Pensioners today and take part in this wonderful ceremony, paying tribute to these true British heroes. This is one of Britain's loveliest Christmas traditions."

Cheese has always been a favourite among British soldiers serving on the front line and it has been handed out in their rations since the First World War. Every year British cheesemakers from across the country have continued to honour this tradition by donating a selection of cheeses at this annual Ceremony.

A 24.75kg Montgomery Cheddar, donated by J A E Montgomery Ltd, was ceremonially cut by In-Pensioner Derek Walters BEM, aged 82.

Derek joined the Royal Army Service Corps in 1952 as a National Serviceman. The majority of his time was spent in Egypt with the Middle East Land Force. Derek was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1982 for his work in the setting up of the British Army of the Rhine Freight service from Hannover to Berlin.

He said: "It is an honour to represent my fellow Chelsea Pensioners today – cheese has always been an important part of our diet and we are always happy to receive this delicious Christmas gift. The military is known for its traditions, but this is one of my favourites."

The Dairy Council has supported the Ceremony for 55 years. Sandy Wilkie, Chairman of The Dairy Council, said: "The Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses is a much-loved event in the dairy calendar – it is a colourful, and historic, way of celebrating our great British cheeses.

"It's a great tradition. Every year cheesemakers from across the country pay tribute to the courage and contribution made by our war veterans by donating lots of our tasty British cheeses, and we at The Dairy Council are very proud to play a part in that.

"It wasn't just the Christmas cheese that put a smile on our faces. Charlotte Jaconelli did a wonderful job in bringing some festive spirit to our heroes today – her performance was truly beautiful."

Categories: 2015


Food and Drink Industry Bodies Call for Continuation of Climate Change Agreements

Dairy UK welcomes the Government's decision to review the energy tax landscape for manufacturing businesses and calls for the continuation of Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) as part of the solution.

Dairy UK and representatives of the UK food and drink production and manufacturing sector have set out their shared views on the business energy tax consultation in a letter to Government Ministers.

The sector is calling for CCAs to be developed further as they have proven to be an extremely effective mechanism for inducing gains in energy efficiency and protecting industrial competiveness.

The food and drink production and manufacturing sector accounts for around one third of all energy used within CCAs and the scheme is key to the industry's continued effective contribution towards energy efficiency without jeopardising its competitiveness in domestic and global markets.

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "The Climate Change Agreements have been a great success so far – they are an excellent and durable way of driving improvements in the dairy sector.

"The dairy industry has achieved a 15% improvement in energy efficiency since 2008 and the CCA scheme has undoubtedly played a key role, setting long term, sector specific targets, which provide important investment security for businesses.

"CCAs have also led to the welcome benefit of establishing a comprehensive dataset on sector performance, which has been well utilised by government, and the scheme has provided opportunities to exchange data, best practice and advice, which collectively have immeasurably helped to accelerate changes in industry standards.

"The UK dairy sector continues to take its environmental responsibilities very seriously and therefore it is crucial that the Government simplifies the existing energy tax landscape and recognises the significant gains in energy efficiency that have been brought about by the CCA."

Categories: 2015


Milk Heroes Award - Nominate Truly Outstanding Milkmen and Women

Dairy UK is celebrating the great British tradition of doorstep delivery by recognising the outstanding milkmen and women who have gone above and beyond the call of duty on their milk rounds.

Every day, thousands of milkmen and women deliver milk, dairy products and much more to loyal customers across the country. Not only do these men and women deliver milk and household essentials, but they also are active members of the community.

Dairy UK is therefore looking for the next Milk Heroes who deserve to be rewarded for their dedication to the community and is calling on all its members to nominate outstanding milkmen and women for a Milk Hero award.

Previous winners of the award have rescued elderly customers, alerted the authorities to fires, thwarted burglaries and car thefts and been involved in a whole range of meritorious acts that have benefited customers and the local community.

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "Our milkmen and women are an important part of the community, and they willingly go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of our neighbourhoods and the wellbeing of the community.

"Dairy UK is delighted to be bringing back the Milk Heroes award in recognition of our outstanding milkmen and women."

Milkmen and women nominated for a Milk Hero award must be Dairy UK members, employed by and/ or a franchisee of a Dairy UK member. Nominees can be employed roundsmen/ women, BMBs and franchisees.

Nominations should be submitted by completing the Milk Heroes form which is available for download from the Dairy UK website at www.dairyuk.org/consumers/find-me-a-milkman or by contacting Dairy UK on 0207 405 1484 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Categories: 2015


Dairy Industry Strenghtens Nutritional Promotion of Milk and Dairy

Recognition of the nutritional benefits of dairy products is increasing across major European and global dairy markets.

Experts from 20 different countries gathered in Edinburgh for the European Dairy Association's (EDA) Annual Congress heard that attitudes to the nutritional value of dairy were changing in a positive way.

In the UK alone dairy products are present in 98% of households, but the industry has to continue to work harder to promote the nutritional benefits of dairy.

Speaking at the EDA World Dairy Forum, Dr Mike Johnson, Chief Executive of The Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, said: "Attitudes towards dairy are changing in a positive way. The effects of milk and dairy foods on health are about more than the individual nutrients they contain. Rather, the unique combination of nutrients, bioactive factors and other components, and how they interact with each other in the dairy matrix, combine to produce the overall effect on health.

"The challenge is to leverage these positive changes to develop sales, and this can best be achieved through generic and brand marketing working together."

Heather Wheeler MP, Chair of the Dairy All-Party Parliamentary Group, also took part in the discussion, focusing on the Dairy APPG's recent work on dairy and public health and how to encourage support from parliamentarians.

Speaking at the EDA World Dairy Forum, Heather Wheeler MP, said: "At a time when the industry needs strong support and tangible solutions to weather the current storm, it is disheartening to hear negative or misleading messages about the benefits of milk and dairy products. Therefore, we decided to launch a new enquiry and look at the role of dairy in the public health debate to support the future of the UK dairy industry by highlighting the unique contribution of dairy to public health.

"Over the next few weeks, we will examine the impact of public health policies on the dairy industry and on consumers. We want to ensure the dairy food group plays a key role in any government strategy on public health and healthy eating, and we must address misconceptions about the benefits of dairy and its role in a healthy and balanced diet."

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, added: "The science that underpins the nutritional benefits of milk is very formidable and we are delighted that the public is so supportive of dairy but we need to keep pressing home that these are nutritionally great foods which form an important part of a healthy diet."

Other speakers included Isabel MacNeil, Group Manager of Industry Promotion and Product Innovation, who led an award-winning 'Legendairy' marketing campaign to paint a positive picture about the dairy industry.

Categories: 2015


Experts Outline Future for Dairy Industry

International dairy experts today outlined the future for the dairy industry.

Dairy UK Chairman Dr David Dobbin called on the industry to focus on growing added value sales to the domestic and export markets, as well as increasing the promotional activity of dairy products to the public.

Nearly 200 delegates from 20 dairy-producing countries attending the European Dairy Association's (EDA) Annual Congress were told that the prospects for the industry remain positive despite the global crisis this year.

Dr David Dobbin, Chairman of Dairy UK which is hosting the EDA Congress, said: "The fundamental cause of the adverse dairy markets of the last year was over-production with the growth in global milk production overtaking demand.

"However, our members are optimistic, not pessimistic, about their future. We are acutely aware of the challenges we need to overcome to succeed.

"We must develop an economically sustainable growth strategy, market led and focusing on growing in value not just volume.

"We need to build our competitiveness focusing on improving on product and process innovation and supply chain integrity. And we need to actively promote and educate emerging generations on the nutritional value of dairy products.

"While we look to Government and the EU Commission to help us create an environment where we can succeed, first and foremost we in the British dairy industry must take the lead and take control over our own destiny."

Joost Korte, Deputy Director General for Agricultural and Rural Development at the European Commission, said the abolition of quotas was not responsible for low milk prices and added that if the EC had raised intervention price it would not have reduced supply of milk.

Joost said total consumption growth is forecast to be 2.1% with EU milk deliveries growth at around 0.8% and the Commission will publish its 10-year forecast for the industry in December.

Peter Giørtz-Carlsen, Executive Vice President of Arla Foods UK, said three global strategies needed to be adopted for future success in the areas of health, naturalness and sustainability.

"The future of dairy can be promising if we take the right actions now", he said. "We should not be afraid of the milk as we strive to attain sustainable growth."

Ronald Kers, Chief Executive Officer, Global Muller Group, told the congress: "We gain competitive advantage by driving value through innovation, brands, scale and operational excellence. Being able to sell British products to British consumers is important. It is all about bringing added value to the consumer."

Categories: 2015


European Dairy Industry Makes Major Strides in Sustainability

Education and training are at the heart of key initiatives across Europe to promote the benefits of the dairy industry and its products.

Two renowned sustainability experts today outlined at the European Dairy Association's (EDA) Annual Congress in Edinburgh programmes to facilitate job creation, training and development in the dairy industry.

Chris Edwards, Business Development Manager at Tetra Pak, presented the Eden project, a unique UK initiative set up by and for the dairy industry specifically to train dairy technicians and engineers.

Tom Banham, Head of Academy Talent Acquisition at Nestlé, also shared his insights at the breakout session about the European-wide Alliance for YOUth scheme which has seen Nestlé partner with almost 200 companies in Europe to assist young people in finding work opportunities

Chris said: "The Eden Project was created from concept in 2007 and has been organic ever since. Its aim is to tackle the acute skills shortage particularly in the UK dairy industry but reflected across Europe. Since then we have seen the training scheme grow and develop into something really relevant, up to date and special for our industry.

"It's about developing knowledge, skills and behaviours for the future of young dairy technical talent by creating a shared learning environment for our future colleagues."

Tom added: "Unemployment today affects one in four young people below 25 and their 6 million families. This development, combined with an increasingly ageing workforce, is a serious threat to the European economy, as the EU market loses several billions of euros annually.

"It is essential that we provide practical help, insights and advice to students as we plan for the future and train the next generation of technical and commercial experts who will become the future leaders of companies like Nestlé and the wider food and drink manufacturing sector."

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "The UK dairy industry works hard to address any skills shortage and to ensure the future of the dairy industry is sustainable. We are committed to promoting the dairy industry as a career-rich sector.

"The results so far have been encouraging and the dairy sector constantly strives to come up with workable solutions. Sustainability remains at the heart of the agenda across Europe."

Categories: 2015


Global Dairy Markets to Enjoy Continued Growth, Predict Experts

Dairy markets will continue to enjoy growth around the world despite the very significant short term challenges facing the industry.

Speaking at the Economics Seminar at the European Dairy Association (EDA) Annual Congress in Edinburgh, Kevin Bellamy, Senior Analyst at Rabobank, said: "Global growth should continue at 2% or more.

"There is clearly too much milk on the world market and leading dairy countries, such as New Zealand, have been facing extremely challenging conditions. Emerging markets should provide the opportunity for more balanced growth on the international market."

He cited the changing market conditions in the US to be significant for the future of the dairy industry. "There are rising stocks in the US which is likely to reach a tipping point, resulting in milk prices falling by the end of 2015. The strength of the dollar will also hamper export efforts", he said.

Mr Bellamy also said that changing conditions in New Zealand and the US could lead to 1bn litres of less surplus on the world market.

Other factors having a major influence on the world market are the continued Russian ban on imports and the reduction in China's demand for imports, in addition to continuing high levels of production in Europe.

The Congress was told that the drop in oil prices and exchange rates were also material factors, particularly for emerging markets.

"Demand for dairy will expand, particularly driven by emerging markets, and this will result in more target destinations for companies. There will be plenty of opportunities for dairy built primarily on population growth and per capita consumption."

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "The UK and European markets are affected by global factors and we in the UK industry must continue to make every effort to be internationally competitive and add value to dairy."

Categories: 2015


New Cheesy Choices for Children's Lunchboxes - British Cheese Board

The British Cheese Board (BCB) and TV chef Peter Sidwell have launched a new campaign which is guaranteed to make your child's lunchbox cheesier and healthier.

CMAD1To celebrate the launch of their new campaign, Cheese Makes a Difference to Healthy Lunchboxes, the BCB and Peter Sidwell hosted a children's cookery class in a primary school to teach children some of the simple and tasty ways to incorporate cheese into their lunchboxes.

Peter Sidwell has created a range of delicious cheesy lunchbox ideas, including tortilla stars with cheesy dip; cheese and pepperoni twists; savoury cheese muffins and pizza quesadillas, to show that a cheesy lunch can be so much more than a cheese sandwich.

The campaign was designed following a recent survey commissioned by the BCB amongst 500 children and parents to find out just how much the nation knows and likes about cheese. The results showed that over 20% of children eat cheese every day and 45% eat it every other day. Only 1% of children surveyed said they never ate cheese – showing just how popular cheese is.

Cheddar is especially loved by children, with 63% ranking it as their favourite cheese. Over a quarter of children surveyed said that cheese was their favourite lunchbox filling, whereas 31% said it was their favourite food and 40% voted cheese as their favourite sandwich filling.

Some other interesting survey results include:

  • 45% of kids like to eat melted cheese, but interestingly almost 10% believed that melted cheese was worse for you;
  • 77% of kids knew that cheese comes from cows, although almost 5% said they thought it came from the moon. Additionally, 3% of kids thought cheese grew in the ground and 3% believed it grew on trees;
  • 24% of children surveyed said all food tastes better covered in cheese;
  • 11% also thought that cheese makes you smarter.

Peter Sidwell said: "I really hope parents find my recipes useful and informative, and more importantly I hope children enjoy them. We all love a classic cheese sandwich but what we are trying to achieve through this campaign is to show that we can do so much more with cheese. Whether it's a quesadilla or some cheesy dumplings, my recipes will demonstrate some creative and healthy ways of incorporating more cheesy choices into our children's lunchboxes.

CMAD2"Today has been a great day – we had a wonderful time with the kids during our cooking class and I have no doubt they will enjoy these new cheesy choices for their lunchboxes."

The nutritional aspect of cheese is often disregarded by the misconception that cheese is bad for you, with 22% of children surveyed believing this to be true as cheese contains fat. However, encouragingly almost half of the children surveyed recognised that cheese was good for you because it is packed full of calcium.

Cheese is not only a great source of calcium, but it is also packed with phosphorous, both of which help to maintain strong teeth and healthy bones, as well as protein which is essential for children's growth and development and Vitamin B12 which is important for the immune system.

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "We are delighted to launch our Cheese Makes a Difference to a Healthy Lunchbox campaign today. It is a real pleasure to work with Peter again after our successful cheesy salad campaign this summer and to get his creative input on how to use cheese in lunchboxes.

"Every parent is concerned about their child's nutritional intake and cheese is an ideal way to make sure they're on the right road to meet dairy requirements for calcium, protein, Vitamin B12 and phosphorous – all of which are vital to a young child's development. Cheese is a nutritious and versatile food that can be part of any meal to help meet children's nutritional needs.

"Our survey confirms that cheese remains a staple of the UK diet, with 99% of children eating cheese at least once a week. With so many great British cheeses available, it is very easy for parents to pick their children's favourite as a tasty and healthy addition to their lunchbox.

"I would like to thank Colham Manor Primary School for taking part in our cheesy lunchbox cookery class, it is fantastic to get such positive engagement from teachers and parents."

Mr Simon Hawley, Headteacher at Colham Manor Primary School, added: "As a school, we are working hard to encourage our pupils to bring in healthy, balanced packed lunches – and cheese is an important part of that. Research also states that dairy produce is important for a child's development.

"It was evident today that cheese is not just a healthy addition to a child's lunchbox, but it is tasty and versatile. I look forward to seeing some more cheesy lunchboxes with a balance of different food groups around the school in the near future."

The campaign, Cheese Makes a Difference to Healthy Lunchboxes, is part of an umbrella campaign to promote British cheese and supports the industry's overarching Dairy Makes a Difference initiative.

The BCB will be hosting a social media competition for children and their parents to post a picture of their cheesy lunchbox using the hashtag #CheeseMAD for the chance to win a free iPad.

Peter Sidwell's cheesy lunchbox recipes can be downloaded at www.britishcheese.com/campaigns/lunchboxes where full survey results can also be viewed.

Categories: 2015


Dairy UK Appoints New Chairman As Industry Drives Dairy Agenda Forward

Dr David Dobbin CBE was elected Chairman of Dairy UK today at the organisation's Annual General Meeting. Dr Dobbin is Chief Executive of United Dairy Farmers, a leading UK dairy co-operative.

Dr Dobbin said: "I am acutely aware that I am taking on the Chair of Dairy UK at a time when our industry faces significant challenges along the supply chain for farmers and processors alike. While we look to the Government and EU Commission to support the dairy sector in the current global market crisis, we must look first and foremost to what we can do ourselves.

"We must continue to be market rather than production led, continue to build our international competitiveness and continue to create added value through product and process innovation. There are clearly opportunities to promote British dairy produce and increase our market share in our home market, as well as grow exports. Dairy UK has an important role to play in all of this.

"Driving demand for dairy products means ensuring Government agencies and consumers at home and abroad recognise our industry's capability and commitment to produce food products that are safe, nutritious and sustainable. These are goals that Dairy UK and its subsidiaries are already working hard to achieve and intend to further enhance going forward.

"I look forward to working with my Board colleagues and the Dairy UK executive to help to drive the dairy agenda forward. I believe the UK dairy industry can hold its own against the very best, but we need Government to help us create an environment where we can successfully compete and generate viable and sustainable returns for farmers and processors."

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "Dairy UK is delighted to have such a formidable advocate of the dairy industry's activities and products as David Dobbin at its helm. The Board of Dairy UK and the executive team are also very grateful to Billy Keane for his Chairmanship, during which he led the organisation forward with drive and commitment."

Dr Bryans also welcomed the election of Paul Vernon from Glanbia Cheese and Peter Giørtz-Carlsen from Arla Foods as Vice-Chairs of Dairy UK. "Mr Vernon and Mr Giørtz-Carlsen bring with them a wealth of expertise and insights on the dairy industry. I look forward to working with such a strong and experienced leadership team to drive the industry forward and seize the opportunities that lie ahead."

Categories: 2015


UK Dairy Industry Steps Up Its Environmental Performance

Preliminary results from the 2015 Dairy UK Environmental Benchmarking Report show that dairy processors have achieved a 15% increase in energy efficiency since 2008, meaning they are just steps away from meeting the Climate Change Agreements and Dairy Roadmap 2020 targets of 13.6% and 15% respectively.

The report also details the significant progress made in waste management. Processors attained a 22% reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill per tonne of product input and demonstrated an 18% increase in the amount of waste recycled or recovered per tonne of product input.

The main findings of the 2015 benchmarking report are:

  • A 15% increase in energy efficiency;
  • A 15% increase in water efficiency;
  • A 4% decrease in effluent* loads per tonne product input;
  • A 22% decrease in waste to landfill per tonne product input;
  • An 18% increase in waste recycled/recovered per tonne product input.

Joanna Stewart, Environmental Manager at Dairy UK, said: "The report sends a very positive message and reiterates the UK dairy industry's commitment to tackling the environmental challenges of food production. These results are particularly impressive given that the throughput of the reporting sites increased by 23% in the same period.

"The Benchmarking Tool is a valuable resource for processors to track their performance and identify areas for improvement. The UK dairy processing sector is on track to meet its Dairy Roadmap targets and processors will continue to make every effort to reach the next step."

*discharge of liquid waste from processing site

Categories: 2015

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