from Nigel White, secretary, British Cheese Board

Sir; The recent White Paper on Health (‘DoH: you act - or we will’, The Grocer, November 20, p4-5) contained some interesting ideas in relation to food labelling upon which it is difficult to comment: as ever, the devil will be in the detail and the implementation.
The British Cheese Board is fully supportive of any initiative that improves the communication of nutritional information to consumers to enable them to make more informed choices appropriate to their lifestyles. Too simple a system will lead to a demonisation of certain foods; too complex a system will confuse and be self-defeating.
Recent comments in the media that challenge some of the thinking behind the proposed labelling are encouraging to the cheese industry as they seem to appreciate that cheese does not fit neatly into a simple traffic-light system.
A 30g piece of Cheddar (the size of a matchbox) will provide a disproportionate contribution to the recommended intakes of key nutrients in the diet of a seven to nine-year-old child, ie 72% of vitamin B12, 40% of the calcium, 28% of the protein, 23% of vitamin A, 17 % of the zinc, 11% of the sodium, 10% of vitamin B2 and just 6.3% of the energy.
Compared with other foods frequently put into children’s lunchboxes, cheese not only provides essential nutrients in an enjoyable form but can help prevent tooth decay and help strengthen the teeth.
As such we believe that a sensible policy would encourage the consumption of cheese as part of a balanced diet for people of all ages.