Sir; With regard to your feature entitled 'In the Premier league', I agree that the meat-free market is indeed enjoying strong growth within the UK. It is currently estimated to be worth around £662m, with a growth rate of approximately 4.5% per annum [TNS Worldpanel].

Although the number of true vegetarians remains static at about 4% of the population, fuelling growth in the sector is the increasing number of people reducing their meat consumption.

Leatherhead Food International estimates that as much as 45% of the population may now fall into this meat-reducer category.

Furthermore, another important growth driver is the level of new product development and innovation, with companies offering a wider and wider range of products.

The key to future success in this category will be manu­facturers' potential to continue to expand the c­onsumer base for meat-free foods in retail and food­service sectors.

It will be equally important to maintain existing consumers in the category through responding to their requirements, for example on consistent vegetarian ­labelling.

This particular issue is an area where the Food and Drink Federation's Vegetarian and Meat-Free Group has worked very closely with the Food Standards Agency and other stakeholder groups.

These groups produced an industry-wide code of ­practice covering vegetarian and vegan food labelling in June.