The dairy industry has called on government to be more focused on the positive nutritional benefits of dairy products and less on the negatives of salt and fat content.

Dairy UK issued a White Paper last week outlining a 'wish list' of seven principles it wanted government to sign up to in exchange for its positive engagement with government policy objectives.

As well as acknowledging the importance of dairy to the diet, economy and environment, Dairy UK urged government to recognise industry's need to restructure, consolidate and remain competitive.

Government should also keep regulatory intervention proportionate and, where it was introduced, allow industry time to adapt. "The UK dairy industry is an efficient and dynamic producer of raw milk and our products are safe, wholesome and nutritious," said Jim Begg, director general of Dairy UK.

The industry was already innovating and adding value to ensure it remained competitive in the future.

Dairy UK said it would work to ensure that the industry fulfilled its commercial potential and looked to government to be partners in the process.

"Like all sectors, the dairy industry needs a constructive partnership with Government to fulfil its potential," said Begg.

Other commitments the White Paper called for were a clear and predictable policy environment and continued support for R&D.

The dairy market remained volatile, said Roger Evans, chairman of the UK Dairy Farmers' Forum. "In this situation it's important for the supply chain to come together."