from Martin Paterson, deputy DG, Food and Drink Federation

Sir; The government’s public health White Paper (‘DOH: you act - or we will’, The Grocer, November 20, p4, 5) outlines its plans to work with the food industry to develop a signposting approach to labelling.
While the industry is committed to working with government and the Food Standards Agency on more informative labelling, it is imperative that we avoid simplistic schemes that arbitrarily categorise products into good and bad.
The Food and Drink Federation very much believes that the way forward is Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs), which allows consumers to see food in the context of their whole diet.
Since GDAs were first published in 1998, many retailers and manufacturers have used them on pack. What’s more, a new survey by IGD has found nearly three quarters (72%) of consumers are familiar with GDAs and can use the system to identify which products are high, medium or low in a particular nutrient.
To prompt the industry to use this form of labelling more, FDF announced in our recent food and health manifesto that we will encourage our members to provide GDAs.
Consumers want relevant, easy-to-understand information to help make informed choices and achieve a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. We believe GDAs can help them do this.