Dairy UK, which represents the interests of farmers, milk purchasers, processors, has hit back at calls for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to be extended to include all milk-based drinks.
The suggestion was made in the Commons Health and Social Care Committee report on childhood obesity.
Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the committee, said: “I welcome the sugary drinks levy that has already played a vital role in driving reformulation and call for this to be extended to milky drinks which contain added sugar.”
Responding to the report, Dairy UK’s chief executive Dr Judith Bryans, said: “Dairy UK supports the principle of what the committee is trying to achieve. However, we do not agree with the extension of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to include all milk-based drinks. This would have a detrimental impact on the marketing of high quality, safe and nutritious dairy products – products which are nutritionally beneficial to children rather than being harmful.
“Milk and dairy products are proven sources of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iodine, vitamin B12, and riboflavin as well as protein, making dairy an important part of a healthy, balanced, affordable and sustainable diet. Regrettably, because of the way the Nutrient Profiling Model has been developed dairy products end up being penalised alongside junk foods.
“Milk-based drinks should, in our view, be exempt from the recommendations made by the committee.”
Dairy UK said it will be engaging with Public Health England, the UK government and other relevant stakeholders to explain why the new Nutrient Profile Modelling should exclude any product containing more than 75% milk, cheese or yogurt, on the basis of the contributions they make to children’s nutrition.
Source: Talking Retail