British cheese holds its own
EXISTING quality standards for British territorial cheeses will not be altered after MAFF decided not to proceed with its own proposed changes.
Farm minister Douglas Hogg said that consultation on proposals to revoke the statutory compositional standards for territorial cheeses, and introduce labelling of the fat content of cheese and cream, had met considerable opposition from the industry.
The proposal to deregulate the cheese standards was originally suggested by the Food Standards Committee.
"I believe we were right to explore this approach – deregulation to help British businesses is a priority for me," he said.
But Mr Hogg said that in this case the industry reaction, coupled with his own determination not to undermine the outstanding quality of British cheese or jeopardise its reputation for excellence, meant that the proposals would not be enforced.
"The traditional cheeses of Britain are part of our heritage, and as someone who loves all these cheeses I am pleased to announce that these standards will be retained," he added. *