In 2011 under the new coalition government, responsibility for nutrition and consequently the salt targets, was moved away from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to the Department of Health. It was at this time that the Public Health Responsibility Deal (RD) was born with the aim of getting all major stakeholders involved in improving public health within the UK by voluntary means. This is a series of pledges made by the food industry and other stakeholders regarding food, alcohol, occupational health and physical activity. As a voluntary scheme, organisations are encouraged to sign up to the Deal and commit to taking action in relevant fields, whether it be in nutrition, exercise, health at work or alcohol. Organisations are welcomed to commit to as many or as few pledges as they wish.
Salt reduction has been recognised as a public health priority for a number of years and continues be a key health strategy under the RD. Their food pledges have a strong focus on actions that retailers, manufacturers and the out of home catering sector can deliver. With regards to Salt Reduction, there are a number of specific pledges that companies can sign up to. The one specific to food industry is F9 Salt Reduction 2017:
“We recognise that achieving the public health goal of consuming no more than 6g salt per person per day will necessitate further action across the whole food industry, Government, NGOs and by individuals. We will support and enable individuals to further reduce their salt intake by continuing to review and lower levels of salt in food. We commit to working towards achieving the salt targets by December 2017. For some products this will require acceptable technical solutions which we are working to identify and implement.”
These targets were recently set (2014) as a follow on from the 2012 targets (sign up now closed), with figures on average 10% lower than previous. Whilst it took longer than expected to set these targets, we are nevertheless glad they have been set, and demonstrate the importance accepted by government in reducing the nation’s salt intake. Companies are now urged to sign up to the new salt targets, with a deadline of 2017 in which to achieve them.
CASH have signed up to the latest salt reduction pledge and will be acting as an independent monitor by continuing to survey the salt content of major product categories in UK stores and assessing the progress. We will continue to work with the industry to encourage sign up to the Responsibility Deal and commit to salt reduction. Click here to view CASH's response to the launch of the Responsibility Deal.
Signatories of the pledge are requested to submit annual updates every April, to demonstrate the efforts made in achieving the targets, and the progress made so far.
If you are interested in signing up please email email@example.com or call 0207 972 4586.
Companies currently signed up to the 2017 targets (as of March 2015):
ALDI Stores Ltd
Bella Italia Restaurants Ltd (Tragus)
Cafe Rouge Restaurants Ltd (Tragus)
Cafe Spice Namaste
CH&Co Catering Limited
The Co-operative Group
Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust
Elior UK Ltd
Freedom Cereals Ltd
HJ Heinz Co Ltd
HOOPO Healthy Snacks Ltd
Jamie Oliver Licensing Limited
JD Wetherspoon PLC
Lantmanned Unibake UK
LIDL UK Gmbh
Marks & Spencer
McCain Foods Ltd
PepsiCO UK & Ireland
Pret A Manger
Restaurant Group Plc
Sainsbury's Supermarket Ltd
Strada Restaurants Ltd (Tragus)
Subway International B.V.
The Jordans & Ryvita Company
The Silver Spoon Company