Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH)

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F2. Salt Reduction (pledge now closed)

Committed since:

1 January, 2013

Delivery plan:

Submitted: 31 May, 2013

As a partner of the Responsibility Deal Food Network, and having signed the salt reduction pledge, CASHs activity to date has extended to:
a) Acting as an ambassador to encourage companies to sign the pledge: The number of companies now signed up to the pledge has increased to 80, due in part to the work CASH has already undertaken as an ambassador for the salt reduction pledge, communicating with companies through the media, letters and face to face meetings. Several high profile companies have opted not to sign the salt pledge and most small to medium enterprises are not represented on the list, either directly or via their major suppliers. For the salt pledge to work and for the nations palate to adjust to less salt, there needs to be a level-playing field across the whole of the food sector. With the introduction of the Salt Catering pledges in 2012, we hope this will encourage the out of home catering sector to fall in line with the rest of the food industry and reduce the salt content of their dishes. We will continue to encourage companies and caterers to sign the salt pledges, and potentially expose their high salt products as appropriate. This needs strong support from the Department of Health, the Public Health Minister as well as the Secretary of Health.
b) Ensuring those that have signed the pledge receive the support and encouragement they need to meet their targets. CASH have been working with many companies to identify potential barriers to meeting the targets. CASH maintain regular contact with those companies that have signed the pledge, to offer our thanks and congratulations on pledging their support for the most effective public health policy in the UK.
c) Monitoring the progress of companies against the 2012 salt targets. CASH will continue to undertake surveys and spot checks of the salt content of products on the market, using publically available data and independently analysed data as appropriate. Where possible, we will measure against the salt targets and reveal those products which are not making good progress. Through this technique, the high salt outliers can be identified and published in the media and on our website:
d) Raising awareness amongst consumers of the importance the salt reduction programme. At this years’ National Salt Awareness Week, (11th-17th March 2013), we asked for ‘Less Salt Please’, showing how everybody, including chefs, can use less salt and still enjoy the great flavour of their food. This year we showed consumers how to take control of the salt in their own food preparation, by simply using less salty and more tasty ingredients, as well as adding less salt during cooking and at the table. We highlighted to the catering industry, chefs and others involved the importance of adding less salt to our food and the long-term health implications of eating a high salt diet.
e) Ensuring the future of the salt reduction campaign. It is vital that the salt reduction work continues as the only way that we will fulfil the pledge of 6g a day is to continue with further reductions. As a partner of the Responsibility Deal Food Network, we will help the Department of Health in setting new salt targets, to encourage companies to reformulate recipes.
Updated in May 2013

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