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.”

The following provides background and supporting information to help organisations understand what this pledge sets out to achieve and how, by becoming a Responsibility Deal partner, you can help deliver this pledge.

What this pledge sets out to achieve and why it is important
In 2003, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommended that work be undertaken to reduce salt intakes in the UK in order to achieve an average intake of 6g per day for adults (SACN also set targets for children ). This pledge therefore aims to reduce the average amount of salt eaten, to help lower people’s risk of high blood pressure and the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

Targets have been developed for salt reduction for 76 specific food groups that contribute most to people’s salt intakes and which are to be achieved by December 2017. It is understood that the levels set for some categories are considered aspirational and will require acceptable technical solutions if they are to be achieved in full, but progress towards these goals will bring public health benefits. These targets will help consumers lower their salt intake by limiting the amount of salt in foods that are commonly consumed as part of the UK diet.

Public health benefits

  • Reducing salt intake lowers blood pressure in just 4 weeks, which in turn reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Reducing population salt intakes by just 1g will prevent 4147 premature deaths and save the NHS £288 million each year.
  • Reformulation efforts so far have proven successful in helping to reduce the population’s intake by 15% from 9.5g in 2000/01 to 8.1g in 2011.
  • How you can deliver this pledge
    Businesses that become partners will be expected to make every effort to reformulate their products to achieve the sub-category specific targets that are relevant to their business by 2017. The full list of targets, including details of which food products are included in each category and the relevant salt levels is available.

    The aim is for all (100%) products or volume sales within an individual category to meet the targets. However, because there can be technical or other difficulties associated with this, businesses can say they have met the target(s) for an individual sub-category if 95% of products or volume sales meet the targets and if efforts have been made to reduce salt in the remaining 5% of products or volume sales to a minimum.

    All new products introduced to the market should meet, or fall below, the current maximum target for the relevant category. For the limited number of categories that do not have a maximum target (bacon, ham, mozzarella (used in food products), blue cheese, lightly salted butter, canned tuna, canned salmon) any new products should use the average figure as a maximum.

    Food service providers that sign up to this pledge will be expected to make every effort to procure and/or make products that meet the relevant target(s) as outlined. Some outlets may wish to commit to the maximum per serving salt targets designed specifically for the out of home sector (F10). Other activities for consideration by this sector are covered by the F5a and F5b salt catering pledges (Training and kitchen practice and Reformulation of products as purchased by the consumer, respectively).

    We would encourage businesses to:

  • share information on best practice and technical developments in salt reduction, especially from larger businesses to small and medium enterprises to help ensure that progress is made across all sectors.
  • work to influence the wider European and world agendas to encourage salt reduction initiatives, thereby influencing salt levels in foods imported into the UK.
  • share information on best practice and technical developments in salt reduction, especially from larger businesses to small and medium enterprises to help ensure that progress is made across all sectors.

  • work to influence the wider European and world agendas to encourage salt reduction initiatives, thereby influencing salt levels in foods imported into the UK.
  • Your pledge delivery plan
    Shortly after signing up, partners will be asked to provide pledge delivery plans, laying out how they intend to meet each of the pledges they have signed up to. They will have up to 2,000 characters to describe their plans for each pledge they are signed up to. All delivery plans will be published on this website.

    Reporting progress on your pledge
    Partners will be asked to report on their progress by the end of April each year. For some pledges, partners will be asked to report using pre-defined quantitative measures, while for others they will be asked for a narrative update. Further information on the reporting arrangements for each food pledge for the reporting period 2014/2015 is available. All annual updates will be published on this website.

    Partners can complete their delivery plans and annual updates online. Please login here.

    Note: This pledge and the accompanying set of targets replace pledge F2.

    Partners currently committed to this pledge (39):

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