Sir; We are pleased that the Food Standards Agency has agreed to our plan for the future of salt content in bread.
The plan features an average salt level target that could be used to measure the overall salt consumption from bread in the diet, a commitment to stepped reductions and the introduction of a salt monitoring exercise to be shared with the FSA.
It also features changing labelling to use the word 'salt' on pack, with salt content per slice and per 100g.
We have for many years taken a positive and proactive approach to salt reduction. Salt levels in bread have been reduced by some 25% over the past 20 years and in 2005 the industry implemented a further 5% reduction. We continue to be committed to the FSA's objective of improving the overall make-up of people's diets while also assessing the impact of any changes on consumer acceptance of the taste of bread and technical feasibility.
Although we are happy to be working with the FSA on this issue, the reduction of salt in bread thus far has been immensely challenging as salt plays such a critical role in dough formation. It is widely recognised that any change that may diminish the flavour would be counterproductive to the objective of improving diets as it's acknowledged that bread plays an important role in a healthy, balanced diet.
We will continue to monitor salt levels and to work with the FSA going forward.