Targets for the reduction of saturated fat in some products appear a certainty after industry insiders told The Grocer an FSA consultation planned for next month would focus on the specifics of targets rather than the actual need or practicality.

It is believed the FSA will launch the first of a two-part consultation in late April focusing on biscuits, cakes, pastries and soft drinks, with a second wave in October dealing with meat snacks such as sausage rolls and pasties.

The move comes despite a huge amount of work carried out by retailers and suppliers to reduce the levels of saturated fat in their products. Most believe there is no need for the FSA to impose targets for the reduction of saturated fat because of these measures and the work they are still planning to do.

The British Retail Consortium has published a breakdown of individual retailers’ achievements in reducing saturated fat across a broad range of products. The consortium is concerned that should the FSA choose a similar route to that taken in regard to salt reduction, the targets should take into account the action already taken by the industry.

The BRC added that it did not want to get into a fight with the FSA as it supported its objective of reducing levels of satfat consumption, but it strongly rejected the need for and effectiveness of this tactic.

“Retailers have been working to reduce the amount of saturated fat in their own-brand goods,” said BRC technical food director Andrea Martinez-Inchausti. “They’ve made good progress and want to keep improving.

“By publishing the results achieved so far, retailers are making a very public commitment to lower the saturated fat levels in their customers’ diets.”

A spokesman for the FSA said the agency did recognise the progress already made.

“We believe our recommendations will galvanise and encourage wider industry engagement,” he said.