Salt and the City - a Drop the Salt! Campaign Debate 9am - 12pm, 5 February 2009

An interactive event to discuss the challenges and opportunities for reducing salt in foods eaten away from home.
Salt and the City Invitation.pdf [PDF 189KB]

Drop the Salt! Campaign

What are we trying to do?

In order to reduce the average amount of salt consumed by Australians to 6g per day by 2012, AWASH has four main objectives:

  1. An average 25% reduction in the salt content of food
  2. An average 25% reduction in salt used by the catering industry
  3. Increased consumer knowledge of the benefits of low salt diets
  4. Clear labelling of foods that makes the salt content immediately apparent to the consumer

How will we do this?

To achieve this it is proposed that the campaign is rolled out in the following stages:

Year 1

  • Focus on reduction of salt by the industry (retailers and manufacturers) (25% over 5 years)
  • Promote a really simple message e.g. Drop the Salt! to get the issue on the agendas of all stakeholder organisations
  • Commission research to better understand consumer awareness of the issues
  • Involve stakeholders and consumers by inviting them to call the industry to action
  • Form partnerships with consumer organisations/health charities to continue to raise consumer awareness
  • Raise salt reduction as a priority on the agendas of all stakeholder organisations

Year 2

  • Strengthen consumer campaign highlighting that salt is bad for health
  • Expand focus of work with industry to include catering sector
  • Consider position on front of pack labelling
  • Do consumer research into understanding of current labelling requirements

Year 3

  • Consumer campaign to check the label
  • Progress on front of pack labelling
  • Targeted children's campaign

Year 4 and 5

  • Will depend on evaluation of the outcomes of the other years
"The work that was done in the UK... to reduce salt levels in processed foods was an excellent example of government and industry working effectively together on an important issue of public health. Over a period of three years very significant reductions were made across a broad range of product categories that included everything from bread and breakfast cereals to soups and meal sauces".

Gavin Neath - Chairman, Unilever Bestfoods