Transferring the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) work on nutrition to the Department of Health (DoH) will not adversely affect bakers, say industry figures.
The DoH will now be responsible for guidance on saturated fat and salt, a move welcomed by the Food & Drink Federation, which it said should lead to clearer and more consistent policy-making.
Federation of Bakers director Gordon Polson said it would be business as usual. "We expect to continue working with the same people, who are going to be transferring to the DoH, on the same policies. I don’t expect salt reduction targets to change," he said.
Health quango, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), had previously called on manufacturers to make bigger cuts in sat fats than FSA targets, but a spokeswoman for the Biscuit Cake Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance said the organisation did not expect the new set-up to impact on industry work on saturated fat reduction and reformulation. She said: "Although we’ve heard the budget for communications and campaigns will be greatly reduced, we do expect the work on reformulation to continue."
However, NAMB chief executive Gill Brooks-Lonican said she expected work by Trading Standards, funded by the FSA, to test the salt levels of bread in craft bakeries across the UK and provide advice on how to reduce salt content in products would falter. Said Brooks-Lonican: "They have only got enough money to promote so many leaflets, then funding finishes. I think the scheme will fizzle out then. I also think the work on saturated fats will go quiet."