The chairman of the Federation of Bakers (FOB) has called on the Department of Health to look elsewhere when setting new salt targets.

Alex Mayfield, operations director at Warburtons, was speaking at the FoB’s conference, held at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London yesterday.

Commenting as part of a panel discussion, entitled ‘The important role of bread in a healthy, balanced diet’, he said: “The Federation has said quite clearly we have done as much as we can at the moment and would ask the Department of Health to look elsewhere.”

FoB members have reached the 2012 target of 0.4g sodium per 100g of product, outlined by The Responsibility Deal, resulting in a total reduction of 40%, if taken in conjunction with previous reductions.

In February, the government set out a further timeline for salt reduction, including a review and revision of 2012 targets that are expected to be agreed by December and implemented in 2014.

Richard Ciencala, deputy director for health and well-being at the Department of Health, told attendees at the FOB conference a series of round tables would begin soon with all stakeholders. He said there would be some “opportunities” for future progress, along with some “barriers”, but the department would steer clear of “demonising” a particular food.

Some FoB members called for a level playing in terms of legislation, particularly with Europe, and Alex Waugh, of the Flour Advisory Board, said the further review of salt targets gave the government the opportunity to look at the “holistic” qualities of bread.

The conference, hosted by BBC newsreader Louise Minchin, also saw talks by Gavin Rothwell, retail analyst manager at IGD and nutritionist Amanda Ursell, who outlined the FoB’s new marketing campaign.