Trading Standards Officers (TSOs) will spearhead a project to test the salt levels of bread in craft bakeries across the UK and provide advice on how to reduce salt content in products.

Working in conjunction with the NAMB, the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) has secured funding from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for the national scheme, which is due to launch in July. The voluntary scheme could see TSOs visit around 2,000 craft bakeries to collect bread samples, which would then be lab-tested to assess salt content.

Bakers would be informed of the results and given technical advice, developed by the NAMB, on how to reduce salt levels in their breads to meet the FSA’s 2010 and 2012 salt targets of 1.1% and 1% respectively. The scheme is voluntary.

"The FSA needed people on the ground who could get to the 2,000-plus craft bakers in the country and TSOs are already working with bakeries on things like bread weights and pricing," said craft baker Anthony Kindred, who has lead the NAMB’s research into salt reduction.

A pilot scheme, carried out by Norfolk Trading Standards, found craft bakers had little knowledge of the FSA’s targets. Also, 15 samples of craft bread taken had salt content ranging from 0.94% to 1.73%, with an average of 1.34%.