The current targets, which have been agreed across the UK, were set in 2014 for achievement in 2017. The revised 2017 targets have been developed and agreed by the four UK administrations working closely with industry, NGOs and stakeholders. The 2017 targets recognise the progress that has already been made by the food industry and aims to encourage further reduction. Salt levels in many foods covered by previous targets have reduced significantly, some by 40-50% or more, and more than 11 million kilograms of salt have been removed from foods. However, average UK salt consumption remains high at approximately 8.1g-8.8g/day so there is still considerable reduction required to meet the 6g/day population intake goal for adults and less for children.
The 2017 targets are suitably challenging and wide-ranging but recognise the different starting points and technical challenges. The categories remain substantially the same as the previous 2012 targets: one additional category has been added on meat extracts; one sub-category on salted butter was removed where industry had already met the target; and several minor changes have been made to better reflect current market position. This reduces the number of categories from 80 (2012 targets), to 76 in the 2017 targets.