Australian Government announces less salt in soup products by 2015

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 28th November 2011

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, announced today that Australia’s leading food manufacturers and retailers have voluntarily agreed to reduce salt levels in soup products over the next three years.

The agreement between the Australian Government’s Food and Health Dialogue and leading manufacturers and retailers was reached in Canberra this morning.

Leading manufacturers Unilever, Heinz, Campbell Arnotts and Nestle, along with major retailers Woolworths, Coles and ALDI, have agreed by the end of 2014 to reduce the sodium content in soup products to 290mg of sodium per 100g of product, with a maximum target of 300mg per 100g of product.

The commitment will cover the manufacturers and retailers who provide more than 90 per cent of the market share for soup currently sold in Australia. The products targeted and the amount of sodium reduction per year will be determined by the individual companies involved.

Ms King said, “With processed foods forming the bulk of the food supply for sale in Australia, manufacturers, processors and retailers have an increasingly important role to play in securing the health and wellbeing of the Australian community.”

Chaired by Ms King, the Food and Health Dialogue membership included representatives from industry through the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the government’s food standards agency Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the health advocacy group National Heart Foundation, the Public Health Association of Australia, CSIRO, the Quick Service Restaurant Forum, Queensland Health, and the major retailers.

This is the fifth round of ‘healthier food’ targets announced under the Food and Health Dialogue. It follows an earlier commitment by the food industry to reduce the sodium content of leading breads, breakfast cereals, simmer sauces and processed meats sold in Australia.