EuSalt backs environmental “megatrends”

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sodium chloride

The European Salt Producer’s Association, EuSalt, has pledged its support to what it described as environmental “megatrends” with water a key issue.

The association had affirmed its commitment to environmental sustainability last year at its general assembly but for 2011 it has pushed it up the agenda as a priority.

Nutrition was also high on the agenda at EuSalt’s recent annual meeting, with the aim of highlighting the importance of having a balanced approach to diet and healthy lifestyles.

EuSalt managing director, Wouter Lox, told that the balance was more about information rather than trying to focus on the reduction of certain nutrients (like salt) and that it was better to inform consumers, taking a more holistic approach.

Meanwhile the environmental “megatrends” highlighted at the meeting included the transformation to a green economy, the dedicated management of natural capital and ecosystems services and the coherent integration of environmental considerations across many sectors of policy.

Lox pointed out that for the salt industry, water was particularly an issue.

He said: “We want to limit the amount of water used. We are trying to reuse the water to remove the use of additional water.”

He suggested that one area where this might be addressed is the washing of sea salts, which is necessary because of higher sodium chloride content.

Lox added that marine water legislation also meant that sea salt producers helped to provide ecology and biodiversity for marine life – trying to minimise the use of water and giving the used water back to the environment.

However for the food industry, he explained that the environmental issue was more about production methods of salt: “how you produce salt and how to minimise the use of electricity and energy”.

He gave the example of using a combined heat and power production process to reduce emissions.

EuSalt represents the interests of 27 salt producers located in Europe and worldwide.

In a statement following the general meeting the President of EuSalt, Peter Kuijpers, general manager, salt at AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals said: “We will grow EuSalt to the next strategic level in the coming years, in two directions.

“One concerns an improved representation through intense cooperation with national associations on a broader scale.

“Secondly, through a clear positioning and profiling on sustainability, i.e. energy usage, CO2- footprint and fresh water usage”.

The conference session last month was also set up as a global think tank on new food policies and the response of the salt industry as a responsible stakeholder.

In a final discussion EuSalt presented its actions on the future food policy, stressing that health policy should not only focus on the over-consumption of nutrients but also consider malnutrition.

It stated: “Iodine deficiency is one of the malnutrition affecting the world population. Eusalt is already committed by participating to the Iodine network to help to tackle the Iodine deficiency.”

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