Both my regular readers will recall my personal crusade to investigate the Marcela Trust and why UK "charities" such as "Consensus Action Salt for Health" (CASH) and "Action on Sugar" (different branch of same charity) are being funded to stop people eating bacon.
As part of this ongoing investigation I downloaded CASH accounts for 2016-2017 from the UK Charity Commission website. Saved a copy as well for future reference. The TL;DR:
- Rebranded to Consensus Action on Salt, Sugar and Health (mission-merged title, happened some time after April 2016);
- Notes that they're associated with charity Blood Pressure UK featuring long-time CASSH reps Katharine Jenner and Prof. Graham MacGregor (and they accidentally mis-cite the charity number, it's 1058944 not 1059844);
- Blood Pressure UK burned through 30% of their funds in year-end 2017 (£210K to £140K) so it's anyone's guess how long this venture will last without a cash infusion;
- CASSH brought in £50K in 2017 - down from £215K in 2016 - and spent £250K in 2017 - up from £153K in 2016. So they're down from just over £750K in funds to a bit over £560K. This doesn't seem very sustainable long-term
- Basically, no-one is giving CASSH any significant amount of money. Tragic, really. I'd imagine that the general choke-off in government funds to "charities" is starting to bite.
- About half their expenditure is in food salt/sugar surveys; seems that those surveys aren't translating into funding for action. No-one cares about what they find.
- In summary, CASSH is going to run out of cash in the next 3-5 years unless they can find a charity or government agency with reasonably deep pockets to fund their surveys
Great quote from their annual report:
Andrea Martinez-Inchausti told attendees [of the CASH reception at the House of Commons, sponsored by Sir David Amess MP] that BRC members, such as Tesco and Waitrose, are committed to salt reduction but following initial reductions, further reductions in salt are posing a technical challenge.Let me guess: no-one wants to eat food with near-zero salt?
In fairness, I'd note that a key difference between CASSH and the Marcela Trust is that the latter sends large chunks of its finances to a few directors in remuneration, whereby CASSH at least has the decency to avoid hosing money at its trustees. (I'm curious about where in detail the £120K of survey cash goes, but have no reason to believe it ends up in CASSH trouser pockets).
Ah, CASSH. It seems that trying to reduce sugar and salt consumption in the UK, or indeed world-wide, is very much a minority interest and not one than people are prepared to back with significant quantities of their own money. I'm sure people talk a good game, but their revealed preferences in funding show that they don't actually care. Sorry guys!