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Real Bread Campaign and the Real Food Festival to stick one on the Big Bakers

Stick One on 'em! - urging the UK's industrial bakers to come clean about the use and labelling of hidden processing aids.

May 2009 update: In the wake of widespread media coverage of these issues, the Federation of Bakers published a statement on its website. Rather than responding to our concerns about undeclared additives, it focussed on the use of ingredients and other substances of animal origin. Read more.

The production of the familiar factory loaf can involve a whole cocktail of enzymes, including one originating in the pancreas of pigs. By law, the manufacturer would not even have to mention this practice on the label.

The Federation of Bakers and its members, including the makers of Hovis, Warburtons and Kingsmill, have all ignored a demand from the Real Bread Campaign and the Real Food Festival voluntarily to stop the use of such ‘processing aids’ and to list the details clearly on their product labels in the meantime.

In response, the Real Bread Campaign, an initiative from Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, is joining forces with the Real Food Festival to urge members of the public to ‘Stick One On ‘em!’ Using specially created warning stickers, concerned consumers can now amend the labels of potential offenders in their own homes as a reminder. The event will also see the start of a petition calling the big bakers to own up and then clean up, which members of the public will be invited to sign.

Andrew Whitley, acclaimed artisan baker and co-founder of the Real Bread Campaign says: “The food regulators, like the financial ones, have been asleep on the job, allowing big bakers to adulterate our bread with cocktails of undeclared enzymes. It’s time for them to come clean.”

Visitors to the Real Food Festival at Earl’s Court 1 from 8th-10th May 2009 will have the opportunity to learn more about the delights of Real Bread from Andrew, who will be giving a fun and informative tasting on the Sunday in the Real Food Theatre. Real Bread lovers will also get the chance to taste the wares of numerous other real bakers appearing at the show, join one of the bread making sessions being run by Barny Haughton of Bordeaux Quay and even receive breadmaker counselling to rekindle recession-busting relationships with unloved bread machines.

The aims of the Real Bread Campaign are to stimulate and promote the production and consumption of bread that is better for our health, our communities and our planet.


For more information, please contact Chris Young or Richard Watts at the Real Bread Campaign on or 0203 5596 777


Notes to editors:

  1. Real Bread is made from flour, water and yeast (naturally occurring or cultured), to which a small amount of salt may be added but no improvers, processing aids or additives. Any additional ingredients must be natural, e.g. seeds, nuts and dried fruits.  The gold standard is reached by bread made using flour that is not wholly refined and is fermented for at least four hours, with no part baking or freezing of the dough. The Real Bread Campaign also celebrates the use of local, organic and stoneground flours.
  2. The cocktail of processing aids that the law says can be used in bread manufacture and go undeclared on the label include phospholipase, fungal alpha amylase, l-cysteine, transglutaminase, maltogenic amylase, hemicellulase, oxidase, peptidase, protease and xylanase, some of which are known allergens and could be of GMO, animal or even human origin.
  3. Since 2003, Andrew Whitley has run Bread Matters from his wood-fired bakery in Melmerby, Cumbria. His book of the same name won him the 2006 Andre Simon Award for Best Food Book. Bread Matters taps into Andrew’s experience as founder of the acclaimed Village Bakery, which he ran for 26 years.  Andrew Whitley is a member of the Soil Association's Certification Scrutiny Committee.

Published 20 Apr 2009

Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.

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