News / Real Bread Campaign

Sourdough Loaf Mark launched

Your new at-a-glance assurance from baker to buyer.

The look of loaf (NB subject to signing a usage agreement)

The look of loaf (NB subject to signing a usage agreement)

With less than a month until the start of the 8th annual, international Sourdough September, the Real Bread Campaign has launched the sourdough companion to The Real Bread Loaf Mark.

Loaf at first sight

The Campaign continues to call for a legal definition of sourdough and mandatory ingredient labelling for all loaves. In the meantime, the new mark is a visual aid for shoppers looking for genuine sourdough bread, helping bakers and retailers to give their customers an at-a-glance assurance of loaves that are.

Bakers sign an annual usage agreement that they will only display The Real Bread Loaf Mark to market products made without the use of processing aids, chemical leavening or other additives. They agree only to use the sourdough version to market Real Bread that is leavened only using a live sourdough starter culture.


Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: “With no legal definition of sourdough in the UK and elsewhere, people are at the mercy of industrial loaf fabricators, multiple retailers, and even some smaller operators, choosing to use the word disingenuously or downright misleadingly. This new Loaf Mark is a stopgap support for shoppers who choose to buy genuine sourdough for any and all reasons they do so.”

The lack of legal definition has resulted in consumer bodies tasked with protecting people from being misled reporting that they are powerless to stop companies using the word sourdough to name and market products made using baker’s yeast and/or food additives. In 2015, the Campaign coined the term sourfaux to refer to such items.

In November 2018, Michael Gove sent the Campaign a written assurance that the UK government would conduct a post-Brexit review of loaf labelling and marketing laws. Almost two years later there is still not even a firm timetable for this review. The Real Bread Campaign will resume its decade-long lobbying for an Honest Crust Act after Parliament returns from its summer recess.

Read more about sourdough and sourfaux

Sign up to use The Loaf Mark
If you bake genuine sourdough (or other Real Bread) for sale please sign up to the scheme. Adding this to your marketing tools supports our charity’s work, including campaigning for legal definitions.

Out with the old
If you are still use an older version of The Loaf Mark or Campaign supporter badge (eg on your website, email footer, social media accounts, signs, labels, posters,  flyers etc.) please remove and replace it today.

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Published 4 Aug 2020

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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