News Real Bread Campaign

Loaf law review imminent?

Is Defra set to act on our Honest Crust Act call?

Under scrutiny? Photo: Chris Young / CC-BY-SA 4.0

Under scrutiny? Photo: Chris Young / CC-BY-SA 4.0

Today (8 February 2021) served a slice of hope that The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) might at last make good on its promise to review the current outdated legislation on loaf labelling and marketing.

In-depth consideration

In the notes for a new consultation, which includes a review of the regulation in England of the import and export of unfortified flour, Defra states:

'The possibility of making additional changes to the Bread and Flour Regulations has been the subject of discussion with industry and the other UK nations; those further possible changes are however not included in this consultation, which is concerned primarily with making adjustments required in connection with the UK’s exit from the EU and the end of the Transition Period. We believe that those other changes need more in-depth consideration, which we plan to pursue later in 2021.'

What and when?

In response, the Real Bread Campaign coordinator once again followed up his (still unanswered) email of October 2020 to the current Secretary of State, George Eustice. He asked for confirmation of when this 'more in-depth consideration' will take place and that it will include a public consultation on the Honest Crust Act reform called for by the Real Bread Campaign, ie:

  1. A reform of labelling regulations to require full ingredient labelling of all loaves, wraps, sandwiches etc. to better protect shoppers, helping them to avoid additives (including so-called processing aids) and/or specific ingredients, for whatever reason(s) they want or need to do so.  
  2. Improved marketing regulations to prevent the misleading use of descriptors including fresh / freshly-baked, wholegrain, sourdough, heritage / ancient grains, craft and artisan.

Tireless lobbying

For over a decade, the Real Bread Campaign has been lobbying tirelessly for an Honest Crust Act of improved loaf labelling and marketing law. In November 2018, the Campaign secured a commitment from Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that the government would review the current legislation after Britain leaves the EU.

See also

Published Monday 8 February 2021

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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