News / Real Bread Campaign

Spain gets an Honest Crust Act

By Royal Decree, the country now has protection lacking in the UK and elsewhere, including legal definitions of wholegrain, sourdough and artisan bread.

El pan. Public domain

El pan. Public domain

Real Decreto 308/2019, de 26 de abril, por el que se aprueba la norma de calidad para el pan came into force on 1 July 2019. It sets out a range of definitions, including those of:

  • Bread
  • Pan integral / de grano entero (wholemeal / whole grain bread)
  • Masa madre de cultivo (live sourdough starter culture)
  • Elaboración artesana del pan (artisanal bread making)
  • Productos semielaborados (part-made/finished products)
  • Elaborado con larga fermentación (made using long fermentation)
  • Pan de horno de leña (wood-fired bread)

Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young, who has been lobbying for improved loaf labelling and marketing laws in the UK since 2009, said: “While the definitions and requirements laid out in this new Spanish law don’t all match those we propose, it’s just the sort of legal protection that British shoppers, genuine artisan bakers and small bakery owners also need and deserve.”

He added: “We’ll use it as an example later this year when holding Michael Gove to his word to review UK loaf labelling laws after we leave the EU.”


Spain’s existing food laws relating to bakery were reviewed and the new decree introduced recognition of the changes in manufacturing and commercialisation of the sector, and changes in consumption trends. Amongst other things, the preamble notes

  • The value consumers place on sourdough bread
  • That artisan bakery is a process in which ‘el factor humano’ is primary, and is carried out on a large scale under the direction of a genuine artisan baker
  • That the consumption of whole grains should be promoted, while the use of salt be limited
  • The need to protect Spanish shoppers from being misled by manufacturers and retailers using a range of terms inappropriately

The UK

While the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 define wholemeal flour and bread, in the UK there is no legal definition of bakery descriptors including:

  • Bread
  • Wholegrain
  • Sourdough
  • Artisan
  • Craft
  • Traditional
  • Heritage / ancient grains/wheat

There is also no legal requirement for retailers to display at the point of sale full lists of ingredients (and any additives used) for loaves, sandwiches etc. that are sold unwrapped.

See also

Published 17 Jul 2019

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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