News Real Bread Campaign

Bread: pressing Defra for answers

Real Bread Campaign follows up on sourfaux, wholemeal and more.

Seeking protection from misleading marketing. Credit: Canva / Chris Young / www.realbreadcampaign.org CC-BY-SA-4.0

Seeking protection from misleading marketing. Credit: Canva / Chris Young / www.realbreadcampaign.org CC-BY-SA-4.0

On 19 June 2023, Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator Chris Young sent the following email to to the Secretary of State and Minister of State at Defra.

Dear Thérèse and Mark,

It is now more than 20 working days since I sent you this letter, signed by more than 1000 genuine sourdough bread bakers and buyers.

1) Will you please review and withdraw your endorsement of the proposed code, as well as your dismissal of regulating use of the word sourdough?

2) Through what means and exactly when will we and all other stakeholders get to have our say on the review of regulations relating to the rest of the Campaign’s Honest Crust Act proposals? When will the public consultation(s) be on each of its elements?

Two related questions:

3) Exactly when will the summary of responses and Government response to the public consultation on the mandatory addition of folic acid to flour, and proposed exemptions for small mills and flour milled from wheats other than T. aestivum, be published? The most recent estimate we saw from Mr. Spencer was ‘later this summer’ – are you able to give a more precise ETA yet?

4) When will Defra publish either a revised version of Article 6 of the Bread and Flour Regulations (which requires that the word wholemeal can only be used in the name, labelling or advertising of a product if 100% of the flour is wholemeal) or at least clarification for consumer protection bodies on its enforcement? 

On point 4, it is one year this week since we first contacted a number of companies using the word wholemeal to market products made with 50% white flour. We subsequently submitted trading standards complaints. To date, two local authorities have contacted Defra as they were unable to make a decision without guidance, with a third saying last Friday that they would do the same. 

Published 19 Jun 2023

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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