News Real Bread Campaign

Sourfaux code: Food Standards Agencies’ reaction

A response to the Real Bread Campaign's call to reject.

No-time sourdough in a packet, anyone?. Credit: Chris Young / CC-BY-SA-4.0

No-time sourdough in a packet, anyone?. Credit: Chris Young / CC-BY-SA-4.0

On 6 February 2023, the Real Bread Campaign sent an email to the Food Standards Agency, urging them to reject a so-called sourdough code of practice.

On 23 March 2023, a Senior Policy Advisor at the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland replied:

"Thank you for your email. The 'UK Baking Industry Code of Practice for the Labelling of Sourdough Bread and Rolls' has been developed by The Association of Bakery Ingredients Manufacturers (ABIM), with the intention to support the bakery industry with consistency and best practice in relation to the labelling of sourdough bread and rolls. 

The FSA hold food compositional standards and labelling (FCSL) policy in respect to Northern Ireland and Wales, Defra held in England and Food Standards Scotland held in Scotland. 

Existing food labelling and compositional rules are there to protect against food information misleading consumers and ensures certain foods meet any required compositional standards. Guidance is not an authoritative statement of law.  

Enforcement of food labelling and compositional rules rests with District Councils in Northern Ireland and Local Authorities in Wales and ultimately it is only the courts that can arbitrate the law in a legally binding way."

On 27 March, the Real Bread Campaign coordinator replied: “Am I correct in understanding from this that FSA, FSANI and FSS have no interest in the proposed code and will not be endorsing, or referring people to, it?”

Reject the sourfaux code
Do you make (or simply enjoy eating) genuine sourdough bread in the UK?

If so, please add your name to the Real Bread Campaign’s letter urging the UK government to withdraw its endorsement of a so-called ‘UK Baking Industry Code of Practice for the Labelling of Sourdough Bread and Rolls’.

[The mock up image represents one of the three (!) definitions of sourdough that the proposed code seeks to legitimise.]

See also

Published 27 Mar 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.

Latest related news

Credit: Sustain

Ask your MP to end the school food postcode lottery now

Take action

Support our charity

Your donation will help support the spread of baking skills and access to real bread.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2023
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies