The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigation team has recognised: “…that consumers were likely to associate the term Real Bread with the Campaign, and therefore any references to ‘Real Bread’ which related to bread that did not comply with the term as defined by the Campaign had the potential to mislead consumers.”
Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: “This recognition is a victory for Real Bread lovers who are left particularly vulnerable to the influence of marketing claims about unwrapped loaves as ingredients lists are not displayed. It underlines the fact that to protect consumer rights fully we need an Honest Crust Act that requires complete honesty and transparency in loaf labelling and marketing.”
The statement was made in the ASA investigation team’s draft recommendations (case A14-288611) in response to a complaint by Real Bread Campaign supporter Glenn Stephens of the local, independent Rex Artisan Bakery near Amersham, about a chain of baked product shops marketing itself as ‘The Home of Real Bread’, despite using the additives E300 and E516. The Real Bread Campaign’s basic definition of Real Bread is simply: made without the use of so-called processing aids or other artificial additives. The advertiser further claimed its loaves were specifically ‘hand-kneaded’, and ‘additive-free’, but then admitted to the ASA that its dough contained additives and is mixed by machines.
Stephens, said “We are delighted with the outcome as advertising in the food industry is full of weasel words and unfounded claims. This is a great boost for all small, independent bakers at risk of shoppers making unjustified like-for-like comparisons with competitors that don’t in fact live up to the spirit or letter of their marketing claims.”
The ASA investigation team’s draft recommendation was that the ASA should uphold Rex Bakery’s complaint in full as breaching CAP Code rule 3.1 on misleading advertising and that the ASA council should rule that the claims are not to be repeated. As the advertiser withdrew the advert after receiving the draft recommendation, the ASA dropped the case and the details have not been published publically.
According to The Bread and Flour Regulations 1998, full lists of ingredients and any additives used in making unwrapped loaves do not have to be displayed at the point of sale, and if deemed ‘processing aids’ additives do not even appear on the labels of wrapped loaves.
For more information on the Real Bread Campaign, please contact Chris Young:
chris [at] sustainweb.org or 0203 5596 777
For more information on Rex Artisan Bakery, please contact Glenn Stephens:
hello [at] rexbakery.com or 01494 764423
A few more crumbs…
The Real Bread Campaign is part of the food and farming charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. Starting from a universally accessible definition of Real Bread as: made without any artificial additives, its mission is to find and share ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.
The Campaign relies upon its supporter scheme and public donations to continue this work.
The Real Bread Campaign supporter scheme is open to everyone – you don’t have to be a baker to join us!
The Campaign’s mutually-supportive network helps bring together bakers and everyone else who loves the genuine thing, and questions what hidden costs might lie behind industrial alternatives. Launched in 2009 for the breadheads of Britain, the scheme has since attracted members in more than 20 countries.
Benefits for supporter include the exclusive magazine True Loaf, and a whole basket of discounts on Real Bread classes, ingredients and equipment.
Real Bread Campaign initiatives include:
- Rising Up: our report on the therapeutic, social and employment opportunities Real Bread making offers to people living with mental health issues and facing a range of other challenges.
- Together We Rise: the planned project based on the recommendations of Rising Up to help thousands of people to benefit.
- Knead to Know: the Real Bread starter. To date, more than 4000 people have benefitted from the Campaign’s guide to setting up a successful Community Supported Bakery or home-based microbakery, which is now published by Grub Street.
- The Real Bread Finder: The only online directory dedicated to helping people find where to buy Real Bread locally in now used by around 650 bakeries. Free for bakers to add, and people to seek, local places to buy Real Bread.
- The Real Bread Loaf Mark: is helping more than 160 bakers to give, and countless shoppers to get, an at-a-glance assurance that: ‘this is Real Bread!’
- Sourdough September: In light of growing evidence of the potential benefits genuine sourdough may have, and the worrying plague of industrial imitators, this is the annual awareness week with the cry: Life’s sweeter with sourdough!
Sustain annual conference - 8 December
Published 27 May 2015
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.