News / Real Bread Campaign

Artisan baker = packet mix user?

The Real Bread Campaign is disappointed that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) appears unwilling to protect shoppers, and even some less knowledgeable bakers, from being misled.

The ASA declined to take action in the case of an advertisement for an ‘artisan bread’ mix on the grounds that professional bakers ‘will be aware of what Artisan means’ and that shoppers merely expect ‘artisan-style bread’. As a result, the ASA said it believed it unlikely that either group would be misled.

The advertisement also promises ‘sour dough’ [sic] with just 60 minutes’ fermentation, despite itself noting that genuine sourdough normally requires a ‘bulk fermentation period of up to 24 hours.’

Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: “This is deeply disappointing. Artisan bread is made using natural ingredients, specialist knowledge, skills and time, not a corner-cutting packet mix. The key ingredients in real sourdough are a live starter culture and time. We believe this to be misleading and that the ASA’s decision not to take action is at very least a disservice to both shoppers and genuine artisan bakers.”

By definition, artisan bread can only be made by a baker who has built up the knowledge and skills to be entitled to call him or herself an artisan baker, and who then makes the loaves using the techniques and ingredients of a genuine artisan baker.

The Campaign believes this yet again highlights the need for an Honest Crust Act that will, amongst other things, include legal definitions for artisan bread and sourdough. The Campaign is currently consulting its supporters on the next steps to take on this issue.

Read full details of the case.

Published 24 May 2016

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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