Information for existing and would-be Real Bread business owners
A major part of our work is supporting bakers in making Real Bread accessible to all.
Update: Following our successful crowdfunding campaign, we will publish Knead to Know...more, the updated and expanded 10th anniversary edition, in November 2021
Knead to Know is the introductory guide to success in bringing Real Bread to the heart of your local community.
Across more than 140 pages, our unique guide gives you information on business models, legislation, money matters, equipment, ingredients, basic recipes, techniques, voluntary apprenticeships, courses, equipment and ingredient suppliers and much more..
We're always interested in finding baking colleges and other organisations that provide accredited courses in baking Real Bread for a living.
In the meantime, please visit our Real Bread Map, which includes some baking schools that offer training designed for professonal bakers.
If your college/school offers courses in professional Real Bread baking, please sign-up here to create a record and add the details to our map.
'...all the emails flying around have helped me enormously. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for joining in and helping struggling novices like myself; I feel really honoured to be part of this bread community.' Jo Bottrill, Jo's Loaves
Real Bread Campaign supporters have exclusive access to The Real Baker-e. This online forum allows you to post messages, advertise job vacancies (or offer services), equipment, and chat with fellow supporters.
For access, join us today.
We cover legislation relevant to the small independent Real Bread baker in Knead to Know. The following are either not in the book or have changed since its publication.
NB We are unable to give further advice, so if you require any, please contact the relevant department of your local authority.
You can find more information at:
In this section:
New labelling rules for food that is pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) come into force in October 2021.
In 2011, the European Parliament published Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (EU FIC). In the UK, these are to be read in conjunction with the Food Information Regulations 2014 (FIR 2014).
The changes most likely to affect small, independent Real Bread bakeries are around non-prepacked foods and food prepacked for direct sale (eg bread sold at a bakery or by the baker at a farmers' market) on the communication of:
In the case of foods prepacked for direct sale or sold non-prepacked from 13 December 2014, this information must be provided either:
Details of allergens may instead be communicated verbally. See below for more details on both of these requirements.
NB More rules apply for distance selling and prepacked foods, and some rules differ.
An Honest Crust Act
The Real Bread Campaign demands the rights of shoppers be better protected by the provision of far more information than this to be made mandatory.
In the meantime, we urge all bakers, and retailers of baked goods, to give shoppers this information voluntarily.
For more on this, click here.
Article 17 of EU FIC requires this to be '...its legal name. In the absence of such a name, the name of the food shall be its customary name, or, if there is no customary name or the customary name is not used, a descriptive name of the food shall be provided.'
Draft guidance to the FIC/FIR published by Defra in July 2014 advises: 'A ‘customary name’ is a name which, over time, has come to be accepted by consumers in the UK as the name of the food without it needing further explanation. Some examples are ‘fish fingers’ and ‘Bakewell tart’. Some names of foreign origin, such as ‘muesli’ and ‘spaghetti’ have also become customary names in the UK. A name which is customary in a particular area (e.g. an ‘Essex Huffer’) might not be understood on its own if it is used as the name for the same food when it is sold outside that area. Consideration will therefore need to be given as to whether or not further information describing the food needs to be provided as part of the name of the food. A descriptive name must not be misleading.'
There are 14 food allergens that must be declared to consumers: cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, nuts, soybeans, milk, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin and sulphur dioxide.
The cereals are: rye, barley, oats, triticale and all types of wheat (including 'heritage' and 'ancient' types such as spelt, eincorn, emmer, khorasan/kamut) and their hybridised strains.
This can be done in print or (in the case of food sold unwrapped) verbally.
NB The use of allergen boxes on labels (eg 'may contain nuts') is no longer sufficient: each allergen must be made clear on the ingredients list, eg by writing in bold print.
Find further information at:
On 1 October 2011, the long-standing law regulating the weight of unwrapped loaves (i.e. sold loose or in an unsealed bag/wrapper) in the UK changed.
As a result of The Weights and Measures (Specified Quantities) (Unwrapped Bread and Intoxicating Liquor) Order 2011, it is now legal to sell unwrapped bread of any weight (i.e. not just the old standard 400g or 800g loaves), provided that the weight is shown on a label, ticket or notice at point of sale.
Therefore it is now legal to sell loaves of 1kg, 500g etc. but you MUST display the weight. NB You don't need to show the weight of 400g or 800g loaves, you can simply label them as 'small' or 'large', respectively.
If selling part loaves (eg quarter, half or third, you MUST weigh each piece and advise the customer of it, either verbally or visually using a label or signage.
The Trading Standards Institute published this guide.
We will publish advice on scaling weights (i.e. how much dough is needed to produce a loaf of a given weight after moisture loss during baking) in the revised edition of Knead to Know, due in late 2021.
New EU legislation of information and claims regarding gluten in all foods came into force in January 2012. The terms that can be used are:
NB - Unless spelt, sourdough or any other product meets one of the criteria above, you cannot make any claims about its suitability for people avoiding gluten.
The Food Standards Agency's guidance notes go on to say:
"If food does not comply with these new rules, it cannot be described as ‘gluten-free’ or ‘very low gluten’. But businesses could make a factual statement such as ‘no gluten-containing ingredients’, to let customers know that the food doesn’t contain any of these ingredients. If businesses do use these factual statements it is important that they take appropriate steps to manage cross-contamination from gluten-containing foods. Businesses need to be clear that they are not suggesting the food is suitable for someone with coeliac disease."
For the notes and more information click here.
Restrictions on the use of the words ‘wholemeal’ and ‘wheat germ’
1) There shall not be used in the labelling or advertising of bread, as part of the name of the bread, whether or not qualified by other words—
(a) the word ‘wholemeal’ unless all the flour used as an ingredient in the preparation of the bread is wholemeal;
(b) the word ‘wheat germ’ unless the bread has an added processed wheat germ content of not less than 10 per cent calculated on the dry matter of the bread
2) No person shall sell or advertise for sale any bread in contravention of this regulation.
i.e. you can only use the word 'wholemeal' in the name and/or any reference to a loaf if the only flour used in it is wholemeal.
Should you spot a loaf with other flour (e.g. half white, half wholemeal) named or marketed using the word 'wholemeal', it could be in breach of the regulations. Should you wish to take action, please contact your local trading stanadards office - and please let us know how you get on.
You can find official guidance notes from the Food Standards Agency here
Health/nutritional claims are governed by EU and national legislation. Note that no health or nutrition claims can be made legally regarding sourdough - so 'more digestible', 'healthier', 'more nutritious' etc. are all out.
Sourdough is NOT YEAST FREE! Labelling/marketing it as such could land you in trouble with trading standards. Read more here.
There are laws governing the use of the word organic. Click here for more information.
Looking for a Real Bread job? Run a Real Bread bakery and looking for staff?
We mine this for our enewsletter, Breadcrumbs, and social media posts.
Other websites with bakery job pages (though not all will be at Real Bread bakeries) include:
Obviously, you will take steps to minimise wastage, both in your ordering and production. These include:
If you do find yourself with leftovers, your options include:
Here are some more food redistribution organisations that will collect food waste and use it to feed people most in need of a decent meal.
There might be others local to you. If you run a similar organisation, small or large, and would like to appear on this list please get in touch.
This is the last resort if your attempts to prevent left over bread in the first place, or finding ways to make sure someone gets to eat it, fail.