The Real Bread Loaf Mark

The Real Bread Loaf Mark is your at-a-glance assurance from the baker to buyer.

For shoppers

For bakers and retailers*

* By retailer, we mean any third party selling Real Bread - e.g. shop, cafe, farm shop etc.

Ready to sign up for The Real Bread Loaf Mark scheme?
Download The Loaf Mark scheme agreement form (.docx)
Download The Loaf Mark scheme agreement form (.pdf
)


How it works

  • A baker/retailer signs an annual agreement that he/she will only use The Loaf Mark to promote what the Campaign calls Real Bread and The Sourdough Loaf Mark to promote genuine sourdough.
  • You simply need to Look for The Loaf Mark!

We still lobby and campaign for a legal defintion of sourdough and mandatory full ingredient (and, if used, additive) listing for all loaves, and call upon all bakers and retailers to do so voluntarily in the meantime.


What is Real Bread?

The Campaign defines Real Bread as made with all-natural ingredients, and without the use of any processing aids, chemical leavening or other additives*. 

This might sound simple enough (erm, because it is) but sadly something like 95-97% of the loaves sold in Britain fail to reach this ridiculously low bar.

Loaves, rolls, flatbreads, pizza bases and more can all be Real Bread...if the baker chooses.

What is sourdough?

Genuine sourdough is Real Bread leavened only using a live sourdough starter culture.

* Though at present we have to make the exception of the so-called 'fortificants' the law requires millers in the UK and some other countries to add to almost all bread flour. Click here for details.


What shoppers should look for

  • A baker or retailer should display The Real Bread Loaf Mark (see above) either on the product packaging or shelf/basket of a product that they promise is additive-free, and the Sourdough Loaf Mark for genuine sourdough.
  • If this applies to every bready product, then there will be a poster or other signage to make this absolutely clear. 
  • Without such a sign, it might be that only some loaves meet the Campaign's basic additive-free criterion / are genuine sourdough and you should ask to be sure.
  • We recommend that The Loaf Mark is also used in the appropriate points on websites.
  • Some smaller operations might just provide this information on leaflets at the point of sale (e.g. next to the loaves at a shop or stall)

To give you the chance to make a better-informed choice, we encourage all bakers and loaf retailers to display full lists of ingredients. We also encourage Real Bread bakers to let you know any more ways in which their bread is better bred.

NOT The Loaf Mark

This device/badge is a sign that someone is a paid-up supporter of our charity's. The user does not necessarily sell Real Bread.

Older versions of The Loaf Mark are now obsolete. Continued use might mean that the bakery no longer supports our charity's work and/or is using it to promote loaves that aren't additive-free.


How to sign up to the scheme

Want to join around the hundreds of bakeries that have signed up to the scheme since 2011?

Good!

Here's how:

  • If you're a baker, you simply need to sign an agreement that you'll only use The Loaf Mark to help you market products that are genuine sourdough or otherwise meet the Campaign's basic definition of Real Bread
  • If you're a retailer, you just need to sign an agreement in order to use The Loaf Mark to promote genuine sourdough or other Real Bread from a bakery that is signed up to the scheme as well.

We'll then reply to advise you of the relevant admin fee.

Though you don't have to be a Real Bread Campaign supporter, we'd love you to join us - fee reductions or waivers apply in certain cases at different Campaign supporter levels.

Ready to sign up for The Real Bread Loaf Mark scheme?
Download The Loaf Mark scheme agreement form (.docx)
Download The Loaf Mark scheme agreement form (.pdf
)


Better bred bread

"But I don't sell wholemeal long-fermented sourdough, made using locally-grown ancient wheat, stoneground by a local windmill and baked in a wood-fired earth oven."

That's fine. As long you make a product that meets our simple, universally-accessible criterion of no additives, you can apply to use The Real Bread Loaf Mark.

"But I do sell wholemeal long-fermented sourdough, made using locally-grown ancient wheat, stoneground by a local windmill and baked in a wood-fired earth oven!"

Great stuff! Then The Sourdough Loaf Mark is for you.

Whether or not you use either version of The Loaf Mark or not, we encourage all Real Bread bakers to let shoppers know any ways in which they are making their bread better for us, better for our communities, or better for the planet. These might include:

  • Longer, slower fermentation
  • Being fermented using a live sourdough starter culture
  • Made using wholemeal or stoneground flour
  • Made using local flour, preferably produced by a traditional mill, using locally-grown grain
  • With a salt content of 0.9% (by final loaf weight) or less
  • Made from certified organic ingredients
  • Operating a Community Supported Bakery

You can read more about these on our FAQs page.

This is of course in addition to displaying a full ingredients list - which in the case of Real Bread will be very short...


Why sign up for The Real Bread Loaf Mark scheme?

  • The Loaf Mark is of value to your business by providing an instant visual way of promoting a key selling point - this is Real Bread*. 
  • Your participation will also help to raise awareness of the Campaign and that not all loaves are created equal
  • The fee contributes to our charity's ongoing work championing the values of locally produced Real Bread and the bakers and retailers who sell it, as well as tackling the issues challenging its rise.

* This might sound pretty basic but it sets your bread apart from 95-97% (and perhaps more) of the loaves sold in the UK.


What are the benefits?

You benefit from:

  • Receiving a range of Loaf Mark artwork files to incorporate into your own marketing materials. These include artwork for labels, posters and flyers, as well as the logo itself to use in other printed marketing material.
  • Ongoing promotion of genuine sourdough and other Real Bread co-ordinated by the Real Bread Campaign, an organisation with a proven track record in securing coverage by high-profile media outlets, and initiatives that help participants raise awareness for themselves in local media.

Cost of participating in the scheme

The fee helps to fund our charity's work and also reflects that the scheme is of marketing value to the people selling Real Bread.

In order to make The Loaf Mark scheme as accessible as possible to Real Bread bakers and retailers of all scales, the annual administration fee is tiered according to total annual turnover (i.e. all sales of your business/enterprise, not just Real Bread).

NB - Even if you don't need to pay the annual admin fee, you will still need to sign the annual usage agreement before you can use The Loaf Mark.

Fees and waivers

Fee waivers are available for Campaign supporters at Level 2 and above, as outlined in the table below.

Annual turnover Loaf Mark annual admin fee
Up to £85,000 £10 for Level 1 supporters (waived for Level 2+)
Up to £85,000 £35 for non-supporters  
Between £85,001 and £250,000 £75 (waived for Level 3+)
Between £250,001 and £1,000,000 £150 (waived for Level 4)
More than £1,000,000 Contact the Campaign

 

If your enterprise's turnover is more than £1,000,000, please email the Campaign with details in order agree an appropriate fee.


FAQs

Q: Can The Loaf Mark be used for pizzas?
A: If the base is Real Bread, then yes! Real Bread doesn't have to be a loaf to qualify for The Loaf Mark.

Q: What if I make Real Bread but it's not wholemeal, long-fermented sourdough, made using locally-grown ancient wheat, stoneground by a local windmill and baked in a wood-fired earth oven?

A: Not a problem as none of those things is a criterion of the Campaign's basic definition of Real Bread. As long as you sell at least one additive-free loaf, you can sign up to the scheme to use The Real Bread Loaf Mark to promote it.

Q: I make a 'hybrid' additive-free loaf using a sourdough starter and baker's yeast. Can I use The Sourdough Loaf Mark?
A: You can sign up to the scheme and use The Real Bread Loaf Mark to promote it but not The Sourdough Loaf Mark.

Q: I make farls, wheaten loaves and scones using baking powder/soda. Can I promote them using The Loaf Mark?
A: No. Chemically-leavened products fall outside our basic definition of Real Bread.

Q: Once I've signed the usage agreement and (if applicable) paid the fee, how soon will I get confirmation and be able to start using The Loaf Mark?
A: We process Loaf Mark applications once a week, when we will send you confirmation and artwork.

Q: Why has the Real Bread Campaign created The Loaf Mark?
A: The scheme has been created help busy shoppers wanting to find Real Bread, and the people who are selling it. It allows any baker or retailer to let their customers know instantly which loaves are Real Bread using the same logo to represent the same information nationwide.

Q: What's the difference between The Real Bread Loaf Mark and other food marks?
A: The Loaf Mark is the only scheme we know of that requires loaves to be made without the use of additives. The intention is that it can be used alongside other marks that indicate other characteristics of the loaf, producer and/or business.

Q: If a bakery or shop displays The Loaf Mark, does that mean all loaves are what the Campaign calls Real Bread?
A: The annual agreement that a baker or retailer must sign before being able to participate in the scheme includes adherence to usage rules to ensure it is absolutely clear to which loaves The Loaf Mark applies. If this is all loaves in the bakery/shop, there will be clear indication of this. We still encourage all shoppers to ask questions if there is any doubt, and bakers and retailers to train their staff to be able to answer them fully.

Q: Is this a certification, accreditation or assurance scheme?
A: The Loaf Mark is a visual assurance to customers from an individual baker or retailer, rather than from the Real Bread Campaign. This avoids the need for potentially prohibitive time/cost inspection and certification process.

The Campaign believes that we should all be given the full facts about food and then left to make our own choices about what we eat. As such, The Loaf Mark is quantitative (i.e. refers only to a loaf being made without additives) not qualitative (e.g. someone has said that they like the taste or texture of a loaf).

Q: How is The Real Bread Loaf Mark scheme policed?
A: Any baker or retailer wanting to use The Loaf Mark must sign a usage agreement before being able to participate in the scheme. This they must renew on an annual basis. We have chosen not to do site visits as: a) this would push up the cost of administering the scheme, which we felt would exclude many of the small, local, independent Real Bread businesses we work to encourage, and b) only a chemical analysis on every single batch of loaves could ever prove that all loaves are Real Bread, which is obviously utterly impractical for a charity as small as ours.

If you believe The Loaf Mark is being misused, please have a quiet word with the bakery or retailer in question. If you're not satisfied with their response, please drop a short line to realbread@sustainweb.org

Q: Do I have to sign up for The Loaf Mark scheme to put my Real Bread on your map?
A: Though we'd love all Real Bread bakers to both join the Campaign and sign up for The Loaf Mark scheme, neither is required in order to add the Real Bread you bake to our Real Bread Map.

Q: I'm a Real Bread Campaign supporter / I have loaves on the Real Bread Finder map - am I automatically licensed to use The Loaf Mark?
A: No. You will still need to sign the usage agreement and, if applicable, pay the fee.

Q: I'm a supporter running a very small enterprise so why should I have to pay extra to use The Loaf Mark?
A: Many of our supporters don't bake Real Bread for sale. Rather than raise the annual contribution rate for supporters, we decided to make The Loaf Mark an optional extra that we believe is of value to business owners. The fee helps fund our charity's work

Q: I have signed up to The Loaf Mark scheme, will you put me on your map automatically?
A:
You are welcome to create (or if you are a Campaign supporter, amend) a record to give details of your Real Bread and where people can buy it.

Q: I'm a retailer and have signed up to The Loaf Mark scheme, will you put me on your map automatically?
A:
You will need to ask your Real Bread bakery to amend their Real Bread map listing to include your shop/outlet.

Q: I'm selling loaves made by a baker who is signed up to The Loaf Mark scheme - do I need to sign up, too?
A: Only if you will be displaying your own marketing material (point of sale, online, or elsewhere). If the only material including The Loaf Mark on display is that of the baker (e.g. on his/her loaf bags/labels/leaflets), then no you don't have to sign up.

Q: I'm selling loaves made by a baker who isn't signed up to The Loaf Mark scheme - can I still sign up?
A: No. A retailer can only sign up to use The Loaf Mark to promote Real Bread made by a baker signed up to the scheme.

Q: I'm a Campaign supporter but don't want to / can't sign up for The Loaf Mark scheme - can I just use the Campaign logo instead?
A: We're very happy (and grateful) for Campaign supporters who add our 'proud to support' badge on their website/blog or promotional leaflets. To avoid confusion with The Loaf Mark, we don't authorise businesses to display thhe basic Real Bread Campaign logo.

Q: Can I use The Loaf Mark or supporter badge on something more permanent: eg on my wall, sign or van?
A: No. Though it could look great, as the usage agreement is annual we're only authorising use of The Loaf Mark and supporter badge on ephemera - that is disposable marketing materials. You don't want to be repainting your van after a year...

Q: I think I've seen The Loaf Mark being misused - what should I do?
A: Please have a quiet word with the bakery or retailer in question. If you're not satisfied with their response, please drop a short line to realbread@sustainweb.org

If a bakery is marketing loaves as made without additives and you know this not to be true, this would be a matter to raise with the Trading Standards department of your local authority.

If we find The Loaf Mark being used by someone not licensed to use it, we will issue instructions for its removal.

Q: I have read this entire page and the usage agreement but still have a question, what do i do?
A: Please email it to realbread@sustainweb.org and we'll get back to you. Though we will get back to you as soon as we can, we aren't always able to answer emails every day, so please bear with us.

The Real Bread Campaign supporter badge

We invite and encourage all paid-up supporters of our charity's work to show it with pride.

In addition to The Loaf Mark, Campaign supporters can login to download the FREE Campaign supporter badge/device artwork to use on website, printed leaflets etc.

NB - This badge is simply a sign that someone is a paid-up Campaign supporter and is very kindly displaying this publicly. 

The does not necessarily mean that whoever is displaying it bakes or sells Real Bread.


Ready to sign up for The Real Bread Loaf Mark scheme?
Download The Loaf Mark scheme agreement form (.docx)
Download The Loaf Mark scheme agreement form (.pdf
)


email list

SHARE

Presents for the loaf lover in your lifeā€¦or yourself

SHOP NOW

Be part of the rise of Real Bread!

JOIN US

Make a doughnation

DONATE