Updating and improving UK bread laws

Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young says that change is long overdue but that the UK Government is ignoring the needs of shoppers and small bakery owners.

Ever noticed that there are no ingredients lists on display for unwrapped baked products in a supermarket? Have you heard of ‘processing aids’ – a way of categorising some additives so they don’t have to be declared even for products that are labelled? Did you know that almost all wheat flour (including certified organic) in the UK has things added to it by law? Are you also aware that there are no legal definitions of commonly-used bakery marketing terms, including freshly-baked, wholegrain, artisan, heritage/ancient grains and sourdough?

Following more than a decade of lobbying by the Real Bread Campaign, the UK Government and devolved administrations are at last reviewing The Bread and Flour Regulations. The trouble is, we believe that the focus of this once-in-a-generation process (the current regulations date back to 1998) is far too narrow. The review is more or less limited to looking at adding things to flour and how the rules are policed. Repeatedly we have raised other matters of composition, labelling and marketing that are of fundamental importance in supporting people’s right to make better-informed choices about the food they buy. None of these was discussed adequately by the Bread and Flour Technical Working Group set up by Defra for this review or included in the public consultation.


The Real Bread Campaign are pushing for more stringent labelling regulations in supermarket bakeries