Posted: 02/03/2016

Defra dismisses campaign for legal definition of ‘artisan’ bread

artisan bread
Credit: Zharate/

The Real Bread Campaign says it will continue to push for legislation to define terms such as “artisan” despite a lukewarm response to its demands from Defra.

The lobby group met with Government officials in January as part of its call for an “ Honest Crust Act ” to prevent supermarkets using words such as “artisan” and “sourdough” on industrial products.

However, following the meeting, Defra said the craft bakery sector should either look at self-regulation or investigate the EU Protected Food Names scheme to differentiate genuine artisan loaves from mainstream breads.

“The government is anti-legislation and prefers self-regulation, but a voluntary system doesn’t make a level-playing field,” said Chris Young of the Real Bread Campaign.

Seeking PFN protection would be disproportionately expensive for smaller producers, he added.

However, Defra did tell the Real Bread Campaign it had been examining the Use of Food Marketing Terms guidance issued by Ireland’s Food Safety Authority last year, aimed at ensuring consumers are not misled by the use of marketing terms like “farmhouse”.

“[We] will keep in mind whether we should produce something similar,” it said.

Chris Young told FFD: “We would be happy to chat with small batch producers of other types of food and drink to see if there is a consensus on a definition for artisan.”

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