A document setting out a so-called code of practice for producing sourdough bread has been branded a “cheats’ charter” by the Real Bread Campaign.

The ‘better bread’ campaign group says the document, which has been sent to the UK Government ’s food and farming department Defra by five trade bodies*, effectively is demanding a “sourfaux free-for-all”. 

The Real Bread Campaign has written to Defra, urging the department to reject the proposed code, which it says would allow for the use of processing and agents, which are never used in authentic sourdough bread. 

Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: “We believe that the industrial loaf fabricators’ proposed code undermines the integrity of the word sourdough with muddled meanings that would make things more, not less, confusing for shoppers. Its adoption would create a sourfaux free-for-all, which would also have a negative impact on Real Bread bakeries of all sizes that bake genuine sourdough.”

Young says that industrial bread producers are trying to muscle their way into the sourdough bread market, but only if they can cut corners. “Industrial loaf manufacturers came late to the sourdough game and are now attempting to bully their way in as if they own it. Sidelining the true custodians of the ancient craft, trying to rewrite the rules to suit their own commercial needs, and cashing in with fundamentally different products is just wrong.”

*ABIM (The Association of Baking Ingredients Manufacturers), The British Sandwich and Food To Go Association, Craft Bakers’ Association, Federation of Bakers, and PAPA (Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association)