A ‘real bread’ mark is being launched to flag up loaves that are free from artificial additives.

Food policy pressure group Sustain said it would be rolling out the Loaf Mark in October as part of its Real Bread Campaign.

Under the initiative, ­bakers will be invited to sign an annual agreement pledging to use the mark only to promote loaves that contain no artificial ­additives and are made without the use of processing aids.

“A plain loaf of Real Bread is made using only flour, water, yeast and salt, though some flatbreads don’t require yeast and a small number of recipes don’t use salt,” said Sustain project officer Chris Young. “It is OK to use other ingredients as long as they are natural things your granny would recognise as food.”

The group said the only mainstream bread brand that would currently qualify to carry the mark was Vogel’s, which is produced by Real Bread Campaign member Nicholas & Harris.

Sustain expects initial ­interest to come from small independent local bakeries but said the mark could be adopted by larger supermarkets who either bake their own additive-free loaves on site or buy in products from local ­breadmakers.

“No ­artificial additives are necessary in breadmaking, so we’re encouraging people to phase them out,” said Young.

However, Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, said that the ingredients used in bread were already ­closely governed by laws and labelled clearly on packs.

“We believe all bread is real bread,” he added.