warburtons half half medium

Source: Warburtons

Loaves containing a blend of wheat flours should say ‘wholemeal’ only in ingredients

Bakery brands using the word ‘wholemeal’ to market their 50/50 loaves could be forced to relabel products, according to Defra.

A copy of a statement issued by Defra to Trading Standards officers – obtained by the Real Bread Campaign – outlines how the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 “prohibit the use of the term wholemeal in the naming or advertising” of products that contain a blend of wheat flours.

By making adjustments to the labelling of 50/50 loaves, it was “possible to market these products in a way which satisfies both the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 and FIC [Food Information to Consumers regulations]”, the Defra statement read.

The government department said loaves containing a blend of wheat flours should feature ‘wholemeal’ on the ingredients list but nowhere else on pack.

“We welcome this confirmation as a small victory for shoppers,” said Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator Chris Young.

“We trust that companies will be quick to amend the marketing of their half-and-half products, as well as removing refined flour from their otherwise wholemeal ones,” he added.

It comes after the Real Bread Campaign complained to Trading Standards last summer about loaves from nine retailers and brands.

The loaves in question were Aldi’s Village Bakery Both in One; Hovis Best of Both; Iceland 50% White & Wholemeal; Jacksons Bloomin’ Both; Lidl Rowan Hill Two in One White & Wholemeal; Sainsbury’s Both in One; and Warburtons Half White Half Wholemeal.

A Hovis spokeswoman said: “In line with the food industry, Hovis’ labelling conforms to the relevant UK and EU legislation.”

Andrea Martinez-Inchausti, assistant director of food at the British Retail Consortium added: “Unlike what the Real Bread Campaign states, the legal text in Regulation 6 of the Bread & Flour Regulation is unclear and can be interpreted in different ways.

“This has been confirmed by lawyers. The BRC is working with a group of other associations and our members’ Primary Authorities to try to arrive at a consensus interpretation.

“All bread products are clearly labelled and provide customers with all the information they need,” Martinez-Inchausti said

Jacksons declined to comment. Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s and Warburtons had not responded by the time of writing.