The Federation of Bakers has commissioned an academic to do detailed research outlining the damage persistent below cost selling is inflicting on the baking industry. Although the Competition Commission expressed concerns about the practice in its inquiry into supermarket pricing last year, no action was taken and bread continues to be sold as a loss leader, said FoB president John White. The research will be published in May, and White is hoping it will prompt the OFT to take another look. "There is a huge body of evidence to suggest below cost selling acts against the public interest," said White. "I'm not talking about short term bogofs and megadeals, but selling an 800g loaf of bread at 19p all year round." "I was hoping for a firmer line from the OFT but frankly, its consideration of possible remedies fell a bit short." Retailers said they doubted the OFT would launch a fresh investigation unless the FoB was able to come up with substantial new evidence. Association of Convenience Stores public affairs manager James Lowman said he would like to see OFT action: "There is no doubt it favours large retailers and this is particularly evident in bread." {{NEWS }}