(Image: Bandicoot TV/ITV)" srcset="https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/resources/images/16401181.jpg?type=mds-article-575 575w, https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/resources/images/16401181.jpg?type=mds-article-962 962w, https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/resources/images/16401181.jpg?type=mds-article-642 642w, https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/resources/images/16401181.jpg?type=mds-article-620 620w"> The Real Bread Campaign argued that legally the term 'wholemeal' can "only be used in a product name or marketing if all of the flour in that product is wholemeal''. (PA/Canva) (Image: Bandicoot TV/ITV)
UK shoppers have been warned that a popular bread product is leaving shelves at Iceland.
The major supermarket has reportedly pulled its own-brand 'half-and-half' loaf following protests from 'The Real Bread Campaign'.
The campaign group wrote to five supermarkets in June 2022 over the marketing of its 'half-and-half' products which are presented as 50 per cent white and 50 per cent wholemeal.
The Real Bread Campaign argued that legally the term 'wholemeal' can "only be used in a product name or marketing if all of the flour in that product is wholemeal''.
Hovis ‘wholemeal’ case referred to government: #RealBreadCampaign trading standards complaint escalated to @DefraGovUK for ‘greater clarity’ on half white loaf marketing >> https://t.co/lQz5m58sfK #defra #consumerprotection #tradingstandards pic.twitter.com/jJ4BRtz2g7— Chris Young, Real Bread Campaign coordinator (@RealBread) January 26, 2023
'Half and Half' loaves 'pulled' from Iceland shelves over branding
The protest group said that Iceland has already pulled its own-brand product from shelves following the trading standards complaint.
Since the initial letter, the organisation has continued to follow up with the likes of Hovis, Aldi and Warbutons.
The loaves that are being targeted by the campaign include:
- Aldi / Village Bakery - Both in One
- Hovis - Best of Both
- Iceland - 50 per cent White and Wholemeal
- Jacksons - Bloomin' Both
- Warburtons - Half White Half Wholemeal
The campaign has also made complaints to various local councils including Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, Buckinghamshire and Surrey County Councils, Hull City Council and London Borough of Waltham Forest.
One council has reportedly referred the complaint to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
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A policy officer in Defra’s Food Compositional Standards Team responded to the complaint in December, writing:"The matter has been brought to the attention of officials within the food compositional standards and labelling framework and we are still considering the best course of action to address this issue."
The Campaign has since followed up with Defra on both January 19 and 26 2023.
Coordinator of the Real Bread Campaign, Chris Young, has said: “The law is clear on what you can and can’t name and market using the word wholemeal.
''It’s good to see Iceland’s move in line with this, though they could’ve just renamed the product. The problem here is that the law and official guidance clearly state that the word wholemeal can only be used in a product name or marketing if all of the flour in that product is wholemeal.
''While we're working hard to convince the government to improve loaf labelling and marketing legislation in the UK, it's a worry if manufacturers and retailers can't even follow the law as it stands.
"Evidently there’s an issue with the content, understanding and enforcement of current legislation, a full overhaul of which is long overdue.
"Bakers helping people to trade up from 100 per cent white to at least fifty-fifty is a good thing. What we don't want to see from industrial loaf fabricators is any marketing that's misleading or otherwise breaches applicable regulations.
''While they're at it, we'd love to see them ditching the additives they use, all of which are unnecessary by definition."