The products were promoted as ‘Baked Today, Sold Today’ and in some cases ‘Freshly Baked in Store’, when there were in fact partially baked and frozen off site by a supplier. They were then transported and ‘finished’ at Coles’ in-store bakeries, said campaign group Sustain.
Some of the bake-off loaves were found to have been originally produced as far away as Ireland.
‘Victory for shoppers’
In a statement released after the ruling, Sustain said: “The Real Bread Campaign sees the Australian ruling as a victory for shoppers and salutes the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for bringing about this successful action.
“In order to protect the rights of shoppers and of local, independent bakers who bake genuinely fresh Real Bread from scratch in their bakeries, we now call on UK authorities to follow this example with properly enforced legislation.
“We would like to see an Honest Crust Act to give meaningful, legal definitions to marketing terms including ‘freshly baked’, ‘artisan’ and ‘sourdough’.
It would also require full declaration of all artificial additives, including those currently deemed ‘processing aids’ on the label or at point of sale for all loaves, including those sold unwrapped.”
Sustain’s 2010 investigation of supermarket in-store bakeries concluded that most supermarket in-store bakery loaves were produced using artificial additives and processing aids. They were not being baked from scratch on-site, but produced elsewhere to be re-baked at a later date, it claimed.
“We question whether things have changed for the better, or if the ‘loaf tanning salon’ still dominates the supermarket ‘fresh bakery’ corner,” it added.