CHOICE membership

Bakery Bread Labeling

shopping

#1

I was recently looking at the ingredients, etc on bread packaging. On looking at a sliced and wrapped loaf from a local bakery it was apparent they provide none. I’ve since observed there is none on sliced and wrapped bread from several other bakeries we purchase from where most convenient. Several appear to use the same generic wrapper.

There are exemptions. Consumers are also back into the realm of state regulation for enforcement.

There are practicalities the code responds to for unwrapped products, and some alternate requirements for providing product information.

I was left wondering though if the exemptions were being abused. Were some or all products sold at a particular bakery as one example, being manufactured by a third party, and sold wrapped without identification or labels?

Arguably not exempt, or is this a grey area for consumer law?

P.S.
Fresh fruit and veg is perhaps a bigger target, given there are no picked, best by or producer specific details evident in the supermarkets. Although some prepackaged products such as berries and salad mixes do offer such details.


#2

What about allergen warnings as well eg may contain wheat, sesame, tree nuts, soy, milk or … None appear on most of these breads and other items in a bakery. What’s in a pie? I guess the argument is that they are the maker of the product and the consumer can ask, but what if they employ a baker who goes home before sales start and they add some allergy causing product that someone cannot tolerate. How would the staff or consumer know?


#3

Thanks for raising the issue @mark_m, I’ve passed it on to my colleagues working on food and labelling issues.


#4

Bakers Delight will provide you access to a full ingredient and possible allergens listing at the shop if you ask. Smaller bakeries, I’ve never asked.


#5

We have experience of some bakeries in Inala (Brisbane) which use the same packaging even though they are owned by different families and also products are baked in store. It may be a case of the same packaging supplier gaining local business (from most of the bakeries), the packaging supplier being the cheapest (which I assume is possibly the case) or there is an expectation of the customer of the type, colour and materials of the packaging used for bread product (one bakery doesn’t want to be seen as different to others).

It may be some of all three in the end.


#6

And what if the bakery has no dough mixers, proofing racks or bread oven?

I could list a number of examples from urban Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast region.

The exemptions appear to permit an owner to bake off site.


#7

It could be that some bakeries are agencies of other bakeries…they have a main store that they bake and sell, and another retail shop nearby that they sell (a bit like an off licence for another retail outlet for a working hotel).


#8

Bakers Delight has all the information about the ingredients on their website. Also if you ask, they will show you a paper with a printed list of ingredients. At least it is what happened when I asked. Some of their breads have no preservatives, and it is the bread I buy.


#9

I can’t completely agree with this. What about those little stickers they have on fruit for example with the grower & a produce number. We have taken issue with some bad fruit sold to us at WW, and they took the lablel number so they could tcollate it with other returns/complaints and track it back to the exact grower.

Even with unmarked loose vegetables I have a suspicion that they can track back by delivery to the supplier and grower.


#10

Perhaps WW etc can, as you suggest.

But can we as consumers for the majority of the F&V readily determine for the produce the date it was picked or the locality it is from? Of course not, as that detail is not on the store shelf or trays.

Another point is that the growers/producer typically looses all control of the produce within 24hrs of harvesting. If there is a problem with fresh produce it is almost totally within the control of the super market. Knowing the producer from any little sticker and number simply allows the supermarket to determine how long has past since purchase by them of the item. And hopefully back track their storage and handling in the week or months since purchase. It doesn’t need to be the grower or any similar detail. It could be any assigned code relating to a supply order, that can also uniquely identify and trace the product.