Tesco has committed to replacing or removing some of the packaging it uses for items such as bread loaves, doughnuts and pastries in its in-store bakeries.
The UK’s leading retailer was praised by the Real Bread Campaign for the move, who have been previously asking Tesco to reduce the total amount of packaging it uses for its freshly baked products.
However, the ethical baked goods organisation also expressed concern that the supermarket might use the move as an opportunity to stop making essential product information readily available to shoppers.
UK law states that brands and manufacturers should print full lists of ingredients and additives on food packaging, but retailers only have to make an allergen declaration for food that is sold unpackaged – like a loaf of bread.
The Real Bread Campaign wrote to Tesco group quality director, Sarah Bradbury, asking for confirmation that the company would voluntarily commit to displaying full ingredient lists for unwrapped baked products.
Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator, Chris Young, said: “We welcome any manufacturer or retailer finding more sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic and reducing the total amount of packaging it uses for bread or industrial loaf products.”
At the same time, Young was worried that Tesco may choose not to display important ingredient information on shelf labels.
He added: “If, like me, you’ve ever stood by a supermarket baked products section without any access to the company’s website, you’ll know how unnecessarily hard it can be to find out about what certain products might contain.”
As part of its Honest Crust Act work since 2009, the Real Bread Campaign has lobbied for mandatory full ingredient labelling of all bread and industrial loaf products and repeatedly called on all bakers and retailers to adopt the proposals.
The news comes as Tesco breaks its pledge to not offer multibuy deals featuring HFSS products by including pizza and frozen desserts in a ‘5 for 4’ promotional Clubcard campaign.