The power of real bread - the ethical fishmonger - the one true Stilton that cannot bear the name - FSA report on prosecutions - Slow Food reinvents Terra Madre Salone del Gusto ... and a full news round up

Newsletter No. 29   Winter 2015



Real bread continues to provide inspiration
Real Bread Campaign
Real Bread: The Uprising in September earlier this year was a great success with around 200 domestic, community, therapeutic and professional bakers, and enthusiasts meeting to share experiences and ideas. Artisan Food Law was proud to be present at this event which marked a milestone in the growth of the movement. The evidence, however, is all around as almost on a daily basis good news stories abound, including Real Bread Ireland on the rise and many local success stories. The power of real bread is no better demonstrated than in its capacity to bring about social change.
 
 
Francesca Barker was given an 18 month suspended sentence for fraud, then along came real bread and she turned her life around making bread and has now opened her own bakery in Littleborough.
 
The Freedom Bakery operates at HMP Low Moss, Glasgow and follows similar schemes in London and Italy in training offenders to bake and create pastries during their sentence. These are just a few of the inspirational stories of recent months.
 
The Real Bread Campaign itself has achieved significant successes, most recently when the Advertising Standards Authority upheld its complaint that Iceland Foods depiction of industrially processed bread in an advertisement was misleading and in breach of the Code of Advertising Practice.
 
There has never been a better time to join a growing band of people that care about the state of one of our most basic foods. Join the Real Bread Campaign or, if you are already a member, make a gift subscription and recruit more people to the cause.
 
Real food is good for the soul; real bread changes lives!
 
The Sole of Discretion – an ethical fishmonger
Sole of Discretion

Yes, this is a crowdfunding project, but if you care about food and have a conscience it's one you must seriously consider!
 
The Sole of Discretion is an ethical fishmonger and a social enterprise owned by the local fishing community. It aims to create a stable market and distribution system for a network of small-scale fishers around the UK. Fishers will get fair prices, boosting local economies, and be rewarded for fishing with environmental sensitivity. You get great value, good quality fish. What’s not to like?
 
The project has just reached its initial target of £10,000 but it doesn't stop there, another £5,000 raised will mean the project does not have to borrow cash to get started. Crowdfunding runs until 8 January 2016 so dig deep in a good cause and help Sole of Discretion get off to a flying start.
 



Stichelton – the only true Stilton cheese
Stichelton cheese

In 2012, Randolph Hodgson and Joe Schneider sought a change in the PDO specification for Stilton cheese to permit the use of raw milk in the way in which it always used to be made. Last month, however, Defra refused to grant their request and a change to amend the specification for Stilton will not now go forward to the European Commission for approval.

Across Europe the use of raw milk for traditional cheeses is routinely required, but the power of the corporate dairies which today own Stilton cheese producers and have the ear of Defra won the day. This leaves the UK, rather embarassingly, in a situation where Stichelton, the only true Stilton, is not allowed to bear the name.
 
Food law prosecutions
FSA prosecutions
The Food Standards Agency recently published Food Law Enforcement in the UK: Official Statistics 2014-15. The FSA maintains a database of food standards, food hygiene and food safety related prosecutions for enforcement authorities, but it is public register which anyone may usefully consult.

Since 1 April this year there have been 419 prosecutions. A little over a quarter related to cleaning offences while other common offences involved unfit food, a lack of hand washing facilities and food safety training, and pest control issues. The FSA's mapping of prosecutions makes for some interesting viewing and makes it easy to check out your local area.
 
Slow Food reinvents Terra Madre Salone del Gusto
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

The 20th edition of Slow Food's Salone del Gusto will be turned upside down with a new innovative approach. In a move designed to emphasise the fact that good, clean and fair food belongs to everyone a new 'Terra Madre Salone del Gusto' will take place a month earlier - 22 to 26 September 2016 - and occupy some of the most beautiful and prestigious sites in the centre of the city of Turin: the Parco del Valentino, Borgo Medievale, Palazzo Reale, Teatro Carignano, Circolo dei Lettori and Reggia di Venaria are just some of the venues.
 
It will be a very special occasion bringing thousands of farmers and food producers from 150 countries together in the greatest celebration of its kind. Make a note in your diary now - 22 to 26 September - see you there!
 

Season’s Greetings from Artisan Food Law
 

 
Wishing you a relaxing festive break however you may choose to celebrate the occasion – or even if your choice is to hide away for the next few days!
 
"I can highly recommend Artisan Food Law, it’s a hugely useful and expert information resource on the law affecting artisan and small scale food producers."
 
Joanna Blythman
Award winning author and investigative journalist


Meanwhile …
 
Law and policy
COP21 conference in Paris barely touched on food. Why does food matter for climate change? Well, it’s a major factor driving it yet barely gets a mention. Tim Lang and Rebecca Wells from London's City University make the case for systemic change.
 
NYC restaurants with 15+ locations must indicate dishes that contain more than the 2,300mg of salt – the FDA’s recommended daily maximum. 10% of restaurant items will require the warning. Soon after a restaurant group sued NYC over the salt law because it only applies to certain food vendors and violates the free speech of restaurateurs.
 
New study highlights hygiene concerns over raw milk cheese purchased online - some took 6 days to deliver!
 
The loss of biodiversity - 95% of the world’s calories come from 30 species. We cultivate 150 out of 30,000 edible plant species and the 30 birds and mammals domesticated for food, 14 provide 90% of food from livestock.
 
'Allergen safe' is a more positive message than 'may contain ...' but does it simply move the confusion from consumer to food producer?
 
US FDA is seeking views on the use of the term 'natural' in food labelling - will high fructose corn syrup and genetically engineered foods emerge 'natural'?
 
Artisan foods
The Freedom Bakery operates at HMP Low Moss, Glasgow and follows similar schemes in London and Italy by training offenders to bake and create pastries during their sentence.
 
Delph House Farm is one of only a handful of farms in the country where a vending machine has been installed to store and dispense morning fresh milk and one of two in the UK to serve up raw milk.
 
BBC Food Programme continues to explore products from the Ark of Taste. The latest episode featured Dorset Blue Vinny, a skimmed-milk cheese which used to be made with milk left over from butter-making.
 
Real Bread Ireland is on the rise – with a little help from Bread Matters.
 
3,000 cheeses and a very pungent room - inside the World Cheese Awards 2015.
 
In March this year, a group of unemployed women refugees from Iran, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and Sri Lanka gathered in east London to learn how to bake bread.
 
Francesca Barker was given an 18 month suspended sentence for fraud, then along came real bread and she turned her life around making bread and has now opened her own bakery in Littleborough. Real food is good for the soul and  can change lives!
 
Acclaimed photographer Martin Parr documents the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell, famous for producing early-forced rhubarb.
 

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