Sourdough Code of Practice

The UK Baking Industry Code of Practice for the Labelling of Sourdough Bread and Rolls (January 2023) 

ABIM Sourdough CoP FAQ document


ABIM Sourdough Code of Practice

The Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) is responsible for representing and promoting common interests of UK Manufacturers and Suppliers of quality ingredients to the baking industry.

ABIM launched their Sourdough Code of Practice (CoP) 31st January 2023 after years of industry stakeholder input and development. The Federation of Bakers were part of the collaboration with industry and ABIM to provide insight and aid the progression of the CoP.

The CoP was created to support the bakery industry to implement the best practice when labelling sourdough bread and rolls. It gives advice on how to label packaged products taking into account differences between sourdough as a skilled bread making process and sourdough as an ingredient added to an artisan bread recipe.

The CoP provides detailed definitions of sourdough and sourdough ingredients specifically for the purpose of marketing and labelling. It is understood sourdough is: ‘The name given to a mixture of flour and water that has been allowed to spontaneously ferment’. The CoP explores different ways sourdough can be produced and touches on regulations and codes relating to sourdough manufacture in other countries. The result of the CoP is three clear definitions for labelling and marketing purposes, including worked examples with the addition of a decision tree to aid the user in choosing the right labelling term for their product e.g. ‘Sourdough (product name)’, ‘(product name with sourdough’ or ‘Sourdough flavour (product name)’.

ABIM have stressed it is important to note the CoP is a self-regulatory, voluntary code produced through industry collaboration. Providing a set of terms and definitions for the use of labelling sourdough bread and rolls. To view the CoP on ABIM’s website click the link at the top of this page.