The BAGATELLE® Label Rouge (Red Label) baguette was created 20 years ago to protect and showcase French bread-bakers and flour-millers’ savoir-faire.
More about it from Caterine Deschamps, director of Club le Boulanger (The Baker Club).
Why was the red-label baguette created?
Caterine Deschamps: “The French baguette is a symbol of our culinary excellence – as its candidacy for UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage status shows.
In 2002, in order to showcase and defend that savoir-faire, the Club le Boulanger created the BAGATELLE®Label Rouge baguette. Nearly 200 bread bakers and almost a dozen flour-millers choose to defend a certain vision of what France’s bread should be: a product with an attachment to the traditions and know-how of artisanal bread-baking, along with a focus on extremely high standards for the ingredients, quality and taste.
“And consumers have stood up and taken notice: in 2020, over 12 million BAGATELLE® certified baguettes were produced, as compared to 7 million in 2010, for 41% growth in 10 years.”
What are the criteria required to obtain the label?
Caterine Deschamps: “The whole sector, from farmers to bakers via millers, is committed to this approach and respects three very precise sets of specifications. First, the choice of ingredients: the wheat chosen for the flour has to have certain qualities; then we regulate every stage of the process, including for example a ban on using insecticides during storage. The technological and health quality of “Red Label” flour is also strictly regulated. Finally comes the whole process of actually making the baguette, which follows very precise rules, like slow kneading and long fermentations. Making a certified baguette is a real commitment, because it requires real baker’s know-how.”
Are the bakers involved in this system inspected?
Caterine Deschamps: “In order to be allowed to use the Label Rouge, bakers are inspected twice a year to make sure all of the specifications are being followed. BAGATELLE® baguettes are sold in artisanal bakeries only. And one last thing: quality doesn’t mean the product is more expensive, because in 2020, the average price of a Label Rouge baguette in a bakery was €1.05.”
More info about the French bakery and pastry sector ? Have a look at our infographics.
 Candidacy submitted in March 2021, the organization will announce its decision this fall (2022).