We have reviewed our work in light of current needs.
In March 2020, our plan for the rest of the year went on hold when the world did. We carried out an initial survey that helped us to assess and respond to the immediate needs of Real Bread business owners, staff and customers, as well as those of homebakers. The new work we began in the following weeks included:
- Renewed campaigning encouraging people to buy Real Bread
- A frequently updated page of information for bakeries, staff and their customers
- The #LockdownLoafers initiative as an umbrella for recipes, videos, advice on finding flour and other information for homebakers from Campaign HQ, our official ambassadors and others supporters
- This guide to starting Real Bread deliveries and online sales
- This message sent to the Prime Minister asking for support and assurance for Real Bread business owners
- Inviting other bakery-related organisations to work with us on issues of shared interest/concern
Highlights of media coverage we have secured.
In mid-April, we canvassed opinion more widely, including asking our 21 official ambassadors, and inviting all Campaign supporters and friends to take part in our ‘what now?’ survey. Of more than 200 of you who responded, the three largest groups were:
- 53% Homebakers
- 39% Microbakers
- 25% Other Real Bread business owners (SME bakeries, baking schools, mills etc.)
Collectivelly you put the work we suggested that we could do in this order of priority:
- Providing information for Real Bread business owners
- Media work to encourage people to support Real Bread SMEs
- Providing information for domestic/hobby bakers
- Publishing recipes that substitute other ingredients for some or all of the bread flour
The other need most commonly expressed was help finding flour and yeast.
As noted at the start of this article, we are working on all of these issues already. Your latest feedback encourages us to continue prioritising them.
Responses from Campaign supporters and friends indicated that other suggestions (including online social or business-related webinars/gatherings/meetings; and lobbying the government on any issue) were of lower priority for the time being.
Though limited, there is interest in an online event for Real Bread business owners, so we are working with London Food Link, and other Sustain projects, to organise one open to all good food business folk. Keep an eye on our enewsletter, news page and social media for details.
Other things you asked for that we provide already include:
- A map of where to buy Real Bread, ingredients and equipment (including online and deliveries)
- A forum in which Campaign supporters can connect with each other to chat and ask for /share advice and information
- Guidance on setting up a microbakery / baking for others from home
Opinion was divided on the urgency of resuming active Honest Crust Act campaigning/lobbying for improved loaf labelling and marketing legislation; and of promotion of the known (and calling for research into the possible) health benefits of genuine sourdough and Real Bread more generally. Your collective feedback suggested that these issues were of lower priority at the moment, and so we will work on them when particular need/opportunity arises.
We are also considering when and how to publish issue 43 of True Loaf magazine, and will look at the best way to run the annual, international Sourdough September.
How YOU can help
Many of the suggestions that survey respondents agreed with or made, but collectively didn’t indicate should be Campaign priorities at this time, are on this ‘to do’ list. Please have a look to see if you can help make them happen.
- If you have a Real Bread Map listing, please check your details up to date and login to amend, if necessary
- If you can, please support our charity’s work so we can continue being here for you throughout the crisis and beyond >>
Published 20 Apr 2020
Real Bread Campaign: The Real Bread Campaign finds and shares ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet. Whether your interest is local food, community-focussed small enterprises, honest labelling, therapeutic baking, or simply tasty toast, everyone is invited to become a Campaign supporter.
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