News / Real Bread Campaign

Are you making Real Bread For All?

Seeking examples of more affordable bread.

The Old Post Office Bakery. Credit: Chris Young / CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Old Post Office Bakery. Credit: Chris Young / CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Real Bread Campaign wants to hear from bakery owners who are offering Real Bread at a more affordable price (ie below the £4-£6 range we typically see) to put it within reach of people on tighter budgets.

Please let us know how your business is bridging the gap between what it costs you, as a financially-sustainable business, to make and sell bread and being able to offer it at a lower price at the till. 

Perhaps you:

  • Run a pay-it-forward fund/scheme, inviting customer who can afford it to chip in.
  • Adjust your margins on discretionary purchases (eg coffee and pastries) to fund the discount on staple Real Bread.
  • Simply offer a cheaper loaf (eg in the factory loaf price range) as part of your standard range.

We also want to hear from customers who know of (and millers working with) Real Bread bakeries that are helping to ensure that people on low incomes can choose to buy Real Bread.

Our plan is to publish guidance that includes a range of examples to help inform and inspire other bakeries.

(Please note that this initiative is about enabling people who need to to rock up and buy Real Bread more cheaply, rather than the better-known initiatives of bread - and industrial loaf products - being given away to/by foodbanks etc.)

Get in touch

Examples so far

Initiatives we have found since 2020 include:

  • Small Food Bakery in Nottingham trialled selling a large, sliced loaf of wholemeal sourdough bread through a local cornershop for £2.49 in 2022. The costs are covered by selling three of the loaves at full price in the bakery.
  • Bread Source In Norfolk launched a National Loaf scheme during the 2020 lockdown, making a stoneground, wholemeal sourdough loaf available for £1 ‘to anyone in need.’ The costs were covered by a combination of a pay-it-forward scheme and the bakery taking a hit. Read more.
  • Ryes and Shine issues a €2 doughnation token for each order of €20 or over, which are placed on the microbakery's market stall. Customers on lower incomes are invited to take a token for a discount on a €5/6 loaf.
  • Hart's Bakery and Batches Bakery in Bristol are developing an affordable loaf scheme with local charitable organisation Heart of BS13. Hart subsidises their loaves so they can be sold for 75p. The bakery absorbs the costs. Read more.
  • Mini Miss Bread in Saffron Walden trialled selling a large loaf at the discounted price of £2.50 to anyone who said Real Bread Week during that week in 2023. The bakery absorbs the costs.
  • Bread Service in Greensboro, North Carolina set up a Sliding Scale Sandwich Bread subscription scheme in January 2023, offering a wrapped, sliced tin loaf a week from $10 a month. The bakery absorbs the costs. Read more.

NB some of the schemes were short-term trials and other might have been discontinued since we learned of them.

Do you have one to add to our list? What do you do and how are the costs of doing it covered? Please email us.


The Real Bread Campaign knows that it costs a financially-sustainable small bakery more to craft and sell Real Bread than it costs an industrial loaf fabricator or supermarket to put an additive-laden product on the shelf. We know that there tend to be hidden costs (perhaps to health, community, local economy, workers' pay and conditions, the environment...) behind food that's cheap to buy, while food from small, indie producers often represents worth over and above the cost of ingredients and production.

It is also our belief that Real Bread should be accessible to everyone.

We are working to find and share ways that bakers can reduce the price of one or more lines of fresh (ie not just leftover/unsold/surplus loaves) of Real Bread for people hit hard by the cost-of-everything crisis.

Increased urgency for this work is being driven by the accelerating gap between the income (and benefits) of many households and the cost of living, forcing more people into poverty. 

As we acknowledge in this article, however, this is not an easy circle to square. We are aware that costs are also rising rapidly for bakeries and that the cost of selling a loaf at a lower price has to be covered by someone.

Food banks

Donating products to food banks and other charitable/community schemes has its place as a short-term emergency safety net. 

The Real Bread For All project, however, is focusing on initiatives that reduce the price at which people can buy Real Bread, rather than give away food for free.

Not all loaves are created equal

The Real Bread For All project runs alongside, rather than replaces, the Campaign’s ongoing work to highlight the:

  • true values of Real Bread and local bakeries
  • often overlooked costs of running a small bakery
  • hidden/displaced price/costs of cheap-at-the till industrial loaves

We continue to encourage people who do have the ability to choose how they spend their money to consider these.

We also suggest that people should question the common practice of supermarkets having three price brackets (at the time of writing these are around 30-40p for ‘basic’ / ‘value’ loaves, 50-80p for ‘standard’ and £1.20-1.50 for ‘premium’) for own-brand factory loaves that are fundamentally the same product manufactured at the same scale by the same process.

What is Real Bread?

The Real Bread Campaign defines Real Bread as made without chemical raising agents, so-called processing aids or any other additives.

This universally-inclusive definition encompasses every type of leavened and unleavened bread, (including, but not limited to, genuine sourdough), which can be baked, steamed, fried, roasted or griddled.

See also

Published 19 Apr 2022

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.

Latest related news

Support our charity

Your donation will help support the spread of baking skills and access to real bread.