Bakeries encouraged to explore ways of making Real Bread accessible to more people in their local communities.
The food and farming charity Sustain has published the Real Bread For All guide. It has been written by the Real Bread Campaign to help and encourage small, independent bakeries to explore ways of bridging the gap between what it costs them to produce and retail Real Bread, and what people in their communities on tighter budgets can afford.
Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator Chris Young said: “Everyone in the UK should be able to afford Real Bread but for a growing number of people this simply is not realistic. At the same time, many Real Bread bakers are struggling to earn an honest crust without increasing their prices.”
He went on to say: “Our guide is informed by examples from bakeries that have addressed the challenges of offering Real Bread at a lower price in ways that don’t undermine its true value and at a time that’s increasingly tough on their site of the counter as well.”
Key issue that the guide, which can be downloaded from the Real Bread Campaign website, covers are:
- Making the more affordable bread appropriate to people’s needs, be that sliced sandwich loaves, flatbreads
- Working out who’ll cover the costs, which might be a combination of the business, its customers and perhaps suppliers, maybe with support of local/regional companies or organisations.
- Putting bread in the hands of people who need it, which might involve looking at selling from places other than the baker’s shop or farmers’ market stall.
- Making contact with local organisations that work with people experiencing poverty and, ideally, involving people with that lived experience.
- Cracking your comms with your customers, staff and people to whom you’re offering lower-priced bread.
The guide also includes notes on public catering. This represents a huge opportunity to put Real Bread on the subsidised plates of around a quarter of the population, including school pupils, hospital patients, prisoners, students, care home residents and service personnel.
As well as reaching out to small Real Bread bakeries, the Campaign is calling on larger companies that benefit from greater economy of scale to remove all additives from at least some of their products. Young noted that “this would give hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, more people the chance to choose Real Bread.”
Work in progress
As well as being a guide, Real Bread For All encourages bakeries to share with the Campaign their own affordability and other accessibility schemes to help inform and inspire others.
Other publications from the Real Bread Campaign include the No Loaf Lost guide for SME bakeries to reducing surplus and waste.
Bridging the Gap
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the Bridging the Gap programme is exploring ways to enable people on low incomes to access climate and nature friendly food. Sustain, Alexandra Rose Charity and Growing Communities working with Food Sense Wales, Nourish NI and Nourish Scotland are bringing together organisations united in the belief that everyone has the right to healthy and affordable food that works for the planet.
Information about Sustain’s other work on poverty can be found at: www.sustainweb.org/foodpoverty
Published 15 Aug 2023
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.