News / Real Bread Campaign

London 2012 Olympics' big bread bloomer

The Real Bread Campaign believes that, by ignoring Campaign recommendations, London 2012 organiser LOCOG has let down small independent food businesses, games visitors and Londoners in general.

In summer 2009, the Real Bread Campaign made a submission to LOCOG’s food standards consultation process(1). None of the recommendations appears in ‘Food vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games’ (2). Despite setting standards for may other food types, and outlining the challenge of serving 14 million meals during the Games and 25,000 loaves in the athletes’ village alone (3), LOCOG has not set any standards for bread or baked goods.

Missed opportunity

Real Bread Campaign Coordinator Chris Young said ‘This is a huge missed opportunity for the Games to have given London a lasting loaf legacy of Real Bread. Why did they choose not to support the creation of skilled jobs at small, local, independently owned bakeries? How could they simply ignore this staple of our diet when they have set standards for chocolate and cheese?’

In July 2012, the Campaign asked Jan Matthews, LOCOG’s Head of Catering, what percentage of loaves served will meet one or more of the following criteria: produced by independently-owned SME bakeries; baked from scratch in a London borough; made without the use of any artificial additives or processing aids; or be choices that are representative of the cultural diversity of Londoners, London bakeries, and our Olympics guests. Her reply was ‘sorry, we can’t provide that information.’

Additive-laced burger buns

Recently, LOCOG boasted of 'sourdough bread from Tower Hamlets made in a traditional brick oven lined with peat from the Thames' being served during the Olympics (4).

Chris Young said: ‘We love the idea that everyone attending the Games would have the chance to enjoy such Real Bread, but we believe this is really just PR spin. Given that both the Games’ Head of Catering and press office have avoided our questions, we strongly suspect that only a handful of VIPs will have the opportunity.  The rest of us will probably have few choices other than additive-laced burger buns from a grinning clown.’

The Londoners’ Loaf

To help compensate for the Games’ apparent lack of support for small London bakeries, the Campaign has joined forces with London Food Link’s Jellied Eel magazine to find the capital’s favourite Real Bread. People can find The Londoners’ Loaf competitors and vote at


For more information please contact Chris Young: chris [at] or 0203 5596 777


1) The Real Bread Campaign’s 2009 submission to LOCOG’s London 2012 Food Vision consultation:

Procurement of locally-baked Real Bread for the London 2012 Olympic Games

Greater London boasts an almost unrivalled variety of specialist bakers of the traditional breads of dozens of countries and cultures. Procurement of this staple food from a number of such bakeries will allow the London 2012 Olympic Games to reflect not only the baking heritage of the host nation but also the diversity of London food culture.

Supply of 100% natural breads from independent local bakeries will ensure the provision of genuinely fresh, high-quality, authentic versions of breads to cater for the diversity of taste preferences of athletes, guests, staff and spectators alike. Providing a valuable link between the London 2012 Games and local business, the arrangement will reduce food miles and provide a peerless showcase for local independent bakeries.




Part of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, the Real Bread Campaign champions locally-produced, 100% additive-free loaves, and finds ways to make bread better for us, better for our communities and better for the planet.   Membership of the Real Bread Campaign is open to everyone who cares about the state of bread in Britain.

Key current initiatives from the Real Bread Campaign include:

  • The Real Bread Loaf Mark: Want to find Real Bread? Then Look for The Loaf Mark! - the at-a-glance assurance from a baker that a loaf is what the Campaign calls Real Bread.
  • The Real Bread Finder:  the only online directory dedicated to helping people find where to buy Real Bread locally. Free for bakers to add, and people to search for, local places to buy Real Bread.
  • Lessons in Loaf: A FREE download for teachers on planning hands-on Real Bread making sessions for any age, plus lesson plans to tie the topic of bread in with a range of curriculum subjects at Key Stage 2.
  • Bake Your Lawn: Distributing seed wheat to schools and a guide on how to grow it, mill it, bake it, eat it to follow the Real Bread journey from seed to sandwich.
  • Real Bread on The Menu: the Campaign’s scheme encouraging more public sector institutions (including schools, care homes and hospitals) and food access projects (e.g. co-operative buying groups, community cafes, box schemes) around Britain to offer Real Bread.
  • Knead to Know: the Real Bread starter: the guide to starting a Real Bread enterprise for your local community. Available as a PDF download.

Published 24 Jul 2012

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.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2021
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies