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You said…

An overview of the 2023 Real Bread Campaign survey results.

The resuts are in!. Credit: Canva

The resuts are in!. Credit: Canva

In November 2023, we asked current and recently-lapsed Real Bread Campaign supporters (as well as our wider network of friends, including non-supporters with Real Bread Map listings) for their feedback.

With thanks to the 243 people who took part in our annual survey, here are some of the key points from their anonymous responses. 

While not a statistically-significant sample size*, we will use the feedback we received in our ongoing review and future planning of what we do and how we do it. For developments, please keep an eye on the Real Bread Campaign enewsletter, social media feeds and website latest news section.

* especially of our friends network, which includes thousands of people on our mailing list and tens of thousands social media followers.

Current supporters

We received 163 responses from current supporters, the majority (49%) of whom primarily identified as home bakers, followed by baker/microbakery owners (27%) and people who ‘love eating Real Bread’ (12.3%).

Of 12 options we gave, the top five areas of Campaign work that respondents rated as ‘very important’ were:

  • 77.3% Lobbying for improved composition, labelling and marketing standards/legislation.
  • 76.1% Challenging misleading marketing / advertising.
  • 58.28% Championing and supporting small businesses.
  • 48.5% Real Bread For All (accessibility including affordability).
  • 41.1% Sharing the potential benefits of sourdough fermentation and calling for more research.

The top five that people ticked as being ‘important’:

  • 54% Promoting Real Bread social enterprise.
  • 50.3% Sharing skills/knowledge with children.
  • 50.3% Sharing skills/knowledge with hobby/homebakers.
  • 48.5% Therapeutic baking.
  • 47.9% Sharing the potential benefits of sourdough fermentation and calling for more research.

No more than four people ticked ‘not important’ for any of the 12 options, but those getting most ticks in the ‘neutral / don’t know’ column were:

  • 23.3% Therapeutic baking.
  • 22.7% Championing the non-commodity grain revival.
  • 20.9% Celebrating and encouraging greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the Real Bread movement.
  • 16.6% No Loaf Lost (surplus reduction and waste elimination).
  • 14.1% Promoting Real Bread social enterprise.

(With slight differences in order, responses to this question from the 44 professional bakers amongst the respondents were the same.)

We asked what we do/offer that supporters value ’a lot’. They said:

  • 81.6% The Campaign acting as a defacto PR department for the wider Real Bread movement.
  • 60.7% True Loaf magazine.
  • 50.3% The Real Bread Map, The Loaf Mark scheme, Knead to Know…more and other business support.
  • 35.6% Real Bread Week and Sourdough September.
  • 24.5% Supporter discounts/offers.

The order was the same for responses from professional bakers.

Replying to the question ‘What might make you feel even more supportive of the Campaign?’ 42.3% ticked ‘nothing I can think of’, with 25.8% selecting ‘more webinars / online events’, and 23.3% selecting ‘more in-person social / learning events’.

If there was any pattern/consensus to responses in the comments box, it was that the Campaign is doing a good job – see below. Otherwise, the only things that more than one person (though no more than three) said they’d like were: 

Most of the suggestions we received were of things we do / have done / are working on, which raises a question of how we might improve communication and awareness raising of these.


Of 67 responses, the top three reasons why people said they weren’t currently Campaign supporters were:

  • 31.3% A change in financial circumstances/priorities.
  • 20.9% Didn’t know that you had a supporters’ scheme.
  • 11.9% Haven’t got round to joining/renewing.

Though there were only 13 respondents from non-supporters with Real Bread Map listings, their reasons were similar.

From the comments from non-supporters, it also seems that a common perception might be that the Campaign supporter network is mainly/only for professional bakers. As the majority of current supporters don’t run bakeries, this again indicates a communication issue.

The most common answer to the question ‘What could we do that might encourage you to (re)join?’ was ‘make it clearer what it is we’re asking people to support’ (32.84%).

Nice stuff people said

Of the comments that current supporters made, the overwhelming majority were positive phew!

They included:

I think your work to provide exposure to Real Bread issues are brilliant and needed today.  

Like many microbakery owners I really support and appreciate the work you do. 

I think you're doing a great job. I can't understand why everyone doesn't sign up and support the Campaign. 

I think Chris (and team?) do a great job - or if it's just Chris, then an even greater job.

Thank you for all of the continued efforts. 

Always happy to see your posts and promotion of the Campaign and Real Bread. Keep up the good work. 

The support you’ve given for start-ups is more than enough, getting more information out there about Real Bread is very challenging

Only to say keep up the good work. I know it’s tough at times but you are making a difference 

So value what you do, thank you! 

I think you're doing a great job as it is, and I admire your resilience in the face of official fobbing-off when it comes to campaigning on regulations and an equal playing field....

I'm really proud to be a supporter of the Real Bread Campaign and am grateful for all you do. 

I value True Loaf and your campaigning stances re: standards, even if you have no chance with this government who really don't care.

Great to know that you are lobbying the government spotlighting the need to be transparent in labelling and  production techniques in industrial baking

I think you do fantastic work within the limits of your resources. I'm pleased to be a supporter

Keep up the good work! swimming upstream is never easy

You do a great job lobbying for change around bread and getting us away from the mass-produced loaves. Keep it up!

I am not very involved with the Real Bread Campaign but think it is important and therefore will support you by paying my subscription every year

It's so important that you do what you do as there are so few organised and competent voices that are truly grassroots in this area.

Thank you for being there.

(We have also taken onboard the constructive criticism we received.)

See also


Published Wednesday 22 November 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.

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