Sustain / Real Bread Campaign / About

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Image: Creative Commons 0 (via Pixabay)

Image: Creative Commons 0 (via Pixabay)

Last updated May 2024

The Real Bread Campaign is as much about people as it is about food. After all it is people who grow grain, mill it and lovingly craft it into Real Bread. For whom is all of this done? People. Without people there is no Real Bread.

Our activity and this statement is evolving over time and we welcome your input in helping us to shape both. For the latest on our ongoing work, please see the news and articles sections.

One size doesn't fit all

As a project of the food and farming charity Sustain, the Real Bread Campaign works towards everyone having the chance to choose Real Bread. We also invite everyone behind - and interested in - the rise of Real Bread to be included in our work and network.

We recognise, however, that there are people missing from the party and that just saying 'everyone is welcome', then hoping people show up, isn't enough.

When working on diversity, equity and inclusion, there are few - if any - things that 100% of people agree are right. There will be things we will do or not do, say or not say, that will divide opinion. The same goes for the ways in which we take action and the terms/language we use. We will get things wrong but would rather do that, then try again, than let fear of messing up prevent us from acting at all.

Get involved and have your say

We want to incorporate a range of perspectives and opinions in our decision making processes. If you would like to be involved in - or have any comments on - this aspect of our work, please email Campaign coordinator Chris Young.

A world of Real Bread lovers

By Real Bread we simply mean made without chemical raising agents, so-called processing aids or other additives. This universally-inclusive definition incorporates every type of leavened and unleavened bread on earth.

Real Bread Map: Add any type you make for sale

People of every age, nationality, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity,  differing ability, neurological status, religion and economic background, who speak every language worldwide, enjoy Real Bread and are involved in its rise.

We welcome everyone who shares our beliefs and values, and would like to support our charity’s work, to join the Real Bread Campaign.  Everyone is also invited to our wider network of friends by signing up to our free mailing list.

Who's here and who's missing?

While Sustain staff and trustees are becoming more diverse, the Real Bread Campaign was co-founded and is run by white, English men. Our chair is a white English woman. Since 2019, we have worked to ensure that our ambassadors embody a range of experience and identities.

Though we don't collect demographic data, and not all aspects of identity can be seen, anecdotal evidence (such as people attending our events, writing articles and responding to occasional surveys) suggests that we are good at welcoming and representing white, middle-class, English people. This evidence, plus data from our social media accounts, indicates that more than half of the people in our network are women. For the avoidance of doubt: you are all very welcome and we thank you for your support.

We are less confident of how well we welcome, include and represent people of many other backgrounds and identities. They include people who are:

  • Black
  • of Colour
  • of a minoritised ethnicity
  • differently abled
  • neurodivergent
  • somewhere in and beyond the LGBTQIA rainbow
  • from a working class and/or lower economic background
  • not British by birth and/or heritage

As a UK-based organisation, we are working to do better at including and representing people from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

This is a non-exhaustive list and there are people of many other identities who are underrepresented in and by the Campaign's work and network. Absence from this list does not indicate that you aren't welcome.

Work in progress

We know that this wide diversity of people is not as well reflected as it should be in our work and international network and are working to improve this. Examples include:

  • Creating opportunities for people with a range of knowledge, interest and lived experience to be seen more widely and have their voices amplified via our website, magazine and other platforms. Let us help you to tell your story, share your knowledge, air your views!
  • Ensuring that panels of speakers for our webinars and events include people who encompass a range of knowledge, lived experience, backgrounds and identities.
  • Launching the Untold Stories Fund in June 2023 to help our charity celebrate unsung Real Bread heroes.
  • Reviewing the Campaign ambassador role and recruitment process in 2018/19. We did so again in 2021, promoting our open invitation in particular to people whose inclusion will help to broaden the diversity of our representatives in all senses – who they are and how they relate to Real Bread.
  • The We Are Real Bread initiative to celebrate and give greater visibility to people behind the rise of Real Bread who are often unseen and uncelebrated.
  • Aligning with national and international awareness-raising initiatives (such as Black History Month, International Women's Day, Pride Month, and Mental Health Awareness Week) to recognise and celebrate people in our network and the wider world of Real Bread.
  • Using frequent surveys and other means to invite our supporters and wider network of friends to give feedback on work we have done, and make suggestions to help us plan future activity.
  • A re-start and review of the Campaign’s advisory working party to establish the inclusion of a greater diversity of people, knowledge, expertise, opinions/voices and lived experience feeding into our planning and work. [Attendance at virtual meetings quickly tailed off and we struggled to maintain momentum, so reverted to ad-hoc consultation of our wider network via surveys, and individually contacting people with specific knowledge and experience on a case by case basis.]
  • Setting up a number of working groups to focus on specific topics, themes, policies and practices within our work, one of which will look at diversity, equity and inclusion. [These were also trialled and then put on pause due to lack of attendance.]

We balance the need for income to continue our charity's work with addressing economic barriers to inclusion in our network:

  • The Real Bread Map is free to everyone.
  • Campaign supporter subscriptions start as low as £24.30 a year, the equivalent of a sniff over £2 a month.
  • People who are unable to commit to this are able to make one-off, or monthly doughnations, of any amount.
  • Supporters sit within our wider network of friends on our free mailing list.
  • Rather than requiring everyone to buy a ticket, we have organised some events to be free to attend, inviting people to make a donation.

Spheres of influence

While working to put our own house in order, we will seek to find ways to encourage organisations and companies with which we work to look at diversity, equity and inclusion in their work. We would like to hear from those that are addressing these issues to get in touch so we can see what we can learn from them.

One example of this was writing to the organisers of three UK national bakery awards, suggesting they consider introducing categories to celebrate Black bakers and other bakers of Colour. Encouragingly, two responded that our message prompted them to start a review of their judging criteria, process and panels.

Intolerance to intolerance

Sustain (and so the Real Bread Campaign) is working to be a more actively anti-racist organisation. We do not tolerate language or actions of a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic or other prejudiced or hateful nature by our staff members or volunteers. We will investigate any allegations of such behaviour and take appropriate action.

We also work to ensure that events we organise are safe spaces, free from any of the above.

Getting involved

While working to fix these problems is our responsibility, we invite you to help us do so. We are by no means experts in this area, and recognise that people’s opinions and experiences vary. 

If you would like to:

  • Join the conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in our network, and in the world of Real Bread more generally.
  • Help to make the Campaign more diverse, inclusive and representative.
  • Challenge, or otherwise comment on, any of this.

...please email Campaign coordinator Chris Young.

See also

External links

We will add more links as time goes on. We welcome your suggestions, especially of organisations/initiatives that celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and tackle inequity and prejudice in the baking sector, particularly around bread, and food more generally.

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.

Support our charity

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


Ways to support our charity’s work

Join today Buy gifts Make a doughnation The Loaf Mark

Real Bread Campaign
C/o Sustain
The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

The Real Bread Campaign is a project of Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

© Sustain 2024
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies


Real Bread Campaign