See also

What is No Loaf Lost?

There are growing numbers of initiatives and enterprises thay work to help bakeries to stop their surplus loaves from becoming food waste.

Now the Real Bread Campaign is working to help SME bakeries reduce the amount of surplus they produce in the first place.

The aim  is to help small bakeries to move up the Food Waste Pyramid, also known as the Food Recovery Hierarchy, focussing on the first of the three Rs:

  • Reduce the amount of surplus you generate
  • Reuse any that you do, or redirect it to people
  • Repurpose as animal feed, fertiliser or for energy as a last resort

Counting the cost

As WRAP notes in its Your Business Is Food guide:  ‘It’s not only food that’s thrown away, but the money spent on ingredients, packaging, energy, water and labour to manufacture it. These costs can be anywhere between five and twenty times the cost of disposal.’

By reducing your surplus a bakery stands to:

  • Save money on ingredients, energy and staff time that goes into unsold loaves
  • Reduce waste disposal costs
  • Improve its environmental impact and public reputation for responsibility

Download the free No Loaf Lost guide

The Campaign has produced a free (doughnations encouraged) guide for SME bakeries. It is in five sections:

  • Reasons to slice surplus
  • Identifying when, where and why surplus arises
  • Ways to minimise mismatches between production and sales
  • Involving and communicating with customers and staff
  • What to do with any surplus that is still produced

Download the No Loaf Lost guide

Sign the No Loaf Lost pledge

After reading the No Loaf Lost guide, each bakery is urged to sign the No Loaf Lost pledge to:

  • Publically state its commitment and promote it to customers and more widely    
  • Appoint a champion responsible for loaf surplus and waste reduction
  • Measure the weight and retail value of loaf surplus and waste we produce for two weeks
  • Write and implement an action plan with targets to reduce loaf surplus and waste
  • Aim to redistribute or repurpose 100% of any surplus that remains
  • Train staff according to its plan
  • Report results to the Real Bread Campaign every six months we will, review and (if necessary) revise its plan
  • Help to influence wider progress

Download the No Loaf Lost pledge

Courtauld 2015

The Real Bread Campaign signed as a Courtauld 2025 engagement partner in December 2017.

The Courtauld 2025 shared ambition is ‘to cut the resource needed to provide food and drink by a fifth in ten years’ from 2015 to 2025, which includes a 20% reduction in food and drink waste, a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity and a reduction in impact associated with water use in the supply chain.

Sustain, which runs the Real Bread Campaign, supports effective measures to reduce food surplus, direct unavoidable food surplus to useful purposes and ensure that as little food waste as possible ends up in landfill. As such, Sustain recognises that voluntary initiatives can create knowledge, examples of good practice and start to build momentum towards societal and legislative change.

Such is the seriousness and scale of food waste, however, that Sustain does not believe voluntary agreements alone are enough to tackle the problem. Robust legislation is a key element in creating a level playing field on which all stakeholders (including businesses, government, local authorities and consumers) can work to build a better, low-input, circular, stable and truly sustainable food system. A range of effective legislative action would change the rules within which food producers, manufacturers, retailers and foodservice companies manage food and supply chains, encouraging collaboration and treating waste as a pre-competitive issue. This would include meaningful, legally-binding and suitably enforced waste reduction targets and assigned responsibilities, as well as reporting requirements to track progress over time.

More information

In addition to the links throughout the No Loaf Lost guide, further information and guidance can be found at:


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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