Real Bread Campaign

Real Bread logo

Pappy Birthday

‘The people of Britain need to be reminded that bread isn’t just something to keep your fingers dry when eating a sandwich.’

Andrew Wheeler, Eat Britain! 101 Great British Tastes

As you might have noticed from recent media coverage generated by the Real Bread Campaign, July 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the Chorleywood ‘Bread’ Process (CBP). Within a decade of its launch, CBP become the standard commercial method of production, and today continues to be the method by which around 80% of British industrial loaves are made.

Click here for our home movie of the long-overdue retirement of the Chorleywood 'Bread' Process

Pappy birthday card

Well done to Isaac Hickenbottom, whose design for a pappy birthday card to the CBP loaf (as judged by chef Michel Roux Jr, master baker Tom Herbert; and artist and writer Jake Tilson) wins him a Real Bread baker’s kit (worth £85) from Hobbs House Bakery.

Download the card

Large (to print as a full colour poster to display on a wall/in a window)


Small (to email or post online on your website or blog)

Send the card

To whom you send your pappy birthday message is up to you. In case you think that a manufacturer or retailer of wrapped sliced loaves is the most appropriate recipient of your card (or other correspondence), here are some contact details* for the major players.

The Federation of Bakers
Gordon Polson (Director)
6 Catherine Street

Represents the wrapped sliced baking industry.

Premier Foods (Hovis)
Robert Schofield (CEO)
Tim Kelly (COO)
Hovis Court
P O Box 527
69 Alma Road
Windsor, Berks.

Allied Bakeries Limited
Mark Fairweather (CEO)
1 Kingsmill Place
Vanwall Road
Vanwall Business Park
Berks. SL6 4UF

Warburtons Limited
Jonathan Warburton (Executive Chairman)
Robert Higginson (Managing Director)
Back o' th' Bank House
Hereford Street
Bolton BL1 8HJ

online contact form

The largest three of the wrapped/sliced manufacturers. You can find more at the Federation's website here.

Andy Clarke (CEO)
Asda House
Great Wilson Street
LS11 5AD
Customer service contact

Marks & Spencer
Marc Bolland (CEO)
Marks & Spencer
Chester Business Park
Wrexham Road
Customer service contact

Dalton Philips (CEO)
Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC
Hilmore House
Gain Lane
Customer service contact

Justin King (CEO)
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
33 Holborn
Customer service contact

Philip Clarke (CEO)
New Tesco House,
Delamare Road,
Customer service contact

Mark Price (Managing Director)
Waitrose Central Offices
Southern Industrial Area
RG12 8YA
Customer service contact

* as of 8th July 2011, we believe these to be correct, but if your find otherwise please let us know.

Notes on the Chorleywood 'Bread' Process

The Chorleywood ‘Bread’ Process (CBP) is the method by which the majority of wrapped, sliced industrial loaves are made in Britain.

CBP: past its use by date?

War Child

The predominance of CBP in Britain today is the result of increasing industrialisation of food production after World War II. The market capitalist interests that accompanied this transition saw the move away from bread towards industrial loaf products speed up, resulting in a cheap (or should one say cheapened?), time-efficient, energy-intensive additive-reliant source of calories. 

After the war, the UK government joined forces with the baking sector to create the British Baking Industries Research Association (BBIRA) in the Hertfordshire village of Chorleywood, a partnership meant to strengthen and protect both the British baking industry and British wheat farmers. 

BBIRA’s studies resulted in a proecess of controlled-energy, batch-mixing without bulk fermentation. It did, however, require additional inputs: chemical oxidising agents, emulsifiers, extra yeast and lots of water to adjust the consistency.

This process also required large volumes of refrigerated water to cool down the dough, which had been heated by the energy intensive mixing.  Thus in July 1961 the Chorleywood ‘Bread Process’, a high input, no time, energy intensive process was born.  

What’s wrong with the modern factory loaf?

As we have noted on our FAQs page, a growing number of studies suggest that Real Bread produced with longer dough fermentation times (especially in the presence of sourdough bacteria) could have positive implications in certain aspects of health and nutrition, including digestibility. 

By contrast, CBP employs a whole cocktail of artificial additives – some deemed ‘processing aids’ and legally not listed on the label – to all but cut out the proving time. We believe the resulting dough to be ‘unripe’ and ask whether this could have a detrimental effect on more than just flavour. Just think of the effects of eating an unripe tomato.

The industry defends the current additives as safe, just as they used to defend the use of benzoyl peroxide, chlorine dioxide, potassium bromate and azodicarbonamide, all of which they were forced to withdraw, some as recently as 1999.

Historically, these industrial loaves had high levels of salt, though these have generally come down, allowing the industry to boast of large reductions.

Toasting the future

As we look ahead we must ask, what do we value in in our daily loaf?  Is it its height or squishiness, as CBP marketers might have us believe?  Is it the reduction of time and financial cost of production as BBIRA sought? 

Or is assessing the value of bread about embracing time, flavour, community, and craft?  The Real Bread Campaign believe that a future for bread in Britain that embraces its true values and conserves resources is far more likely to protect and preserve the interests, health, and culture of the British people than improvers, emulsifiers, and preservatives.

The this article contains extracts of Pappiness in Your Hands, a feature by Emily Earhart for the July-September 2011 edition of True Loaf, the Real Bread Campaign supporters' magazine.

Chorleywood Village Day

As part of the annual Chorleywood Village Day on 9 July, Real Bread Campaign members took a factory loaf across the village common to the Beaumont House Care Home, formerly the British Baking Industry Research Association building, for its long-overdue retirement.

See our news page for the full story. Click here for pictures.