To do so, we want to expand Scotland The Bread’s community engagement projects, empowering communities to create, participate in and celebrate a more local and healthy flour and bread supply.
“We grow wheat because we want people to understand where bread comes from"
- More people have the opportunity to become active food citizens: understanding the origins of their daily loaf and possessing the skills to grow and bake better bread.
- More communities have access to Scotland The Bread's nutritious flour and bread made with it, particularly areas with fewer resources.
- Communities enjoy new activities that promote social engagement and foster community spirit, such as harvest celebrations or the sharing of 'solidarity loaves'.
- These communities are connected to and participate alongside a wider network of passionate scientists, farmers, millers and bakers to create a better flour and bread system.
We support a growing network of community organisations to bring people together and strengthen skills to grow, harvest, thresh, mill and bake with local flours. Our work empowers local stakeholders to work alongside members of their community and connect people with the local flour movement across Scotland.
As the cost of food and fuel rises, there is a risk that people on low or insecure incomes will face even greater challenges to accessing the food they and their families need to stay well. The ‘Flour to the People’ project is a response to these concerns, and by empowering people to bake together, seeks to improve access to nutritious food and opportunities to build local and individual resilience. Alongside this, our ‘Soil to Slice’ programme provides communities with the unique chance to gain practical experience and skills to grow nutritious grains for breadmaking, a staple - but often neglected - part of our diet.
As issues of sustainability, health and the impact of the current food system become of increasing interest to government, schools and individuals alike, we feel that the opportunities for interactive learning will only make these projects more popular.
We want to bring together the learning of these two projects and to strengthen a growing network of community organisations working to engage and empower their communities through growing local grains and baking local bread.
The main focus of the funding is to support project coordination and network building. Our plans include:
- community-building events providing opportunities for on-site education and interaction between communities
- match-making / skill-sharing opportunities between a network of community growers and professional bakers to increase local resilience and abilities
- developing lesson plans and toolkits for schools or groups empowering children to learn, grow and bake together
- enhancing the resources available for communities to participate in citizen science while they grow their own local crops, so that data from community growers feeds into Scotland The Bread’s wider research into better grains.
We are currently supporting over 20 community organisations to grow nutritious grains in their area - some of whom have been doing so for several years - and are supplying flour to others for use in their community meals or baking workshops. We have also been approached by schools eager to teach pupils about the bread system by growing grains, as well as community food hubs and pantries looking to supply our flour or bread made with it to local people. We are keen to develop these relationships so that more people across Scotland have the tools, knowledge and support to get involved in creating a better flour and bread supply.
Following a series of community baking events held as part of the ‘Flour to the People’ project in 2020/21, participants and community organisers alike provided positive feedback, showing that:
- 100% of community food hub organisers felt that the event successfully provided participants with breadmaking skills and knowledge about local flour and that there was interest in continued supply of Scotland The Bread flour to their community
- 9/10 organisers were interested in further activities focused on improving community access, skills and knowledge around a local, sustainable and healthy flour and bread system
- More than 80% of participants who responded felt inspired by the event to try baking at home
- There was continued interest among participants in taking part in a community baking club or learning more about grains by growing them locally.
In addition, this project recently won the Food Innovation category of the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards 2021. This category 'celebrates businesses, organisations and people working to make a difference...ideas, initiatives and innovations that are going to change the future of our food.' When presenting the award, Food Programme presenter Dan Saladino explained that 'Flour to the People' stood out for its potential to make a significant change by being quickly replicated by communities across the UK.
Your support will help to make this happen.
“It's given our community access to really good, nutritious bread, which they wouldn’t normally have a chance to access."
There is strong interest in these activities - we need funding to welcome new organisations into the network, ensure they have the necessary tools and support and to develop what we can offer for a diverse range of communities.
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the food insecurity and isolation faced by low income communities. At the same time, there is widespread recognition of a growing need across Scotland for greater connection to where our food comes from. We are working with a number of inspiring community groups to tackle these issues but need support to continue to do so.
- £8 = seed to help a community start their own local grain-growing adventure.
- £30 = a ‘solidarity bag’ of our flavoursome flour provided to a community bakery or organisation working hard to ensure that local people have access to nutritious bread and flour on a regular basis, at a price that they can afford.
- £125 = the materials for a community group to introduce local people to sourdough breadmaking using Scotland The Bread flour.
- £1100 = a networking event for communities across Scotland who are growing and baking with nutritious local grains, providing the opportunity to benefit from on-site education; share experiences, ideas and inspiration with each other; and learn additional skills from our network of farmers, scientists and professional bakers to increase local abilities and resilience.
“The best part is that we are doing it as a community. There is something about baking that is very unifying…it’s like a big warm hug.”
Join the passionate growers, millers, bakers, scientists and communities creating a more healthy, sustainable, equitable and locally-controlled flour and bread supply.
Your donation will help us empower a network of communities with the skills, knowledge and support to grow and bake with more nutritious grains, creating flavoursome, slowly-fermented bread that everyone can enjoy.
Scotland The Bread
Launched in 2012, Scotland The Bread has been at the forefront of the Real Bread movement in the UK, taking an innovative and collaborative approach to developing a more nutritious grain, flour and bread supply chain. It brings together plant breeders, farmers, millers, bakers, nutritionists and citizens with the common purpose of producing nutritious grain, milling it close to home and using it to make wholesome, slowly-fermented bread that everyone can enjoy.
Soil to Slice
The ‘Soil to Slice’ programme has been running since 2015, involving communities in learning to grow, harvest, thresh, mill and bake with more nutritious grains in their area. It emerged to support a growing need across Scotland for greater connection to where our food comes from, and specifically to help community growing groups include breadmaking grains in their local plots. The project is also an example of ‘citizen science’, providing guidance and tools for communities to measure and record data about their crops. Their involvement and the valuable information that they provide brings a more democratic aspect to Scotland The Bread’s own wider search for better grains.
Flour to the People
Scotland The Bread was a key delivery partner in the Bread Matters project ‘Flour to the People’, established in 2020 as a direct response to the overwhelming demand for our flour during lockdown, and the significant spike in interest in home-baking at that time. As many community groups adapted to the online environment, some began regular cooking or baking meet-ups, and this project provided a platform for such engagement by ensuring that communities with fewer resources had access to more nutritious flour and the skills and knowledge to transform it into delicious bread.
With grateful thanks to Community Shares Scotland for their support, to Jason Taylor (The Source Image) for creating our video and to the communities and individuals featured.