The rising power of bread for social impact

Posted: 06 December 2021, in News

Scotland The Bread is a community benefit society working to grow better grain and bake better bread with the common purposes of nourishment, sustainability and food sovereignty.

In plain terms, that means we are organically growing, and milling into wholemeal flour, heritage varieties of wheat and rye on the Balcaskie Estate which are more nutritious than most commercially-grown varieties today.

As importantly as this we also campaign for a better, more biodiverse flour and bread supply for everyone. Among other things this means researching and improving the nutrient profile of grain, and supporting citizen growers to produce their own nutritious flour and bake it into delicious bread.

Between July 2020 and April 2021 we were the key delivery partners for Bread Matters’ project ‘Flour to the People’. This was in response to the pandemic-related increased demand for quality flour, and our strategy for strengthening communities’ resilience when just-in-time supply chains are disrupted.

By empowering people to bake together, we sought to improve access to nutritious food and opportunities to build local and individual resilience. Alongside this, our long-running ‘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.

Feedback from the communities involved was overwhelmingly positive, with many local people inspired to try baking at home and food hubs keen to include Scotland The Bread’s more nutritious flour in a whole range of breadmaking activities. We were also delighted that Flour to the People won a 2021 BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Award in the “Food Innovation” category.

Now, we’re working to raise money to continue and expand these activities. We want to support a growing network of community organisations to bring people together and strengthen skills to grow, harvest, thresh, mill and bake with local flours, and we’ve launched a crowdfunder to enable this to happen.

Donations will help us empower a network of communities to grow and bake with more nutritious grains, creating flavoursome, slowly-fermented bread that everyone can enjoy. Our plans include community-building events that will teach and allow skills to be shared; developing lesson plans and toolkits for schools or groups empowering children to learn, grow and bake together; enhancing the citizen-science resources we offer to allow data from community growers to inform our research into better grains; purchasing small equipment to loan to our network of community growers and much more.

We’re working towards a sustainable, fair supply of flour that better nourishes people and the planet. This revolution aims to improve the quality of a staple food for everyone. Please share the word, and join the passionate growers, millers, bakers, scientists and communities creating a more healthy, sustainable, equitable and locally-controlled flour and bread supply.

Read or donate through our crowdfunder page here.

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