Flour to the People, a community grain and bread project delivered by Scotland The Bread with Bread Matters, has won the Food Innovation category of the BBC Food & Farming Awards 2021.
The community benefit society, based in Fife, hopes this major award will give a welcome boost to their recently launched Crowdfunder, which is raising funds to continue their unique community work.
Scotland The Bread, the trading name of Bread for Good Community Benefit Society, was a key delivery partner in the Bread Matters project ‘Flour to the People’, funded by InnovateU.
It was launched in July 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic led to unprecedented bread and flour shortages. The main objective was to work alongside community food hubs and bakers to ensure that low income communities across Scotland had access to more nutritious flour and the skills and knowledge to transform it into delicious bread.
Since its launch, Flour to the People has run 10 community baking events and shared over 300 kg of nutritious, high quality flour with communities across Scotland.
Breadmaking has been used as a means of social interaction, particularly valuable during a time of forced physical distancing, as well as engaging communities in the movement towards a healthy, sustainable, equitable and locally-controlled flour and bread supply.
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. On a day-to-day basis, that means organically growing, and milling into wholemeal flour, evolutionary varieties of wheat and rye on the Balcaskie Estate which are more nutritious than most commercially-grown varieties today.
As well and as importantly as this, the community benefit society also campaigns 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.
On November 22, Scotland The Bread launched a Crowdfunder to raise at least £20,000 to continue and expand their community engagement activities, and they’ve already raised more than £6000.
Everyone who supports the Crowdfunder will be helping empower a network of communities to grow and bake with more nutritious grains, creating flavoursome, slowly-fermented bread that everyone can enjoy. The society’s 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 they can offer to allow data from community growers to inform research into better grains and much more.
Flour to the People project co-ordinator Lyndsay Cochrane said: ‘We are delighted that the impact and potential of the Flour to the People project has been recognised with this prestigious BBC award.
‘A huge thank you to all of the community food hubs and bakers who partnered with us on the project and who worked tirelessly throughout the most challenging of times to bring better bread to their communities. This is a joint award held by each of them too.’
Since 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.
Scotland The Bread is based at the Bowhouse food hub in St Monan’s in Fife where fellow artisan producers such as East Neuk Market Garden and Futtle Organic also bring the bounty of local regenerative agriculture to a thriving local market.
Andrew Whitley, co-founder of Bread Matters and Bread for Good Community Benefit Society added: ‘We are delighted that the judges identified the powerful replicability of Flour to the People.
‘Most people want to make a contribution to dealing with climate breakdown and biodiversity loss, as well as looking after their own personal health. So it’s vital that we can answer the question “where can I get nutritious, sustainable flour and bread like yours?” by being able to point to a rapidly expanding network of community bakeries and food hubs, all building trust between farmers and eaters. In just five years Scotland The Bread has made great progress in its mission of becoming a “proof of concept” to inspire others.’
Scotland The Bread’s Crowdfunder, supported by Community Shares Scotland, runs until December 31.