Run by the food and farming charity Sustain, the campaign’s ethos is to simply make bread without chemical leavening, processing aids or other additives. The universally-inclusive definition incorporates every type of yeast or sourdough leavened, and unleavened, bread, even gluten free variants.
It’s targeted towards a variety of stakeholders – including both professional and domestic bakers, cereal breeders, farmers, millers and educators – across the world, no matter age, nationality, gender identity or economic background.
According to campaign co-ordinator Chris Young, this diversity and inclusion is currently not reflected in the current lineup of ambassadors, hence the call out for a fresh round of volunteers.
The campaign enlisted its first official ambassadors in 2010 and reviews the role every two to five years. The latest recruitment drive is part of Sustain’s current increased focus on improving diversity, representation and inclusion in its work.
Past ambassadors all agree the role has broadened their horizons. Ian Waterland from Leicestershire’s Knead Good Bread said the campaign has provided him with a bigger platform to link people with similar passions.
“[The campaign] is a driving force behind the movement to promote real bread. I would encourage anyone to read the wealth of information on their website about the benefits of Real Bread, join the campaign (loads of benefits) and help improve the bread of the nation, one loaf at a time,” said Waterland.
Jo Bottrill from Luton-based Jo’s Loaves added, “I have noted that when I mention this in conversation to willing listeners – chatting on my market stall over bread related issues, for example – I do feel that they listen harder, show a little more interest and I can talk up my subject with a little more conviction and confidence.
Sonya Hundal from Greenfield Bakers, a small, artisan wood-fired bakery in Lincolnshire, said her role has opened doors.
“I got to mill flour on the Southbank, was loaned a mobile wood-fired oven, have contributed my bread recipes to a book, have been photo-documented. Then there is Bread Chat and a children’s book that I can’t mention just yet,” she said.
Honorary, unpaid volunteering role
The Real Bread Campaign in inviting everyone who feels they who feels they can fulfil the role to apply, but is especially keen that Blacks and people of colour – or those who feel they belong to any other group underrepresented by the campaign – to volunteer.
Criteria merely entails a love for ‘real bread’ and a passion to share it with others, be that by chatting, writing, vlogging, getting up on a stage or via social media. Valuable – but not essential – is some knowledge or experience in an area relevant to the campaign’s work. This ranges from grain research and growing to milling, domestic bread making to professional baking, health and nutrition, social and community enterprise, local economy and mental health to therapeutic baking.
“If you’re unsure about putting yourself forward because you’re not a professional baker, or don’t see yourself as an ‘expert’, please don’t be! Being a campaign ambassador is mainly about communication and we are here to support you in doing that,” said Young.
Interested persons can find more information on the role here. The last day for applications is 31 May 2021.