August 15, 2016

15/08/2016: 'Scotland The Bread' shares offer extended until end of August

Social business raising £30k through community shares programme 

is a collaborative project to establish a Scottish flour and bread supply that is healthy, equitable, locally-controlled and sustainable. 

The idea of Scotland the Bread (STB) is simple: to grow nutritious wheat and bake it properly close to home. STB requires a shares investment of £30,000 by the end of August 2016, primarily to ramp up a programme of wheat breeding and research, improve nutritional standards and help more communities to make real bread for themselves.
Andrew Whitley, one of seven directors on STB’s founding board and owner of Bread Matters, is widely regarded as a leading authority on traditional bread making. 

At his organic agroforestry small-holding at Macbiehill near Peebles, he is growing more than forty trial plots of wheat, spelt, emmer, oats, rye and barley from seeds sourced from seed-banks around the globe including the Vavilov Institute in St Petersburg, NordGen in Sweden and the John Innes Centre in Norwich.

Andrew said: “We want to make things better – from the ground up. We are committed to developing the most nutrient-dense and digestible grains and bread possible, within the context and constraints of a changing climate. This innovative social business is setting a whole new agenda for cereal research and public health.”

Trial plots have been grown on other organic farms and on a small scale in public spaces in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has planted some of the project’s Swedish brown wheat in its Demonstration Garden.

Image: Andrew Whitley with community bakers
from High Rise in Glasgow

Scotland The Bread’s research has begun with historic Scottish long-strawed wheat varieties such as Rouge d’Ecosse and Hunter’s, as well as selected Nordic landraces and evolutionary mixtures with a high degree of genetic diversity.
In initial testing at the James Hutton Institute, most of the samples were shown to have above-average nutrient content. Now more funding is required to test, and then release for sale, the current crop of more than ten tonnes of 19th-century Scottish wheats that have already been harvested.

The primary incentive for investors is the social return that comes from advancing this innovative work. So far STB has raised more than £20,000, which means it is now eligible for a matched loan and grant, each of £20,000, via the Just Growth programme.

A community-supported baking course was created by Andrew Whitley and Veronica Burke at Bread Matters in 2008. It combines technical baking skills with some of the commercial and financial know-how needed to operate a successful community enterprise. These courses, advice and mentoring services are integral to the project.

Scotland the Bread board member Dr Clare Fennell commented: “We’re hugely encouraged by the support we’ve had for our share offer so far. Now we can get on with skilling-up community bakers and letting bread take its rightful place on the table as a nourishing staple food, enjoyed by everyone and contributing to our wellbeing and economy.”

Read more HERE.

The Global Miller
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