Flour to the People: A Community Bread Project

Scotland The Bread’s Flour to the People Project Coordinator Lyndsay Cochrane introduces our Innovate UK Covid-19 rapid response funded project.

Loaves disappeared first. Then flour. Empty shelves are a stark motif of the Covid-19 crisis. Overnight, lockdown caused a quadrupling of demand for local flour. Like other specialist mills and food businesses, the Scotland The Bread online shop was overwhelmed and had to close for a fortnight.

Flour to the People is an ingenious response to not only this increased consumer demand for quality flour, but also to the food insecurity that afflicts many vulnerable people when just-in-time supply chains are disrupted.

Watch Lyndsay and Miller-Manager Connie Hunter introduce the project in this short video made by UKRI.

This six-month project will see the installation of a second innovative cyclone mill to double round-the-clock production of flour milled from nutritious grain grown in Fife. Extra sales will help fund additional community work, deploying a mobile bakery to community food hubs  to bake bread with better flour and – using video links while physical distancing continues – teach real breadmaking skills. These will open up a future for participants that offers an alternative to purchasing the usual low-value, mass-produced and ultra-processed supermarket offerings. [Pictured: Rosie Gray of Reviving Food‘s mobile bakery – we plan to partner with Rosie.]

We will also work with existing community bakeries to develop popular products and the skills to make them using Scotland The Bread’s nutrient-dense flour, in order to increase the impact of their localised supply chains and support healthier eating, personal wellbeing and food resilience into the future.

Scotland The Bread welcomes Project Coordinator Lyndsay Cochrane to the team to lead this project. 

Flour to the People Project Coordinator Lyndsay Cochrane

With a background in Social Policy, Lyndsay took a specific interest in the issue of food insecurity following an internship with a foodbank run by the French Red Cross. She worked with The Trussell Trust to support the Scottish network of over 50 foodbanks and engage with the public, press and politicians to highlight causes and effects of food poverty.

A belief in the importance of sustainability, seasonality and locality in the food system led Lyndsay to become involved in the Slow Food Movement, establishing a group in her area to encourage better connection to food, cooking and food issues.

A keen home baker, Lyndsay has also worked in a bakery and witnessed there the power of bread, baking and bakeries in creating a strong community.

On joining Scotland The Bread’s team, Lyndsay says:

What has struck me most since joining Scotland the Bread is the size and scope of the work carried out by such a small core team. This is clearly possible because of the strength of their belief in the benefits of a low-impact, local and diverse food system and their passion to ensure that their knowledge and product is accessible to all. It is also made possible by the strong network of members, customers, bakers, growers and communities supporting the work in a myriad of ways. It is inspiring to be part of such a movement of people acting together to create an important and tangible change!

Flour to the People is funded by Innovate UK

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