Modern Baker started from scratch in 2016. So with no legacy of ‘old-economy’ assumptions or practices, sustainability has been baked into our operation from the start. It is becoming ever clearer that there is no sustainable alternative.
Modern Sustainability (the ‘2.0’ version) is predicated on the seamless integration of three elements that used to compete for prominence: Environmental, Economic and Social. Without an holistic approach that accounts for how each element impacts on the others, individual initiatives can’t hope to succeed. When integrated into a ground-up, business-wide recipe, they can’t help doing so.
ENVIRONMENTAL sustainability covers our reliance on vegan ingredients of impeccable provenance from as close to home and as seasonal as possible, sustainable packaging and a supply chain that actively shares our principles. Beyond the ingredients, the entire operation runs along as eco-friendly lines as possible; minimal commuting, responsible distribution, a purpose-built, eco-optimised HQ and committed, conscious staff.
ECONOMIC sustainability takes in the obvious factors required to ensure our mission succeeds and adds the wider dimension of preventative healthcare and governmental objectives. A sick society under-performs and runs inefficiently (cost to NHS, lower productivity thanks to more sick days, etc.) Better diet would see less traffic devoted to health-related journeys (currently estimated at almost 20% of road trips, i.e. one in five) with positive effects throughout the economy.
To make the ‘mass not marginal’ difference to public health we want to bring about, it is critical that our products are able to be sold at a price point affordable to most citizens. With an estimated 44% of bread bought in the UK thrown away uneaten (Guardian, 2019) the responsibly packaged, freezer-friendly nature of our breads is a key factor in bringing down the cost per slice to a level below not only the already more expensive ‘artisan’ loaves but also other, unhealthier packaged breads. Healthy food has traditionally been perceived as a higher-income luxury or middle-class fad. We are committed to challenging this with our core mission: democratising healthy baking for the common good.
This leads directly to the SOCIETAL dimension. At its most simplistic, any business needs active people to sell to, but the poor health that results from inadequately nourishing diet has far more insidious effects than premature inactivity. ‘Social capital’ is critical currency and those counted in the lower denominations are more depressed, with lower self-esteem, and considerably less productive. Widening the focus from country to planet reveals ever more disturbing links between nutrition choices and possible extinction.
It’s a truly global issue. Accordingly, the only way to think of it is in the round.