Connie Hunter is head Miller of Scotland The Bread which is a collaborative project to establish a Scottish flour and bread supply that is healthy, equitable, locally controlled and sustainable. Their idea is simple: grow nutritious wheat and bake it properly close to home.
Scotland The Bread was founded in 2012 by Andrew Whitley and Veronica Burke, who had established their work at the forefront of the Real Bread movement in the UK. Central to this new venture was the innovative and collaborative approach that had already been established through their work at Bread Matters Ltd to develop a more nutritious grain, flour and bread supply chain. Working with scientists in leading institutions, they began to research heritage Scottish and Nordic wheat to find nutrient-rich varieties that do well in local conditions.
Balcaskie Landrace wheat is a mixture of long straw wheat varieties grown together, harvested and re-sown to harness the adaptive power of natural selection in a particular landscape, such as the Balcaskie Estate in Fife, Scotland.
This Landrace has been created by mixing the three ‘original’ Scotland The Bread wheat varieties – Rouge d’Ecosse, Golden Drop and Hunter’s – in equal quantities, then sowing and harvesting the resultant mixture. The aim is gradual to increase the genetic diversity of this crop while carefully monitoring its nutrient density, bread making quality and yield. In 2020 they were sowing a Danish evolutionary ‘population’ wheat next to their Balcaskie Landrace to add it to the mix if it performs well. Each year they make selections from the crop to try to improve its quality for bread making, always balancing it with attention to its nutrient density and its yield.