The True Price of bread
Bread is a basic element of diets across the world. Like many other agricultural products, production of grains leads to extraction of water, soil pollution, and the emission of Co2, all of which involve societal costs.
Together with Bakker van Vessem, True Price has now calculated the first true price of bread. Bakker van Vessem is a well-established bakery brand, running now for 111 years, with a consistent focus on creating unique and healthy baked goods. True Price compared their Haarlemmer Meer Brood with a constructed average bread sold in Dutch supermarkets, with imported ingredients and conventional agricultural methods.
As shown in the image below, we found that the Haarlemmer Meer Brood from Bakker van Vessem had a true cost of 17 eurocents, compared to 32 eurocents of conventional bread. The difference is explained by two main drivers: transport and chemical fertilizer use. Haarlemmer Meer Brood is produced and transported locally within the region thereby avoiding the higher impact of imported bread from other areas. Further, Bakker van Vessem use less manure fertilizer per hectare to keep the external cost low.
Bakker van Vessem should be congratulated on their efforts to ensure that their bread reflects the true cost of its production. While this is a huge improvement on the sector average, there is still work to be done. There are three key directions for improvement: increasing the use of organic fertilizer, compensation of Co2 emissions through certified remediation efforts such as tree planting, as well as the use of biogas in order to drive down societal energy costs.
The delicious line of bread by Bakker van Vessem is now available in 16 stores, and is the first bread that can be bought for the True Price. Find out if there is a bakery near you (website is in Dutch).