There’s a busy year ahead for the baking industry with a host of exhibitions, competitions, and conferences to inspire and inform, as well as several chances to celebrate.
To help keep track of them, British Baker has compiled the list below.
Note: these dates were correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
30 January – The Artisan Collective
Location: The Compound, Birmingham
British Baker’s invite-only event is a celebration of artisan bakeries and the people that make them so special. Sponsored by Angel Refrigeration, Craggs & Co, and Rondo, it features networking, live demonstrations, and community learning as well as the reveal of the 2024 Bakers’ Dozen – the top 13 bakeries in Britain as voted for by the community.
17-25 February – Real Bread Week
The annual, international celebration of additive-free bread and the people who make it returns for 2024. Managed by the Real Bread Campaign, it encourages consumers to buy ‘real bread’ from local, independent bakeries or have a go at baking their own loaves.
26 February-3 March – Cornish Pasty Week
Cornish Pasty Week returns for 2024 and this time it is raising money for school cooking activities. So far more than £15,000 has been pledged by pasty makers and bakers to the cause, who will donate an amount for every Cornish pasty sold during the week.
27 February – Baker’s Roundtable
Location: AgriFood Centre, Plumpton College
Suppoted by the Craft Bakers Association and the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees, the event will see attendees shown around the new Centre inclduing its state-of-the-art training kitchen by bakery programme manager Anthony Gaston. As well as networking opportunities, there’ll be talks on training, recycling, and sustainability, with the chance to learn about the college’s new Level 3 Bakery apprenticeship.
4-10 March – British Pie Week
British Pie Week is an annual celebration of all things pie-related. The British Pie Awards are at the centre of the week with judging on the 6 March and the winners revealed on the 10 March.
8-9 March – Western Region CBA Dinner
Location: Thurlestone Hotel, Kingsbridge
Back after a four-year break, this Western region Craft Bakers Association event features a reception, a 3-course gala dinner, an awards presentation ceremony, a prize auction, and live entertainment. Additionally, a special guest speech will be given by AB Mauri sales manager Glen Winterflood, who previously held senior roles at Dawns Foods and JF Renshaw and is flying in from his base in Dubai.
8-12 March – Internorga
Location: Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH
Internorga is an international trade fair for hotels, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and pastry shops.
13 March – Welsh Baking Conference
Location: All Nations Centre, Cardiff
Experts from Tesco, the American Bakers Association, the Craft Bakers Association, and Fosters Bakery are among the speakers set to share their knowledge and experiences at the Welsh Baking Conference. Organised by Zero2Five Food Industry Centre, the 2024 iteration will offer an overview of the industry’s past, present and future. There is also a pre-conference dinner taking place the night before.
25-27 March – International Food & Drink Event (IFE)
Location: ExCel London
Part of Food & Drink Hospitality Week, IFE and sister shows IFE Manufacturing and HRC offer networking opportunities and access to products from across the food and drink sector.
17-18 April – British Society of Baking’s Spring Conference
Location: Cotswold Hotel, Golf & Spa, Chipping Norton
The conference will feature discussions on key topics impacting the baking industry. This year, it is paired with the BSB Golf Day, which takes place on 17 April. Following the golf (or optional spa afternoon for non-golfers), attendees will be invited to a networking dinner and drinks reception.
29 April-1 May – UK Food & Drink Shows
Location: Birmingham NEC
Organised by British Baker publisher William Reed, the UK Food & Drink shows comprise the Food & Drink Expo, Farm Shop & Deli Show, National Convenience Show, The Forecourt Show, and The Restaurant Show. They encompass food development, manufacturing, grocery, hospitality, specialist retail, forecourt and convenience retail, wholesale and foodservice.
29 April – Britain’s Best Cake
Location: Birmingham NEC
British Baker has introduced a new competition for 2024 celebrating all things cake! The event takes place at the UK Food & Drink Shows in Birmingham and features a morning of live judging before the winners are revealed in six categories – Classic Cake, Free-from Cake, Fruit Cake, Individual Cake, Occasion Cake, and Traybakes. The winning cakes will then go on to battle it out for the title of Britain’s Best Cake 2024. Entries are open until Monday 18 March and cost £30 plus VAT.
30 April – Britain’s Best Loaf
Location: Birmingham NEC
Britain’s Best Loaf is back! The competition features a morning of live judging in which each loaf is carefully considered by a panel of industry experts. In the afternoon, winners will be announced in eight categories – Gluten Free, Flavoured Sourdough, Innovation, International, Plain Sourdough, Seeded Sourdough, White, and Wholegrain – before the champions battle it out for the ultimate title of Britain’s Best Loaf 2023. Entries are open until Monday 18 March and cost £30 plus VAT.
10 May-11 May – Scottish Bakers Annual Conference and Awards
Location: Glasgow Hilton Hotel
This two-day event includes the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards as well as the annual conference. More details on the line-up of speakers will be announced nearer the time.
18-26 May – National Doughnut Week
Bakeries, cafés, bistros, and other small businesses are encouraged to join the week-long celebration of doughnuts by donating a portion of their doughnut sales to charity The Children’s Trust. In 2023 the event, sponsored by CSM Ingredients, raised just over £43,000.
22-28 May – British Sandwich Week
Organised by The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association, British Sandwich Week celebrates the humble sandwich as well as the contribution the industry makes to the economy.
Location: The Hilton Wembley
Returning for 2024, the Craft Bakers Association Business Day will include masterclasses, demonstrations, and presentations relevant to bakery businesses. Full details will be revealed nearer the time, but speakers currently include inspirational customer service speaker Geoff Ramm and Bread Ahead founder Matthew Jones. The event will also include dinner in the evening.
14-16 June – Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees Conference
Location: Alton Towers
Networking opportunities and competitions form the centrepiece of the ABST annual conference. There will also be a fancy dress dinner on the Friday evening which embraces the theme astronauts and aliens.
12-18 August – Afternoon Tea Week
Afternoon Tea Week celebrates the great British tradition with venues across the UK running a selection of discounts and activities.
1-30 September – Sourdough September
Organised by the Real Bread Campaign, Sourdough September encourages consumers to bake sourdough and buy sourdough from small, independent bakeries.
9-10 October – British Society of Baking Autumn Conference
Location: Ardencote Hotel & Spa, Warwick
The conference will feature discussions on key topics impacting the baking industry. As usual, there will be a dinner for attendees on the evening of the 9 October.
24 October – Baking Industry Awards 2024
Location: The Royal Lancaster, London
Another night of celebration awaits as the industry gathers to celebrate the people, products, and businesses that make it such a special place. The winners will be presented by a yet-to-be-revealed celebrity host with awards given in categories including Baker of the Year, Bakery Retailer of the Year, and Rising Star Award.