Tesco bakery chief Gordon Gafa and Bread Ahead founder Matthew Jones will key speakers for the British Society of Baking’s Spring Conference 2018.

The event takes place at the world’s oldest bakery school – the National Bakery School, London South Bank University – on Wednesday 25 April.

Cutting-edge developments in the craft of chocolate, current thinking on emulsifiers and the lowdown on government policies to support UK bakers are all on the event’s agenda.

Headline speaker Gordon Gafa, Tesco UK’s category director for bakery, dairy & local, will be giving a presentation entitled ‘Winning together in bakery: Tesco’s perspective’. This is Gafa’s second appearance at a BSB conference. Since his debut at the BSB’s Autumn Conference 2016, he has rolled out a new in-store bakery concept across Tesco’s portfolio, winning Supermarket Bakery Business of the Year 2017 at last September’s Baking Industry Awards in the process.

His latest presentation will show how changes implemented over the past two years have improved Tesco’s customer offerings and rebuilt trust in its brand.

Bread Ahead founder Matthew Jones, meanwhile, will discuss how he fulfilled his goals by creating the London-based bakery while making a place to teach baking to a new generation of enthusiasts.

“It’s great to be hosting such a strong speaker line-up at the world’s oldest bakery school,” said BSB chairman Paul Turner. “I would particularly encourage bakers based in and around the capital to join us. We seek to be the place where the whole of the British baking industry comes together and the agenda for this conference is a perfect example of the depth of knowledge that’s on offer at our events.”

David Phoenix, vice chancellor and chief executive of London South Bank University, will also give a short presentation while Professor Paul Berryman, food & drink investment specialist at the Department for International Trade, will discuss advances in innovation and research within bakery.

Kerry Group’s Martin Mullally and Alireza Jawad will make a technical presentation on choosing functional ingredients and picking the right emulsifiers for baked goods. And Beverley Dunkley from ruby chocolate pioneer Barry Callebaut will talk about sugar reduction.

The Spring Conference will be chaired by BSB member Peter Baker, of Finsbury Food Group.