The latest cohort of bakery graduates are settling into the industry and other young hopefuls are starting on their bakery journeys with courses at colleges and universities across the land.

British Baker editor Amy North caught up with Lucas Fussnegger, president of the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees (ABST) to find out what the latest generation of bakery professionals wants from the industry, and what firms can do to attract the top talent.

During the conversation Fussnegger also revealed details of a new ABST event – a sustainability competition taking place at the UK Flour Millers head office in London on Saturday 25 November.

The event will see groups of bakery students and trainees compete in a Dragons Den style competition as they look to answer the question ‘what is the biggest sustainability challenge facing the UK baking industry in the next 10 years?’ Topics to be discussed as part of the competition include farming, carbon footprint, ingredient sourcing, packaging, food waste, and pollution.

Teams can consist of four to five members, but only two teams from a college or university may apply. They will be asked to submit a five-minute video on their chosen idea, which will be judged at the event on criteria including creativity, timing, depth of research, statistics, and teamwork.

The ABST said it had chosen the topic of sustainability as it is ‘a very important part of everything that happens in business today and will become more important over the next few years’. Sustainability impacts all areas of the industry, noted the Alliance. For example, those pursuing careers in product development need to consider the sustainability of ingredients used, how far they’ve travelled, the type of packaging and even shelf life of the product and its impact on food waste.

The winning team will receive £250 to be split equally between team members and an all-expenses paid trip to their choice of the sponsors – CSM Ingredients, Rondo, Kudos Blends, Nelstrops, and British Bakels.  

Students wishing to take part in the event should reach out to their tutors, who will then liaise with the ABST.