Scottish Bakers is to become the sole manager of the World Scotch Pie Championships following a row between the competition’s organisers.

The event, which has run for 17 years, brings butchers and bakers together annually for the prestigious prize. It was originally launched by Alan Stuart (himself a butcher and a baker), and both the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA) and Scottish Bakers were involved with the administration of the event.

Scottish Bakers and SFMTA have jointly owned the event since Stuart gave up the running of it “about five years ago”, but last November Scottish Bakers chief executive Alan Clarke sent an email saying his group had put “more resource into taking this competition to a high level over the past few years” and felt that “administration between partners needs to be equal to be effective”. This has just been revealed in the Scottish press and, as a result, SFMTA now plans to run its own competition.

Douglas Scott, chief executive of the SMTFA, told British Baker: “I do think it is disappointing that the organising committee [the Scotch Pie Club] has been dissolved, and I really don’t know what their objective is. They decided that they didn’t want to work with us. As far as I am concerned, this is all of Scottish Bakers’ making. I think bemused and disappointed sums it up.”

"Storm in a teacup"

Clarke said the whole thing was a “storm in a teacup”. He said: “The board [of Scottish Bakers] met and decided to invest more heavily in the competition, so we made the decision to take control of all the admin, rather than share the responsibility with the SFMTA.

“For the last few years we have been doing the bulk [of the admin] and our board agreed to invest more resources in developing and continuing to professionalise the competition for the benefit of both butchers and bakers.”

He added: “Bakers and butchers alike will still be equally welcomed – everyone will be able to have an equal bite of the pie.”