There is almost a merging of the FoB’s and the Flour Advisory Bureau’s public relations work under the Vitality Eating System. That is our response and initiative in terms of a promotion similar to ‘five-a-day’. We’re setting out how people can eat sensibly with a balanced diet that includes bread products. There is going to be more emphasis and work done in promoting this system in 2006.
We want to see sensible proposals on salt in bread when the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues its revised targets. We would hope that the government and the FSA could look to the bigger issues of people’s health in general rather than just targeting the food industry all the time. So we would be looking for a slight change of emphasis on their part in 2006. We are also going to be entering into discussions with the FSA on folic acid in the New Year.
It’s early days because only Tesco uses it at the moment, but its new breadbasket could be an advantage as an industry standard in years to come, but probably not in 2006.
I don’t think the problems with Harvestime and New Rathbones will reduce availability or impact on the supermarkets’ supplies. You could have argued that maybe there was a bakery or two too many, so I don’t think it will have a negative impact on the market.
I’m very optimistic for the coming year. I think plant bakers are continuing to innovate in all the different kinds of loaves and excellent premium products. The consumer gets fantastic choice and the bakeries do well out of them, as do the supermarkets.
The FoB is also looking forward to a successful conference this year.