Viewpoint

19 May, 2006
Sylvia Macdonald
Page 9 

Sylvia Macdonald

Some things never cease to amaze me. They are so blindingly obvious that you think, how can that possibly be? We are worried sick about the number of people carrying knives but do NOTHING to ban them. They are as deadly as guns, so why are we afraid of zero tolerance on something so dangerous?
Why talk about putting metal detectors in schools and on stations? Instead, why not make the perpetrators fear the punishment more than the crime?It is certainly a question posed by a bakery worker who, between his car and the door of the bakery, came face to face with a thug brandishing a knife in the early hours of Monday morning. He found the courage to push the guy backwards and then, as he put it, run for his life.He saw no point in talking to the police and was glad of the few quiet hours to get over the shock. He is angry at ‘society’ more than at the knifeman. But he is a lot luckier than the special constable stabbed last week. So those of you at bakeries and in-stores who start early in the morning, please be vigilant; life on the streets has changed considerably.Change is certainly on the menu in a different way at Dunns of Crouch End where the craft bakery is “re-thinking entrenched opinions” (pg 12). “When we say, ‘We’ve always sold things this way, we’ve never done that,’ it can sometimes be an incredible handicap,” says proprietor Chris Freeman.He has introduced Sunday opening, learned from customers carrying Starbucks coffee into the shop, reaped financial benefits from advertising the use of lower GI breads and premium sandwich fillings and catered for ‘free-from’ requests. Greggs meanwhile is increasing its range of ‘healthy’ options while Jim Winship of the British Sandwich Association tells us about the growth of ‘premium’ sandwiches, and the need to educate the public about reducing salt gradually. Pure common sense!Finally this week – calling all plant bakers – we have the first ever category for plant production managers in the Baking Industry Awards, sponsored by Zeelandia. I am delighted that this sector of the industry is represented at last.If your plant bakery has an efficient production manager, please send off for an entry form now! We look forward to seeing you at the Grosvenor House on September 18.



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