Viewpoint

28 April, 2006
Sylvia Macdonald
Page 10 

Sylvia Macdonald

I am always bemused by the fact that being seen as 'old fashioned' is something of a slur, whilst using the word 'traditional' is often a big plus. In that case, I wish we would return to 'traditional' discipline and 'tradtitional' mealtimes at least once a day. My Reverend godfather used to say that most education takes place around the dinner table. He said it was when you passed on your values to your children.
I also love the 'tradition' of fermenting bread, so the dough develops naturally at its own pace, giving full flavour. But i recognise that, in today's mechanised times, there is an important role for good plant bread. In the past, those kitting out their bakeries often turned to APV but we have heard less and less about them in recent years.So I hope the acquisition of APV by private investors will herald a new opportunity for the company. Interestingly it is reverting to its 'traditional' name, Baker Perkins, "a name that was familiar to customers in the last century". Yes, many things were better last century, but it is very important to move forwards. A smart society, like a smart company, adapts and, even better, spearheads the new, while retaining the core values that made it a success in the past.In the case of Baker Perkins that name traditionally represented well-built bakery machinery that would last for years. I hope it will again.I always think bakery is a sector that evolves rather that making a dramatic overnight debut, like the iPod. It is certainly evolving in Tesco, where senior bakery buyer Andy Brocklehurst has revealed that the supermarket is to revamp its offer with a new range, signage and layout. Interestingly more space will be dedicated to wholemeal and seeded breads, a sector that Tesco has helpped develop with its focus on low GI. Speciality bread and cakes are also the focus of our FREE supplement this week, I hope you enjoy it.Meanwhile, Asda has launched a partnership between in-store bakeries, North Yorkshire Farmers and - wait for it- the RSPB. Yes, you read that correctly. The result will be bread that uses wheat from 'bird-friendly' fields and encourages wildlife to flourish. What a great initiative! I hope it spreads.Finally this week, many congratulations to Michael Bell's company for winning the Queen's Award for Enterprise, a super accolade for a super person running a great firm.



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