Win-win week

12 March, 2010
Page 18 

Plans for the second National Craft Bakers' Week (NCBW), which proved a big hit last year, are well under way. In fact, the overwhelming interest in last year's debut celebration of bakers took even the organisers by surprise and proved that schools, the public and local media are still fascinated to know more about baking and the industry. So NCBW provides the ideal forum for bakers to engage with their communities and develop their marketing potential to the full.

Nationally, craft bakeries and baked products enjoyed a week in the spotlight something that had never before been achieved. The tag 'the shop that never sleeps' captured the spirit of what makes bakers so different to other food outlets, and will remain the strapline for the week this year. The event helped remind consumers that bakers are perfectly placed to capitalise on the popular trends of local, fresh and community-minded food.

"The National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) is very excited to be launching the second year of National Craft Bakers' Week at the Baking Industry Exhibition in March," says Gill Brooks-Lonican, chief executive officer of the NAMB. "It will give bakers an opportunity to show their customers just how good their products are and explain why they should be supporting their local craft baker. Last year saw staff dressing up in themed t-shirts depicting the NCBW logo, shops decorated, special hessian bags provided by BFP, coverage on local TV and national radio, and local schools getting involved."

It's not just about raising the profile of bakers in the community. Many of those who got involved saw a benefit to the bottom line. "Members expressed a big increase in takings for the week," says Brooks-Lonican. "Now it's up to members the more theyput in, the more benefits they get out. Colouring competitions, posters and window stickers will be available shortly. I urge all members to enter into the spirit of the week this year."

So get planning now, and make the most of National Craft Bakers' Week, from 813 June. Keep reading British Baker over the coming months for updates or check out www.bakeryinfo.co.uk.

We are delighted to build on the success of last year's event and strengthen our strong relationships with the national associations and industry by getting behind National Craft Bakers' Week, helping to design point-of-sale materials, posters and window stickers to promote the event in your shops. Visit www.bakeryinfo.co.uk to find out more about the week's events and to download logos from 21 March.

In recent years, the independent craft bakery sector has come under pressure from various sectors within the industry. This has led to many companies struggling and has created a poor perception of the industry to customers and potential employees. Last year, various members within the baking industry agreed that an action group should be set up to address some of these issues. This group consists of all the supporters you see on this page, who have been meeting for the past year to discuss the various ways of assisting craft bakers within the UK.

The NAMB urges all members to take part in this very exciting second National Craft Bakers' Week. Free marketing kits will be given to all, as well as the support you need to promote your shop. The NAMB has t-shirts and aprons for purchase to promote the week. Extensive advertising starts now!

The Bako Group is again delighted to support National Craft Bakers' Week. As the UK's largest bakery wholesaler, we believe it is important for us to help the craft baker to succeed we are sure that the British public welcome freshly made produce, available daily, from real craftsmen.

The specialist skills of craft bakers should be celebrated and National Craft Bakers' Week will help us to do that. The independent baker has a social role in the local community, which cannot be replaced so anything that helps them to raise their profile can only be a good thing. Our field-based and telesales teams will actively promote the event and we will work hard with our suppliers towards an even bigger week than last year.

Bread is the staff of life, but making and baking it is something that people take for granted as they are swept along by the pace of 2lst-century life. At BFP Wholesale, we think that National Craft Bakers' Week is the ideal time to stop and remind ourselves of the heritage and importance of this unique tradition. Baking is one of the very few remaining artisanal crafts where the skill really is in the hands, and where the feeling between fingertips and dough counts just as much as the quality of the ingredients used. BFP Wholesale will be getting actively involved in National Craft Bakers' Week, spreading the word and running some exciting promotions.

British Bakels is delighted to be part of this initiative to assist the craft bakery in the UK for a second year. The profile of the craft baker still requires to be enhanced and the continued plan to target schoolchildren will help spread the message to the grass roots.

It will get across the importance of locally produced quality products, with a wider product choice and freshness. We hope that the interest through the children can radiate through to their parents, who will show more interest in shopping at their local craft baker.

We saw success last year, but more effort is required for the project to develop further. It is important that more master bakers play their part in making the whole exercise successful, using the tools available.

The largest market for California Raisins in the UK is the baking industry. Second only to promoting the health benefits and versatility of our dried fruit in all areas of the food industry, and to consumers both young and old, the California Raisin administrative committee recognises the contribution craft bakeries make to the community and take great pride in supporting them. The individual craft baker is one of the UK's oldest traditions and National Craft Bakers' Week is the perfect platform to promote the hard work and quality your business stands for. Whether it's with POS material, PR or general advice, California Raisins is here to help enhance your business any way we can.

CSM United Kingdom, with its bakery brands Craigmillar and Arkady, has a heritage spanning over 135 years of working in partnership with independent craft bakers. Our products and services are designed to make our customers' lives easier and give them confidence in their bakery skills and success in their community.

National Craft Bakers' Week celebrates the bakers' creativity and raises awareness of those skills to inspire others and involve new audiences in the 'freshly baked' and 'handmade' experiences that are synonymous with craft bakery. This opportunity to educate and involve consumers and bakers of the future in 'the shop that never sleeps', through events, promotions and local media activity, should not be missed.

Although the 'buy local' message has received strong media coverage and government support, most shoppers haven't yet incorporated it into their lifestyles. Craft bakers are an integral fixture on our high streets. Yet research shows that only 25% of shoppers are buying local baked goods (Mintel). Craft bakers offer superior quality, freshness, low food miles and the personal service that shoppers prefer.

National Craft Bakers' Week is a great opportunity to remind shoppers to buy local and support their local community. Macphie believes in supporting this initiative and will be running special promotions and giving lots of exciting recipe ideas to help craft bakers cash in on the opportunity.

Marriage's is delighted to support National Craft Bakers' Week for a second year. We hope it will encourage more consumers to shop at their local independent bakery, after they have discovered the wide range of fresh handmade breads and cakes, and personal service on offer.

As independent family-run flour millers for over 185 years, Marriage's is committed to supporting craft bakers; we also sponsor the Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk Baker of the Year awards. We hope National Craft Bakers' Week 2010 will continue to help educate the public about craft bakers' hard work and skill, and raise the profile of their businesses.

For 90 years, the roots of the Puratos business have been craft bakers and we are committed to providing them with innovative and cost-effective products and solutions, in order to differentiate themselves. We are therefore proud to support National Craft Bakers' Week and the excellent work done by the NAMB and British Baker.

Since the 1950s, The Reynard Group one of the UK's leading packaging suppliers has been actively involved with supporting and promoting the craft baker.

Independent local bakers are the very heart of our business. The Reynard Group has actively supported local and national associations, the Bakers' Benevolent Society, the Baking Industry Awards, as well as the training of future craft bakers.

So it was a natural progression for us to take an active part in the drive to promote the cause of independent craft bakers and help promote them to the wider community, particularly to young people. A healthy thriving industry is good for all of us.


2009 highlights

l Eight million people heard Radio 2 presenter Terry Wogan talk every morning about the week, after being targeted with deliveries of products made by Chris Freeman, of Dunn's of Crouch End, on behalf of the NAMB

l Local newspaper coverage benefited Hunters of Limavady; Golden Crust Bakery of Cheltenham; Peter Herd of Wilmslow; Kathleens Kitchens of Colchester; Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate; Gunns of Bedford-shire; Warings of Reading; Fullers Quality Bakers of Goole; Stephens the Bakers of Rosyth and Birds of Derby, to name a few

l Nearly 1,000 teachers accessed the teachers' resources, available to download from www.bakeryinfo.co.uk, demonstrating the huge interest from schools in talking about baking





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