A group of 13 baking organisations met in London last weekend to discuss some of the main issues facing the industry.

The meeting, which was organised by David Powell, was held under Chatham House rules, and provided a forum for open debate of the challenges that are top of the agenda for all members of the baking industry.

Subject areas on the table included: making baking a career of choice; the perception and reputation of bakery products; and communications both within the industry and externally.  

Powell said: “It often seems that members of the industry are a disparate group and heading off in their own directions. But I strongly felt that, although they are all different businesses, 80% of the concerns are the same. I believed that if we could all sit round a table together, those issues could be considered and a united industry could face the challenges together.

“But even I wasn’t prepared for the commitment from each of them, and the openness with which the meeting was conducted. I really feel that we made good progress and can see the way forward as one baking industry.”

Representatives from plant, artisan and craft bakers were present, as well as students, educators and trainers. Flour and the ingredient manufacturers also attended along with the confectioners.

The meeting was held at Bakers Hall, home to the Worshipful Company of Bakers, and chaired by Master Peter Gossage.

The organisations which attended the meeting were:

Alliance of Bakery Students and Trainees

Association of Bakery Ingredients Manufacturers

The British Confectioners’ Association

British Society of Baking

Federation of Bakers

Improve / The National Skills Academy for Food and Drink Manufacturing

National Association of British and Irish Millers

National Association of Master Bakers

National Bakery School

Richemont Club of Great Britain

Scottish Bakers

The Real Bread Campaign

Worshipful Company of Bakers