A number of bakery trade shows, competitions and other events have been postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19.

To help British Baker readers keep on top of things, we have compiled a round-up of bakery-related events that have been rescheduled or cancelled as a result of the pandemic.

Note: The information in this list is correct as of 06 April 2020 and may change in the future.

Britain’s Best Loaf competition: 30 March 2020

Status: rescheduled for Monday 7 September 2020

The Britain’s Best Loaf competition, hosted by British Baker, has been postponed until Monday 7 September 2020 at the Birmingham NEC. Entries already submitted will be automatically transferred to the new date. As previously planned, loaves will be judged across six categories – Gluten Free, Innovation, White, Wholegrain, Plain Sourdough and Sourdough with Other Ingredients. The winning loaf in each category will be in the running to secure the ultimate accolade of Britain’s Best Loaf.

“I am sure customers will understand why we have had to take this difficult decision. By acting now, the company hopes to remove uncertainty and allow businesses to plan as effectively as possible,” said British Baker editor Vince Bamford.

“We look forward to seeing and judging the best that Britain’s bakers have to offer at the Farm Shop & Deli Show in September.”

Food & Drink Expo, Farm Shop & Deli Show and National Convenience Show: 30 March to 1 April

Status: rescheduled for 7-9 September

The five food and drink shows scheduled to take place at the NEC – Food & Drink Expo, Farm Shop & Deli Show, National Convenience Show, Foodex and The Ingredients Show – have been postponed.

“In light of the ongoing Covid-19 health situation, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the NEC UK Food Shows,” said Andrew Reed, managing director for exhibitions at William Reed Business Media, which publishes British Baker.

“All existing bookings, live event content and visitor registrations remain in place and will be transferred automatically to the new dates.”

Foodex and The Ingredients Show: 30 March to 1 April

Status: rescheduled for 12-14 April 2021

While three of the food and drink shows organised by William Reed Business Media have been rescheduled for later in the year, there is not enough space for Foodex and The Ingredients Show to take place then. As such, they have been rescheduled to run with the 2021 William Reed UK Shows.

International Artisan Bakery Expo: 31 March to 2 April 2020

Status: rescheduled for 26-28 June 2020

This international exhibition, taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, has been rescheduled.

A statement on the International Artisan Bakery Expo’s website said: “The health and safety of each and every member of our community and our staff is of the utmost importance to us. After closely monitoring the risk and impact of COVID-19 on a daily basis, and speaking at length with members of our community, Int’l Pizza Expo and Int’l Artisan Bakery Expo, which had been scheduled for March 31- April 2, 2020, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, has been postponed to June.”

Exhibitors’ booth space has been reserved, but due to the change from the centre’s central hall to the north hall there may be some shifting of positions. Registration for speakers and attendees is unchanged and valid for the new dates.

SIAL Canada: 14-17 April 2020

Status: rescheduled for 5-7 August 2020

International food and drink exhibition SIAL Canada has been rescheduled for summer.

“SIAL Canada, as an industry leader, has been following the evolution of the COVID-19 crisis very closely. In light of recent developments in the ordinances announced in Quebec, we have decided to postpone the event to August 5-7 at the Palais de Congrès in Montréal,” said Xavier Poncin, CEO of Expo Canada France/SIAL Canada on the exhibition’s website.

Cake International: 24-25 April 2020

Status: cancelled

The London date of the Cake International on Tour exhibition, scheduled to take place at ExCeL on 24-25 April 2020, has been cancelled. The Tour’s other event in Birmingham is still scheduled to go ahead on 6-8 November.

A statement on its website said: “We have taken the difficult decision to cancel The Creative Craft Show and Cake International on Tour at ExCeL, London, from 24-25 April.”

Exhibitors who have booked a stand and visitors who have purchased tickets will be offered a refund. Competition entrants will be offered the option to transfer to the Birmingham NEC November show or alternatively offered a refund.

British Society of Baking spring conference: 22 April 2020

Status: rescheduled for Wednesday 21 April 2021

The BSB said many companies that employed its members were not allowing their staff non-essential travel and attendance in large numbers, which would adversely affect the conference attendance and its financial viability. As a result, it has been postponed until Wednesday 21 April 2021 and will take place at Tythe Barn, Clarbridge Lane, Bicester, Oxfordshire.

“We have a duty of care for our members and speakers and we would not want to do anything that would put them at an increased risk of infection from the coronavirus. We hope, therefore, that members will understand the reasons for our cancellation of the spring conference,” the BSB said.

Scottish Bakers annual conference and judging day: 8-9 May 2020

Status: postponed

The Scottish Bakers annual conference and judging day for its awards has been postponed and a rescheduled date has not yet been announced. However, the trade body is keeping online voting for its Customer Choice Awards open until Sunday 5 April as planned.

Conference tickets already booked and paid for through Scottish Bakers will be refunded, as will hotel accommodation at the Hilton where the event was due to take place.

“We believe that postponement is the sensible course of action given the circumstances and increasing concern being express by our many supporters and members about committing to travel and participation in events,” explained chief executive Alasdair Smith.

National Doughnut Week: 9-16 May 2020

Status: cancelled

The annual celebration of doughnuts, sponsored by CSM Bakery Solutions, to help raise money for charity The Children’s Trust has been cancelled.

"We have taken the disappointing decision to cancel National Doughnut Week 2020. We will, of course, feed back directly to everyone that has already signed up and we will announce the 2021 dates as soon as we can. We thank all our supporters and hope their businesses are finding ways to navigate their way through this difficult time," said said Christopher Freeman, owner of Dunn’s Bakery, who established the event in 1991.

In 2019 the event raised £32,532 for the charity. 

ABST annual conference: 19-21 June 2020

Status: rescheduled for 11-13 June 2021

The Alliance for Bakery Students & Trainees has cancelled its 2020 annual conference, due to take place at Alton Towers Hotel in Staffordshire. The 2021 event will be held at the same location on 11-13 June 2021.

"The ABST committee has been monitoring the Covid-19 situation continuously over the past weeks, and we have decided to cancel our 2020 conference. Government guidelines currently stipulate the rulings on gatherings, but more importantly our students will not be able to attend. Colleges are practicing accelerated learning which will end their educational year by Easter and term will not resume until September. We are extremely disappointed by this but we have to ensure that the safety and wellness of our members is protected," it said.