The Federation of Bakers (FOB) is to hold its AGM, annual conference and lunch on 18 May at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.

This year’s event will be hosted by award-winning broadcaster and author Gavin Esler, and is being held in association with headline sponsors AB Mauri, Baker Perkins, Lesaffre, Zeelandia and Zeppelin Systems UK.

Esler said: “The UK bakery market is worth £3.6bn a year and is one of the largest markets in the food sector and an important part of our economy. I am looking forward to hosting this key event in the baking industry’s diary and exploring some of the key issues and challenges facing the sector in the year ahead.”

This year’s speakers include climate change expert Chris Kent, who will speak about the challenges of climate change, with particular reference to wheat growing. Kantar Worldpanel’s director Giles Quick will give a presentation on consumer trends, with a focus on health. Clive Black, director of investment group Shore Capital Markets will talk about the UK economy. And former Royal Marine and military speaker Joe Townsend will talk about his experiences – he suffered life-changing injuries in Afghanistan and is now an accomplished para-athlete, training to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil later this year.

Gordon Polson, director of the FOB, said: “The annual conference is a great opportunity for the wider industry to get together and reflect on the events and developments of the last year and discuss some of the challenges that lie ahead.”