PROBLEMS caused by the NA’s declining membership were highlighted at the conference.

Chairman Noel Grout told delegates the NA currently has 804 members, down 51 on the same time last year.

The NA is weighing up the future of its bakery training operation due to falling demand, he said. It is currently training 91 bakers with 36 employers, down from 124 trainees last year.

Mr Grout said: “The board is committed to training, but if it goes into a loss the board will pull the plug.”

Training made a £19,000 profit in 2005, but Mr Grout said various running costs had not been deducted.

Mr Grout also told delegates that two staff had been made redundant due to falling membership numbers. And the board will have to consider the future of its headquarters in Ware, Hertfordshire over the next year.

Over the year to December 31, 2005, the NA made a £48,362 pre-tax profit, on income of £562,205.