Alan Clarke

Chief executive, Scottish Bakers

2011 has started with many challenges for the craft bakery sector. The increasing cost of ingredients, utilities and fuel has led to significant increases in production and distribution costs. Increased pressure on margins, and the acceptance that bread can be sold as a loss leader by supermarkets, is affecting competition in the sector.

At Scottish Bakers/SAMB we have developed a business plan around four key objectives for this year, in a bid to assist bakers in these challenging times:

lProfile we will raise the profile of Scottish bakers by promoting a positive image of the Scottish bakery sector to consumers, to increase customer support for our members.

lPolicy we will represent the views of our members to key stakeholders in Scotland to positively influence the quality of policy-making decisions that affect the bakery trade in Scotland. We will actively encourage our members to work to high quality standards and promote our role in setting standards to Scottish Government.

lPeople we will strengthen the range of training services we offer, aiming to become a one-stop shop for the development needs of bakers. Since 2003, we have delivered training to more than 8,500 people, with currently more than 450 learners training with us.

lProfessionalism we will provide a range of specialist support services, including the provision of a professional employment law and health & safety advice service and support with business planning.

We are potentially entering the most economically challenging period facing businesses since the Second World War. The challenge for all of us is to make sure we meet the needs of our customers and make them want to come back time and time again. Together, we can do it!