President, National Association of Master Bakers
As we leave 2010 behind and move into 2011, it is a time to reflect on the previous year, as well as look forward to the new one. To me, memories of 2010 include the disastrous World Cup campaign, where the optimism of being one of the favourites turned to despair as soon as the actual football began. This, combined with the vote for hosting the 2018 World Cup, in which we only received two votes (one of which was our own) meant it wasn’t a good year for English football.
The ash cloud brought travel to a standstill earlier in the year. The return of snow at winter-time has also caused us all problems. On a more positive note, the rescuing of the Chilean miners gave everybody a lift and England travelling Down Under and retaining the Ashes was a good end to the year.
So what will 2011 bring? To start with, we have to contend with higher petrol/diesel prices, a higher VAT rate, increased raw material costs especially the basics like flour and sugar. It certainly seems as if 2011 will be another tough year.
We will also have public sector job cuts to deal with. Here in the north east we have the highest proportion of public sector workers in the country, so this will hit us harder than other areas. I seem to be focusing on the negatives, but I am sure that, during the year, plenty more good news stories will emerge. Let’s at least be grateful that it’s not another Football World Cup year!
From my wife Rachel, myself and the NAMB, I would like to wish all the British Baker readers a happy and healthy New Year.