Trade body Scottish Bakers wants to have 70% of Scottish bakers on its membership books by 2015 and give Scottish bakers a stronger voice in parliament.

"The first thing we need to do is identify the population," said Alan Clarke, chief executive of the trade body. "How do you define a baker? That has been our biggest hurdle. We need to build a knowledge base of information that we can share with members and stakeholders."

The organisation has commissioned Improve to research and identify the number and demographics of bakers in Scotland and has created a stakeholder map, which pinpoints all the bakeries in Scotland. It has also recruited a new business development manager, who will work alongside a team of trainers to recruit new members and build relationships with existing ones.

"Each of our trainers has their own region and will identify bakers that are known members," he said. "My president and I will visit the Highlands & Islands shortly to engage with our member bakers, ensuring they remain part of our organisation."

To make membership even more beneficial, Scottish Bakers now gives free guidance on health and safety and employment law, plus a utilities advice service, which offers bakers a free review of current contracts to reduce running costs.

"We’re also now licensed by Skillsmart Retail to deliver the Mary Portas owner-manager development programme for bakery companies across the UK," said Clarke "We aim to raise the skills levels across the UK.

"At our board meeting recently we agreed to set up a new policy group, to which we will invite the key players in government agencies. We will use that to lobby government departments with key policy drivers."