more than 150 delegates attended the British Society of Baking’s 50th Jubilee conference in Birmingham this week.

Members heard papers from eminent industry figures including Greggs MD, Sir Michael Darrington, who spoke about the importance of “Greggs’ People” and making sure corporate values run through a business “from bakery to boardroom”.

Tesco bakery director Tony Reed spoke about the Tesco bakery department in a wide-ranging paper. And glycaemic index expert Professor Jeya Henry guided delegates through the scientific credentials of the eating system. The session, chaired by miller Heygates’ joint MD Paul Heygate, concluded with a presentation from Nabim director Alex Waugh on influences on wheat prices.

These papers were followed by presentations from some of the leading lights of the craft baking industry on the second day.

Speakers in this session, chaired by Bakels MD Paul Morrow, were Christopher Freeman of Dunns in Crouch End, Stuarts of Buckhaven MD Alan Stuart, Steven Hallam MD of Dickinson & Morris, Trevor Mooney, joint MD of Nantwich-based Chatwins, leading confectioner John Slattery and John Waterfield, MD of Waterfields of Leigh.

The speakers shared insights into a range of topics including embracing new opportunities – for example those offered by expansion, the catering market or the health debate, coping with pressure on prices due to the expansion of supermarket competitors and successful handover to the next generation.