A very big thank you to all those who sent messages of goodwill, as I step aside from the role of editor today.

I look forward to becoming editorial consultant, working from home, avoiding a daily commute, but being out in the industry from 1 November. I also look forward to seeing many of you as usual at the Baking Industry Awards.

My service to this great trade is little compared to that of Colin Lomax who celebrates 37 years with Rank Hovis and retires on 12 August (pg 5). He, too, alludes to the wonderful ’community’ of baking that so many of you feel a part of.

Special congratulations to all our Baking Industry Awards finalists announced this week. And a huge thank you to all our sponsors and independent judges for many weeks spent judging. Your support for this trade is fantastic, and without you there would be no awards.

Sponsors tell me the skill, innovation and efficiency have often been a joy to behold. If you are not a finalist this year, please try again. Your time will come.

One final wish as editor is that the much-awaited Mary Portas review of the high street brings about policies that generate a revival. But, like many of you, I have been on the planet long enough to hear the empty promises and witness the token gestures that come to nothing. It took over 20 years to get like this, so any restoration will need planning and rates incentives, as well as more lending by banks. It will need a coalition determined to ’revolutionise’ the current situation. Have they got the guts? Let’s see.

Finally this week, in the House of Lords, Baroness Neuberger is chairing a committee looking at obesity (see page 8). So here goes: stop blaming bread it’s not fattening! Stop trying to further reduce salt in bread, leaving it with no flavour! Stop demonising pastry and cakes we all need a treat! But do start teaching nutrition and cookery in schools. Do start enforcing daily exercise. And do teach ’moderation in all things’.

And please, please, don’t spend taxpayers’ money on research to discover the totally obvious!