This is our last issue of 2006 and I hope all of you are having a busy and prosperous Christmas period.

At the National Association of Master Bakers’ conference in May, president Shirley Ryder spoke in her keynote address of the pride she and her husband, Graham, felt on 1 December when all the Christmas displays and products were ready, followed by the panicky thought: "But will they sell?" In Shirley’s case, I’m sure they are.

But I hope, too, that your shop assistants are informing everyone of your Christmas treats and greeting customers with a big Christmas smile.

In this week’s issue we have an article on a wonderful cakemaker, Michelle Turner, who likes to be known as Mich (pg 18). Her Christmas Tree is on the front cover. She makes cakes for everyone, ranging from HRH Prince Charles to actress Emma Thompson and the winners of Strictly Come Dancing. Her book, Spectacular Cakes, will make a good Christmas present for some of my friends, but where I fear they may just be inspired, many of you will have the talent to fulfil similar ideas.

One of the new features we are introducing is Meet the Buyer - a supermarket buyer for bakery or cakes. We kick off with Drew Tiffin of Asda, who is ideally qualified because he literally swapped sides - from supplier to buyer (pg 16). If you have wondered what it takes to supply the supermarkets, then discover what Drew desires from you! What is really key is bringing new and existing products to the shop floor and, importantly, into customers’ trolleys.

Also this week, we take a quick look back at the year and some of its major stories (pg 24). I am always amazed at how much news takes place in this industry - and we report it weekly!

But I cannot close without mentioning the editorial team: Hayley our reporter, who has just passed her probation with flying colours; Andrew our features writer, who makes many of the most interesting visits (yes, we get jealous!); Anne our deputy editor; and Philip our art editor. And if you can’t find too many spelling mistakes that’s thanks to our part-time subeditors - Ellie and Patrick. From all of us, to all of you, a very merry Christmas!