Welcome to this issue focusing on the Baking Industry Awards! (see pg 16) These are YOUR Awards and there is a category to suit everyone at all levels, so please enter. Whether you are a good craft baker, run an efficient craft business, or are a supplier to the supermarkets, there is a category for you. Perhaps you have developed a tasty hand-held snack, run an efficient in-store bakery or have learnt new skills and are really putting them into practise. We would love to hear about it so please send for an entry form now.

The Awards, which take place on Monday, September 17, in London, are the highlight of the year with 900 of you attending. Although winning is great, and you get £500, plus a trophy, all finalists and their partners are invited free.

Each year, people who have entered unsuccessfully in previous years often find they triumph. And first-time entrants are particularly welcome. If you are good at marketing, have developed a ’healthy’ product (think of all those products with seeds, nuts and fruit) or can decorate a celebration cake with flair, we really want to hear from you. Perhaps your talent is patisserie or manufacturing bakery foods, or perhaps you are good at tuning into your customers, really focusing on their commercial needs - and satisfying them.

This is a marvellous, inventive, creative industry, awash with so much talent and sometimes too much modesty. Please take time to fill out a simple entry form. Focus hard on what the judges are looking for (it will tell you on the forms) and get the entry in to us fast. And may I suggest you enlist the help of staff when filling out the forms - it is always good to garner ideas and comments from colleagues.

Good luck! And do come to the Awards anyway. It is a great place to meet colleagues and customers. Plus of course to dine, dance and enjoy a top celebrity presenter.

I’d like to say thank you to all our sponsors and give a big welcome to new sponsors Délifrance, Christian Salvesen, Rich Products and Puratos.

And some cheering news to finish: bakery shops are the most popular specialist food retailers on the high street (pg 6). We should not be surprised!