It’s time, once again, to think about entering the Baking Industry Awards!

I know most of you have Easter on your mind, but please read about the different categories on pages 15 to 27 and think which ones you and your staff should enter.

You absolutely do not need to be a customer of the sponsoring company. So, as soon as the Easter rush is over, or sooner if you can, please do get your entry forms back to us in plenty of time.

The entry forms are available from Stephanie Smallwood, tel: 01293 610433; email: stephanie.smallwood@

There are 11 categories to enter, so there’s something for everyone. So many of you make excellent products or employ talented trainees. Others have been pioneering in the organic market or know how to make a real quality product at a fair price - please see what applies to you.

Craft bakers always do really well at the awards, which is heartwarming for the whole industry. Others of you provide an excellent customer focus and service while some of you run efficient supermarket in-store bakery teams - and we do want to hear from you all!

Celebration Cake Maker of the Year is one of my favourite categories - the entries are so delightful but Plant Product of the Year is a new award for plant bakers and cake makers so the whole spectrum of the market is covered.

Baker of the Year is one of the top categories and you must have hands-on baking expertise. If you look at last year’s winners, and read their comments, you will see there are winners from all corners of the baking industry.

All finalists come free to the awards, with a partner of their choice (bring mum or dad if you like!), and everyone is acknowledged up on the stage as you so rightly deserve.

Last year we had the biggest crowd ever - over 900 of you came to support the finalists and show the pride that everyone takes in this fantastic industry. It is a time for congratulations. A time for sponsors to showcase their names and support this creative, inventive and hardworking sector.

And it is a time for networking and meeting new contacts. It is also a night to enjoy with like-minded people with our new theme for 2008 - Las Vegas. So please, decide what to enter now and request an entry form!