The search is on once more to find the baking industry’s high fliers and success stories, with the official launch of the Baking Industry Awards 2008. The awards, now in their 21st year, recognise the hard work and passion of the people and companies that make the British baking industry one of the most exciting and innovative in the world.

Businesses of all sizes may enter the competition - from the one-shop retailers to the largest suppliers - and this year sees the launch of several new categories, meaning there’s an award to suit everybody.

Key players from the baking industry will attend the gala awards dinner, to be held at the Grosvenor House hotel in Mayfair on Monday, 15 September, including representatives from major plant bakeries, craft companies, millers, leading supermarkets, bakery trade bodies and suppliers.

The closing date for the Awards is 21 April, 2008. For an entry form or advice on completing it, call Stephanie Smallwood at William Reed Events on 01293 610433. Alternatively, complete the slip on page 15 and return it to the address provided. Details can also be viewed at []

Entrants do NOT have to be a supplier or a customer of any of the category sponsors. A panel of judges, organised by the sponsoring company, will adjudicate each of the categories in the Awards. Each panel contains representatives from the sponsoring company, plus an independent expert judge, selected in agreement with British Baker. This panel will draw up a shortlist of competitors and will visit each finalist’s business or workplace. Or, the panel may call the short-listed finalists to their premises to be judged.

A British Baker staff member then joins each of the final judging panels to help decide the finalists, who will take the trip to the Awards ceremony in London, as well as the overall category winner.

A company may enter more than one category, BUT different company representatives must enter each of the chosen categories. No one person can enter more than one category.

The winner of each of the categories will receive a trophy, while finalists receive a certificate. Last year’s glittering awards night was hosted by Joanna Lumley. Look out for news of what will be happening at this year’s ceremony in upcoming issues of British Baker.