The National Federation of Bakery Student Societies/IBB Alliance is an organisation that has served the student body of the Baking Industry for the last 81 years. Lately, in light of the changing dynamic of education and the industry, the organisation has conducted a strategic review. As a result the Alliance is currently drawing up plans which, if accepted by the membership, will ensure that the right support is given to the industry and bakers in training well into the future.

However, the organisation only exists because of its membership and, more to the point, those members who freely give up their own time and expertise to form the managing committee. There are numerous different skills required to run an organisation such as this and at present the Alliance is looking for someone with book-keeping or basic accountancy skills who is willing to volunteer their services.

If you wish to be part of an organisation that is devoted to the future of the baking industry then please register your interest by contacting tel: 01283 212603 or mobile 07836 685746 or email:

Matthew May, general secretary, NFBSS/IBB Alliance

Over the past three to four years, the contentious issue of training, its funding and its future has been discussed at length at the National Association of Master Bakers’ (NA) conferences.

Sometimes, this has been to the detriment of other pressing issues that have been discarded. That said, the decision that has been made [British Baker, 26 January, pg 6] should not have been a surprise. The training previously carried out was taken up by few, paid for by all and the benefits were often enjoyed by our much larger members, who were cost-effectively having their training needs met by the NA.

Training will not cease. Our understanding is that much more relevant training, helping us to increase our bottom line, is being offered. Training courses offered so far along these lines, such as sales skills for shop managers, have been well over-subscribed.

The NA has taken a very tough but pertinent decision in safeguarding the services it supplies to us, without the detriment of using its funds on providing a service, which was effectively draining the resources available. These decisions are never easy to make and will never be popular with everyone, but the best decision has to be made for the benefit of the majority.

We applaud what the NA has done and hope it has the encouragement and support of its members.

Ian and Jackie Wilson, The Village Bakery, Bucks