As much as I look forward to my delivery of British Baker and have welcomed its change to include much more content that is relevant to smaller, independent bakeries, there is still one matter which I do not understand: what is your definition of "craft baker"?
I used to think it meant a business such as ours: a family-owned bakery, with one shop or no more than 10, producing products that were mostly handmade and using minimal automated processes. But after being in the trade for more than a few years, entering competitions that are supposed to be for "craft bakers" and seeing them won by large-scale national firms that produce goods on a massive scale, I’m not so sure.
Finally, I see in your recent BB75 (15 January) league table of bakery retailers that Greggs is classed as a "craft baker" with a turnover of over £62m and 1,419 outlets! In what possible way could they have anything in common with the independent baker such as ourselves? Even the term "artisan" has become diluted by multinationals and supermarkets selling "artisan" bake-off mass-produced loaves.
Maybe we need an organisation that can help define and protect real artisan bakery such as The Artisan Bakery Association of Australia (see: http://artisanbaker.org/standards), or we can find some other term to describe what it is that real bread bakers do.
The making of real artisan bread doesn’t involve the use of any processing aids, artificial additives, flour ’improvers’, dough conditioners, preservatives or chemical leavening, that are required by bakeries needing long shelf-life and prolonged softness.
S C Price & Sons, Ludlow, Shropshire
l See Viewpoint, pg 3, for Editor’s opinion.
Do you agree with the definitions of craft and artisan (italics above)? Send your views to firstname.lastname@example.org