Student and delegate attendance was up 30% at the annual ABST Conference last weekend (19-21 June).

Bakery students flocked to Alton Towers for the event, to partake in talks and seminars from the professionals.

The conference, which offers national competitions, seminars and networking opportunities, also saw a 50% increase in competition entries from the bakery colleges.

David Amos, ABST president, said: “We had over 350 attendees, of which over 300 from colleges, which is the biggest attendance ever.

“There was also a huge increase in competition entries and we saw some exceptional standards. The prizes were presented on Saturday night and it was fantastic to see the pride and passion in the winners faces.

“We were also delighted to have members of CBA, Scottish Bakers and the master from the Worshipful Company of Bakers there. All round it was a great success and it is fantastic to see such support from the industry.”

Neil Woods, past president of the ABST, said: “From my point of view, the upped numbers at the conference make a secure atmosphere for the future of our industry. It tells you bakery industry is alive and kicking for the future.”

Zeelandia managing director David Amos is the new president.

David Hall, of London Bread and Cake, said: “Everyone has been speaking about it and it is a great way to get these youngsters industry-ready.

“David Smart, president of the CBA, did an excellent presentation, which encouraged a lot of the youngsters to continue in the industry. I know the students wanted to thank everyone at the ABST for the great weekend.”

While at the conference, the CBA launched its updated and revised Book of Breadmaking.

Mike Holling commented: “The CBA thanks Jim Brown for the skill, knowledge and time he has put in updating, rewriting and editing the book. Jim should be very proud of what he has achieved.”

5 things you need to know about the new CBA Book of Breadmaking

  1. The book was last updated 19 years ago
  2. The book aims to appeal to any young bakery student, apprentice and even the most experienced craft or artisan baker
  3. It contains the A-Z knowledge of breadmaking, various recipes, fault-solving solutions and competition etiquette
  4. The CBA says it is indebted to Jim Brown who has been heavily involved in rewriting and updating the book; this has taken over 12 months
  5. The first copy of the updated book was sold at the ABST Conference

Scroll through the pictures below for some of the Conference highlights.