This year’s British Society of Baking (BSB) conference focused on ‘Better Business’ in today’s economic climate, asking bakers to develop their baked offerings and benefit from technology.

Members and guests were invited to the Ardencote Manor Hotel, Claverdon, Warwick from 8-9 October, to hear from Wayne Caddy. Head of baking at the School of Artisan Food, Caddy is currently in training for the Bakery Masters, held in Paris next year.

Led by chairman Sara Autton, the BSB conference featured talks from Chris Brockman, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, who discussed on innovation in the bakery market and consumer trends. Brockman urged attendees to embrace gluten-free and consider heightening flavours.

Mich Turner, celebrity judge and founder of the Little Venice Cake Company, explained how cake decorating is no longer an activity for those in their 50s, fuelled by The Great British Bake Off, and how to develop a brand via commercial opportunities.

Attendees were also asked to consider the technology used in their business by Robert Pate, services product manager, Castle Computer Services, who explained Cloud computing. Automation was also discussed by Graham Jones, managing director of Logistics Planning.

Jim Brown, treasurer and conference coordinator for the BSB, said: “I felt the conference was excellent. We’ve had a lot of positive comments, and I think visitors gained a lot of value from the talks. Gaining inspiration is what it’s all about, and I felt there was a good mix of practical and technical information.”

Autton added: "I thought it was a brilliant conference with very good, varied papers. At every conference we aim to deliver diversity, and I think we managed it. I am very grateful to all those who spoke."

British Society of Baking Conference - speakers

Innovation and consumer trends in the global bakery market, by Chris Brockman

An introduction to Cloud computing, by Robert Pate

French flour for quality French and artisan breads, by Paul Matthews and Graham Emberson

Top-class cakes and Britain’s best bakeries, by Mich Turner

Energy-saving and control, by Vahid Tambe

ABST (Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees) by Matthew May

Why training matters by Alan Clarke and Karen Taylor

Using automation to reduce bakery distribution costs, by Graham Jones

Maintaining innovation, sales and quality in baking, by André Sarafilovic