STORY: British Society of Baking gears up for Spring Conference

The British Society of Baking (BSB) is gearing up for its annual Spring Conference, which is being held this week on Wednesday 6 April at Tythe Barn, in Launton, Bicester.

Registration will be open from 9am until 9.30am, and the BSB chairman Mark Young of Ingram's is looking forward to welcoming people attending.

As well as a top line up of speakers, Alex Waugh of UK Flour Millers will address the conference with a statement on the latest wheat plantings, supply and prices.

A panel of experts including Waugh; Andy Pollard, MD of ingredients company AB Mauri; and Peter Baker chairman of bakery manufacturer Finsbury Foods will discuss both supply and pricing issues concerning major commodities, plus meeting the challenge of passing costs on to major retailers and smaller customers. They will welcome delegates' questions at conference or over lunch.

The Spring Conference will wrap up at around 3.10pm, with some closing remarks from Young. 

Those wishing to attend or looking for more information can visit the website for more details, email [email protected] or 07736 780 464.

The Spring Conference speaker schedule

The Wrights Journey to Compleat: Masterminding a takeover: Ian Dobbie, MD of renowned family business Wright’s Food Group, will take attendees through the part he’s played in expanding the customer base, preparing the business for sale and coping with Covid. All the while seeking the right buyer to move this highly successful, award-winning family company on. Guests will discover what happened: from seeking a buyer, early negotiations, ultimate sale and current integration.

Are Bakeries Heading Towards Full Automation?: As energy supply and costs hit the news every day. Is this the time to automate? Steve Merritt, MD of EPP, reveals the answers. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation is on everyone’s lips but running a business today is often about a lack of workforce or poor skills or understanding of processes. It’s why automation is absolutely key to both quality and quantity. But in the current climate, does investment really pay? Can AI and automation truly replace skills and help with running costs across the whole range of manufacturing from small to very large, from breads to cakes, biscuits to pastries? Guests will discover some surprising answers.

Practice Essential Skills: Motivation, Leadership, Growth: Nothing is more challenging in the current climate than passing on price rises for commodities, energy and distribution. How do you motivate, lead and aim for growth unless you can implement vital increases? What essential skills do you need to employ and practice? David Garman has led a highly successful career as Chief Executive of Allied Bakeries and in other major roles. He’s now a leading management advisor, who will reveal the essential dos and don’ts of meeting these challenges and moving business on.

Microbiological Food Safety Challenges: Combatting mould and extending shelf life are two principal concerns of every baker and ingredient supplier. Campden BRI’s Phil Voysey will share his knowledge of the latest microbiological challenges and research. Most topical will be process and storage conditions, and hazardous ingredients. As well as growth of bacteria, moulds and yeasts, plus equilibrium relative humidity of bakery products such as cakes, sponges and puddings. Ensure your knowledge is right up to date. 

What Do Today’s Young Bakers Need? Meet the industry's rising stars, award-winning young bakers such as Megan Roberts of AB Mauri Ingredients and Will Leet of David Wood Baking who have both won the Rising Star category at BIA, sponsored by Rondo. Megan has moved up in the world to become a research and development technologist While this year’s winner, Will, is working in the competitive world of plant baking. Both will reveal opportunities young people really need, vital ways firms need to connect with young people and the impact of current events.

The Next Generation: Moving Business On: Stephens Bakery in Scotland is approaching its 150th year, with the 240-strong business being handed on. Join us as we meet Talia and Sean Sarafilovic, children of Andre and Rona. With 13 shops, a partnership with 150 convenience stores, snack delivery vehicles and a pioneering drive- thru bakery, this business cannot stand still. But they too must push through price increases. Talia covers sales, shop projects and more. Sean runs operations; from production and quality to maintenance and dispatch. But what about business development, training and craft skills in an era of increasing automation? What are their plans to move this award-winning craft bakery on?

You may also be interested in…