Big Interview: Andrew Pyne

Andrew Pyne, Chief Executive of Federation of Bakers touches upon the importance of working as a collective – from feeding the nation to fortifying flour – with Editor Caitlin Gittins 

Please introduce yourself, your role and responsibilities at the Federation of Bakers (FoB)? 

My name is Andrew Pyne and I’m the Chief Executive for the Federation of Bakers. I’ve been at FoB for almost two years. 

As part of my background, I spent 20 years in the world of breakfast cereals at Nestlé Breakfast Cereals where I was responsible for looking after corporate affairs, communications and European public affairs. Prior to this role, I spent 18 months at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). 

How has your background helped you in your current role? 

My role in communications was very much about engaging with other parties on topics that weren’t necessarily in my areas of expertise. I had a European role where I would visit parliament and talk to them about issues affecting the industry I worked in. Some of these issues are still around; such as tackling acrylamide in food. 

I was talking to policy makers in Europe, the UK government, and these things are still on the agenda in my current role. Processed food, as an example, was something we were talking about 10 years ago in Europe as a major concern. 

I’m not a technical person, but you learn about technical requirements such as sugar, salt, fat, nutrition and science, which I can bring to the bakery industry. 

You were appointed almost two years ago. What were your aims when you started? 

When I joined, I was building on the legacy of the previous Chief Executive, Gordon Paulson, who’d been there for 17 years. Those were big shoes to fill. 

I also joined shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine and the result of that was the energy crisis, as energy, wheat and fuel prices were all skyrocketing. 

This period for the food and drink industry was quite tumultuous, and certainly in trouble. Getting to grips with those issues was the reactive part of my role. From the proactive part, I wanted to understand what the industry concerns were; what the things that we needed to get to the bottom of were. 

That was key for me, being new to the industry, to understand what makes it tick and what the issues are. The second point was that I needed to establish what success looks like for our membership and how we support our members. 

I developed our Federation of Baker’s Purpose and Vision, which enabled us to be single-minded about what our priorities were. This meant every time we looked at an issue, we could see whether this was part of our purpose and part of our vision.  

It seems that the bakery industry faces different challenges at different periods of time. What is your perspective? 

I think the issues change; the principles behind how you deal with them don’t. A lot of people go back to Brexit and the issues that were facing us in understanding how companies conduct business outside of the EU

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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