Martin Barnett, the Executive Director of the Bakers Association of Canada speaks with Roshini Bains about the company’s importance and response to industry trends.
-Could you provide some background into The Baking Association of Canada and what your mission statement is?
The Baking Association of Canada was established in the late 1990’s, as a merger of several different baking associations, some dating back almost a century. Bringing these different entities together has allowed the BAC to administer nation-wide initiatives, with the help of provincial chapters and the Quebec association. (CBQ)
Our mission Statement is to, ‘To empower our members in providing nutritious and delicious baked goods to consumers in Canada and around the world through leading public policy, knowledge transfer and networking’.
-How integral is your association to the bakery sector in Canada?
The BAC represents all bakeries in Canada, large and small. We support the big industrial companies as well as the small artisan bakeries and speciality shops. It’s safe to assume that the Baking Association of Canada is vital to this country’s baking industry infrastructure.
-How does the association support its members?
We support our members through advocacy and government relations. Our collaborations with other associations, such as Food and Beverage Canada and the Canadian National Milling Association, help us keep our members connected and informed. On top of this, the association offers a package of value-added benefits to our members such as reduced fees and industry educational evenings. We have a job vacancy page on our website, and connections to training programs. Moreover, we are a great association for mentorship and networking.
We are here to ease the concerns of our members and facilitate the help they need, whatever that may be. Recently, there was a catastrophic flood in Southwest British Columbia. Roads and railways were washed out; many bakeries have been cut off, and are struggling to get supplies. Our association has reached out to offer support; we have checked in with them and offered these bakeries the opportunity to phone us for logistical advice and help in rebuilding their businesses.
During the pandemic, we reached out to our bakers to help them understand and apply for government subsidies. We advocated with the government to make bakeries an essential service, thus easing lockdown regulations and helping bakeries stay open.
hat is exclusively using solar power to run its refrigeration systems, which may set the tone for how many other factories run in the future.
-Does your organisation have any exciting new projects or developments occurring soon?
We host a trade show once a year, called The Bakery Showcase, which has been postponed because of the pandemic. But it will be returning on 10th-11th April 2022. This event to welcomes Canadian and International Bakeries and industrial exhibitors. Learn more here: baking.ca
Read the full article in our Novmeber-December issue here: International Bakery (pagesuite.com)