The Craft Bakers Association (CBA) published its 2021 annual report today (21 October) to coincide with its AGM held at Bakers Hall London, thanks to a sponsorship from BAKO Group Ltd. In addition to a review of the CBA’s strategic aims and business achievements the report includes a foreword from CBA Chairman, George Fuller commenting on how craft bakers have responded to the challenges of the pandemic.
The Annual Report provides an overview of the wide range of activities undertaken by the CBA during the past 12 months, to support its members and promote the industry. These include advice on topics such as HR issues, regulations around the pandemic and health and safety support.
The CBA conducts regular surveys of its members on baking trends, which is reported on within the report. The results show that the pandemic has accelerated trends that were already there and supercharged them into 2021 and beyond. Two of the most significant trends have been the growth of plant-based foods and the increasing focus on healthy alternatives. However, it’s clear that indulgent bakery is as popular as ever too.
George Fuller, CBA Chairman comments, “I have watched with admiration how craft bakers responded to the challenges of the pandemic, Brexit and the rest. There has been fantastic innovation, resilience, and creativity, coupled with a determination to just get on with the job in hand – all of which I believe means that we are in a strong position ready to face whatever is next!
“Looking ahead craft bakers must protect the gains that were made during the pandemic, when more people shopped locally and sought out foods like bakery, with proven provenance. We will need to build on this and demonstrate the added value in our offering, including speciality breads – which are growing in popularity.
“It will also be important to show that we are meeting the needs of today’s consumer, who is more interested in healthy eating than before , and whilst taste and indulgence will thankfully never disappear, we will, I think, see an increase in demand for ‘healthier’ bakes. I am also proud that the CBA managed to fully support its members during what, for most of us, will be the hardest period in our collective business lives. The publication of our first Annual Report, made possible by BAKO, could not have come at a more appropriate time so that our members can better understand the full extent of our work.”