Editor’s Letter: July 2009
By Brian Hartz
I blogged about this at bakersjournal.com, but I want to take a moment
here to send a heartfelt “thank you” to the Canadian baking industry
for helping Bakers Journal win Silver in the prestigious Best Issue
category at the 55th Annual Kenneth R. Wilson business journalism
awards, presented by the Canadian Business Press (CBP) on June 1 in
I blogged about this at bakersjournal.com, but I want to take a moment here to send a heartfelt “thank you” to the Canadian baking industry for helping Bakers Journal win Silver in the prestigious Best Issue category at the 55th Annual Kenneth R. Wilson business journalism awards, presented by the Canadian Business Press (CBP) on June 1 in Toronto.
The past year or so hasn’t been easy for the baking industry, and that’s why we credit our KRW Award to you above all else. You continue to supply us with fascinating personalities and topics to write about, and as I wrote online, what you do is not only at the heart of the Canadian food industry, but also this country’s economy, and it is our honour to ensure your efforts continue to receive the attention they truly deserve.
Recently I spoke with BAC Ontario Chapter chairman Frank Safian about his chapter’s golf outing in early June. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend due to a scheduling conflict, but Frank told me that despite excellent weather for golf, attendance was down a bit from last year – although still strong given the state of the economy.
Down, but not out, in other words. Definitely not out.
This industry continues to surprise observers with its proactive responses to financial setbacks. For example, Canadian cheese and snack-cake giant Saputo Inc. announced last month it would introduce a brand-new line of desserts, including full cakes, despite a 3.2 per cent drop in net profits in its fiscal year 2009, which ended March 31.
The goal of the move, according to a Canadian Press report, is “to grow the Montreal company’s bakery business, which accounts for less than three per cent of overall sales, and restore historical profit margins in that division.”
That’s an indication of the enthusiasm with which big business views the baked-goods market. It’s seen as a solid investment, and what better endorsement could there be in this time of turmoil, when General Motors, always seen as “too big to fail,” has been taken over by U.S. and Canadian taxpayers?
People’s driving habits and passion for cars, as we know them, are evolving, and the Big Three have been too slow to change – and if not bailed out they will most likely fail. But in keeping up with and capitalizing on trends such as whole grains and functional ingredients, the latter of which is featured in this issue, the baking industry looks set to not only survive, but also flourish. And we’ll be there to tell your success stories – and hopefully win more awards in doing so.
Our December 2008 issue beat out dozens of other trade magazines to take the second-place KRW Award. We congratulate CA Magazine, a publication serving the Chartered Accountants of Canada, for winning Gold in the Best Issue category.
Former editorial director Drew McCarthy and I accepted the award from comedian Simon Cotter, emcee of the awards ceremony, on behalf of the Bakers Journal editorial team, which also included production artist Brooke Shaw, designer Janice van Eck and proofreader Colleen Cross.
But the contributions of advertising manager Stephanie Jewell should not go unheralded, nor those of the Journal’s past and present sales assistants, Pauline Cecile and Barb Comer, respectively; production manager Angela Simon; group publisher Martin McAnulty; and, of course, Annex Publishing & Printing owners Mike and Sue Fredericks, who have kept us motivated to do our best despite extremely challenging economic times for the publishing industry.