Bakers Journal

Notes from the BAC Executive Director: December 2023

November 22, 2023
By Martin Barnett


We were in Ottawa early in November working on a BAC governance refresh as well as reviewing our strategic plan. We were guided by the many surveys that you, our members, completed. Thank you!

This annual retreat was also an opportunity to connect with government players and other government relations people who help us administer the BAC for you. One such person was Rechie Valdez, Federal Minister of Small Business and a baker herself, whom the BAC proudly presented with a bar of Spindle Whorl Chocolate, a Vancouver Island University professional baking and pastry program original creation.

The board of directors are looking forward to sharing with you our sector priorities as we synthesize this data. As a teaser, we introduce our new mission statement: “BAC Unites the Canadian Baking Community.”

IN-PERSON AND VIRTUAL EVENTS
From our Moncton town hall gathering and golf tournament in September, we made a visit to two delightful Halifax bakeries, Vandal Donuts and East Coast Bakery.

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Please join us for A Night at the Races presented by the B.C. Chapter on Nov 30. It’s a fun opportunity to enjoy cocktails, dinner, raffle prizes while networking and raising funds for baking and pastry student scholarships. It will take place on Thursday, Nov. 30, at Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino in Surrey. Register now at baking.ca.

Two informative webinars are now available for viewing on the webinars page of the BAC website: “Recruiting and Hiring Strategies for Your Bakery” and “Telling the Story of Your Bakery.” 

INNOVATION
In October, we were able to enjoy Host Milano and IBA in Munich, two important European trade shows. The team of Canadian bakers who attended were introduced to some amazing technological and digital advances designed to improve efficiency, production, sustainability and marketing. We look forward to showcasing some of these innovations at our Toronto bakery trade show in May.

CHALLENGE TO BREAD BAKERS AND FLOUR SUPPLIERS
However, on reflection, the one innovation we did not see was in taste and flavour in finished products, especially bread. I was reflecting on this, having also returned from an extensive trip across Canada to meet some amazing bakers in September. When I went to enjoy a restaurant meal, be it breakfast or lunch, the bread was . . . well, meh. I often left it on the plate.

We make and sell millions of loaves of bread a day in Canada and I understand that it is quite a job to feed all the hungry families as well as keep the price reasonable. I challenge you to grab a loaf of your bread and serve it at your next board meeting: just everyday white and brown. How does it taste? What is the mouthfeel like and how is its digestibility? Do you serve it in your homes or is it just a vehicle for PB&J? Don’t judge it by its machinability, shelf life, volume and cost. Does it please your taste buds?

We may have to go back not just to our ingredient suppliers and commodity marketers but to our primary producers demanding they grow a wheat that explodes with flavour!

This challenge goes out to all our bakers, not just to the industrials and food-service bakers. We should all be striving to produce the best tasting bread on the planet. 

Martin Barnett, Executive Director
Baking Association of Canada
mbarnett@baking.ca


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