Bakers Journal

BAC Bulletin Business and Operations Education
Notes from the Executive Director: April 2022


April 4, 2022
By Martin Barnett, Executive Director, Baking Association of Canada

Topics

Its’ all about Bakery Showcase and when some of you read this in print it will be in the rear-view mirror!

What an exciting ride it has been this past 10 months since the BAC transitioned. At the end of June 2021, we reluctantly pulled the plug on our established administration, bricks-and-mortar premises and all the entrapments that go with running a busy office. We didn’t know what the future would bring, nor what direction the association would take moving forward.

However, the board of directors heard from membership that the BAC was a very important part of the fabric of the Canadian baking industry, and that we should keep going and growing. It is rare that an organization such as ours gets an opportunity to press the “reset button” and we seized on that opportunity with enthusiasm! Membership is growing, our Technical and Nutritional Policy committee is advocating the bakers’ position in the face of a string of regulatory challenges, the Showcase goes on and our educational efforts are being expanded.

At Bakery Showcase, Anna Olson has generously agreed to sign her cookbooks in person, and we are honoured to have such a wonderful Canadian baking icon join us in our booth. Of course, now that we mention Showcase, it is important to recognize the HUGE contribution by the folks at Annex Business Media. Although we have been affiliated for years through this Bakers Journal, no one could have imagined the energy and effort that they have contributed to make this event a success! When we started planning, there was no guarantee that we would even be able to meet in person. So, a big shout out to publisher Martin McAnulty and his team: Tara Jacobs, Stephanie Jewell, Colleen Cross, Stacy Bradshaw and all the wonderful people, too many to mention, who support this show management team.

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Public policy and government relations
We have had some challenging issues over the last few weeks. The unprecedented rise in wheat futures has put an extra burden on bakers on top of the drought, heat dome, floods and supply-chain issues. We are also involved in the TFW (temporary foreign workers) and labour shortage matters. We have responded to the government’s upcoming legislation on single-use plastics (SUPs) and how this affects all bakers large and small. We have requested more time, more thoughtful research and more financial resources to tackle sustainability issues without adding yet another burden to the baker. 

With our partners, Food and Beverage Canada (FBC-ABC), we continue to monitor the Grocery Code of Conduct working group (an affiliation of large retailers and food producers working to craft a new more equitable code). At this time, we have withdrawn our support of the process because of the imbalance between the number of retailers on the committee versus the number of producers and the completely unrealistic timeline to complete the work. At press time we understand that our concerns have been heard but we do not have details of an adjusted process yet. For the Canadian Grocery Code of Conduct to be legitimate it must embrace input from producers and respect our industry’s level of availability to attend many hours of meetings.

Membership benefits
We are “this close” to launching our new membership registration and renewal portal. Again, with the help of our friends at Annex, we have created a much more user-friendly digital form and payment method. To go along with this initiative, more partners have jumped on board to enhance our member benefits. We can now tell you (without disclosing any names) that they include group and health insurance, general business insurance, credit card payment and point-of-sale service, mobile telephone providers, car rental and hotels, as well as affiliations with other associations offering baking-specific educational benefits for our members. We have made it easier to access our membership page by creating the QR code on this page. A quick scan will take you right to the BAC Membership webpage.

Chapter news
Chapter events are back! Visit baking.ca/chapter-activities to learn more about these worthwhile opportunities.

Also, B.C. has scheduled the first BAC Golf Tournament for June 22 (see pages 17-18). And Atlantic Canada and Alberta events are coming up later this year.

Finally, we had our first Prairie meeting two weeks ago with some enthusiastic industry people from the area. We have another scheduled for March 17, moderated by Mark Dyck
(Mad Baker). The roundtable agenda includes:  

  • exploration of creating a Prairie chapter of the BAC 
  • discussion of challenges and opportunities as bakers 
  • fellowship between Prairie bakers and those who support them

If you are a baker in Saskatchewan or Manitoba and would like to be on the mailing list for future events as this group expands, please contact us at
info@baking.ca.

Why did you become a baker?
If you would like to share your story in a future issue, contact info@baking.ca.