The specialist skills that have been practised by craft bakers for generations are being celebrated today to mark the start of National Craft Bakery Week which runs from 7- 12 June 2010.
Craft bakers prepare all their bakery produce from scratch using raw ingredients and traditional baking methods, rather than the ‘bake off from frozen’ approach favoured by supermarkets. Breads, continental pastries, sweet and savoury pies, cakes and confectionery are made fresh each day and sold in their own shop or in-store bakery.
Baking from scratch requires a broad range of skills and since 2003, the industry’s representative body, Scottish Bakers, has delivered training to more than 8,500 people. There are currently 123 adults over the age of 20 years training as apprentices. According to Alan Stuart, president of Scottish Bakers, these skills are proudly recognised both within the industry and by many others.
“Lots of bakeries have expanded and invested in new premises in recent years and many recognise the importance of training in securing the sustainability of the industry. As well as providing young people with important skills sets, training enhances their progression and career opportunities, which is also important for the future growth of our industry and the Scottish food sector as a whole”.
Supporting this view is John Gall who owns Brownings the Bakers, a third generation family bakery business in Kilmarnock. Brownings has grown to be one of the largest craft bakeries in the West of Scotland supplying ten of their own shops and over 250 wholesale customers. These include hotels, supermarkets, grocers and caterers located throughout Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Glasgow, and Dumfries & Galloway. Every morning they produce over 50,000 traditional and handcrafted Scottish Morning Rolls, 7,000 Pies as well as confectionery, cakes and an award winning selection of savoury products.
He said, “All our raw ingredients are sourced and bought in Scotland, whether its flour, eggs, cheese, butter, meat for our Famous Killie Pies or fruit for our fresh strawberry tarts. The Scottish bakery industry therefore has a proud history of supporting Scottish farmers and local food producers and anyone who buys from a craft baker is also helping to support them too.”
He added, “We will be supporting National Craft Bakery Week with healthy option special offers for the school kids to try to educate them on the benefits of healthy eating as opposed to filling up on unhealthy quantities of burgers, pizzas and chips.”
Giving her thumbs up to National Craft Bakers Week celebrity chef Sue Lawrence, and author of ‘Sue Lawrence’s Book of Baking’ said, “Craft bakers use natural ingredients, there is nothing synthetic or mass produced about anything you buy from a craft baker so everything tastes so good. As part of the research for my book I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting craft bakers up and down the country to find out about their regional specialities. I was very impressed by the quality of the bakery produce and was in awe of some of the fabulous creations I saw. I also discovered there is an enormous amount of pride and passion which goes into their work, and a real respect for the final product, which is why training is so fundamental to keeping these skills going.”
Issued by Jen Nash on behalf of Scottish Bakers. For further information, interviews etc please contact Jen Nash, Panache Communications, t. 07971 466 220 or e. firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BE SUPPLIED ON REQUEST /
QUOTES FROM OTHER BAKERS IN OTHER REGIONS CAN ALSO BE SUPPLIED ON REQUEST.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The National Craft Bakers’ Week activity is spearheaded by the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB), the Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) in conjunction with British Baker magazine.
- It is estimated there are 350 craft bakeries in Scotland employing 12,500 people
- There are approximately 4,000 small craft bakeries in the UK, each typically employing between five and 25 people. There are 350 medium-sized bakeries and 150 large plant bakeries.
- Brownings can be contacted on 015635 22685 or visit www.browningsbakers.com