The Baking Association continues its advocacy work for the industry, and we have had a very busy spring.
One of the issues that we are engaged in is front-of-package labelling. Health Canada has decided that certain pre-packaged foods should have warning labels on them if they contain more that 15 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of three “Nutrients of Concern.” These ingredients are sugar, saturated fat and sodium. The baking industry has reduced sodium considerably since the issue first arose over 10 years ago, but there are still concerns that lean pantry breads will not fall under the limit and will have to have a negative warning on the front of the package for consumers.
We are arguing that bread is a staple of many Canadian families’ diets and day-to-day pantry breads should be exempt from the regulations. Butter and cheese are already exempt: we must make sure that the main vehicle for delivering butter and cheese is exempt from these misdirected regulations as well! We continue to meet with Health Canada to put forward our views that salt is a very important processing aid for bread production and any further reduction would impact not only flavour but also gluten strength, fermentation, crumb, colour, mouthfeel and keeping qualities. We are also adding to the discussion that any further downward pressure on bread sales would negatively affect Canadians’ health as the enrichment of flour, especially with fortified micro ingredients, is a proven way for consumers to get enough vitamins, minerals and folic acid in their daily diet. We are hopeful that the good folks at Health Canada will understand our position and grant FOP labelling exemption from this class of bakery items.
Another concern that the BAC has recently engaged with is that of butter. Over the last year there have been challenges with consistency and supply. We had an informal but rewarding conversation with the Canadian Dairy Commission in April and gained a better understanding of the issues facing butter management, production, supply chain and pricing. We will survey our members regarding this soon. If you have any comments regarding butter, please email them to us: email@example.com.
NEW BAKERY COOKBOOK
We would just like to give a plug to two of our Canadian baking entrepreneurs – Nickey Miller and Josie Rudderham – who have recently published their own cookbook, Cake & Loaf . They operate a bakery in Hamilton of the same name. Published by Penguin, the 296-page volume contains recipes from their shop. You can find it at penguinrandomhouse.ca. Nickey and Josie were recently interviewed by Mark Dyck on Rise Up: The Baker Podcast, and you can LISTEN TO IT HERE.
BAC DIRECTOR LENDS EXPERTISE TO SUSTAINABILITY PODCAST
Blair Hyslop, co-CEO and co-owner of Mrs. Dunster’s (1996) Inc., discusses the importance of sustainability in local sourcing on a Future Food Cast podcast called Sustainability in the Bakery Industry Through Local Sourcing. He also discusses supply chain stability and transparency in the food sector. You can find this episode on YouTube at https://youtu.be/BgkonxE7ceI.
Now with Showcase behind us, all we have to say is thank you to all those who made it possible and to you, of the industry, who came out in droves to take in the sights and sounds of our first post-pandemic trade show.
In my paternal role as Executive Director, I wanted to make sure that everyone had a memorable experience, and the feedback has been encouraging. The biggest takeaway for me was to observe the earnest conversations between exhibitors and delegates, between the BAC directors and their community, and to hear snippets of optimistic conversations regarding the state of our industry.
Now we can start to plan for the next Showcase in Vancouver next year (May 14-15). Yes, it starts on Mother’s Day, and we will be celebrating with all our moms over the weekend. If you are planning a trip to celebrate, why not come to beautiful British Columbia in the spring?
We can report that the membership application and renewal portal is now live on the BAC website – https://baking.ca/membership/ – so this will make it much easier for our members. We have also completed our affiliations with our corporate partners. Gallaghers Business Insurance, Group Health, Fidelity Payment Services, Rogers Mobile, as well as American Bakers Association and the Bread Bakers Guild of America. All of these partners offer our members deep discounts as well as access to educational opportunities. Stay tuned for an official launch of this new initiative.
You might also remember that we have opened up more specific categories for BAC members. These include Chocolatier, Pâtissier, Artisan Baker, Market Baker and Pizza as well as Hotels and Resorts. And as previously announced, any student enrolled in a full-time baking and pastry program in Canada can enrol for free!
GOLFING AND NETWORKING
Join the Ontario Chapter for golf and networking June 14 and B.C. Chapter June 22. Download registration forms at https://baking.ca/ontario-chapter-annual-golf-tournament-registration/ and https://baking.ca/bc-chapter-annual-golf-tournament-registration/
Martin Barnett, Executive Director
Baking Association of Canada