Asda bakery chief to speak at BSB spring conference

Asda’s head of bakery Ian Cummings is to speak at the British Society of Baking’s (BSB’s) spring conference, which is themed around ‘driving healthy profits’.

Cummings will be joined on the speaker line-up by Mike Holling of Birds Bakery, Derby; health guru and chairman of Action on Sugar Professor Graham MacGregor; James Astor of waste management firm Regen Holdings; and Chris Head of Toast Ale; as well as members of Campden BRI’s team.

The event takes place at Campden BRI in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire on Wednesday 10 April.

Health is among the trends up for discussion, as well as healthy profits, with both covered from three angles – retail, manufacturing and waste management.

Asda was named Supermarket Bakery Business of the Year at the 2018 Baking Industry Awards, so following that, Cummings will tell delegates how the company is driving success in its in-store bakery offering, with a focus on variety and quality, as well as new trends plus training and merchandising.

Holling, meanwhile, will be discussing how Birds Bakery’s forward focus is “stronger than ever” as it celebrates its 100th anniversary this year as well as his views on investment, sugar reduction and how to maintain healthy profits in a time of uncertainty.

 Here is the full list of speakers and the topics they will be covering:

  • Gary Tucker, head of baking and cereals processing, Campden BRI – As the company kicks off its centenary year, Tucker will outline the important events throughout its history.
  • Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Action on Sugar – As part of his mission to make everyone else more sugar aware, MacGregor wants to encourage everyone, from consumers to manufacturers, to reduce sugar consumption.
  • James Astor, chairman, Regen Holdings – Efficient waste management can help manage profits. Astor will discuss how organic waste can be recycled to farmland and used to help generate electricity.
  • Chris Head, partnership manager, Toast Ale – Another use for surplus bread is to make beer from it. Head will talk about how local bakeries and breweries can work together, and even support local charities while doing so.
  • Mike Adams, bakery science section manager, Campden BRI – Clean label and what it means for bakers will be up for discussion by Adams, who will also highlight the challenges the baking industry faces in delivering clean-label products, including maintaining quality and shelf life.
  • Martin Whitworth, senior scientist, Campden BRI – Looking at bubble structure formation in bread and cakes, Whitworth will discuss how the cell structure is created and how this can be recorded using high tech equipment.

Conference fees are £110 for BSB members and £125 for non-members.

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