The Federation of Bakers (FOB) has today (1 September) issued its 2020 Annual Report. The report opens with a forward from the FOB Chairman, Mike Roberts, who acknowledges the impact COVID-19 had on the bakery sector. This included the phenomenal increase in bread and bakery bought by shoppers at the start of lockdown and the challenges faced by members in meeting that demand, which was up by over 100% in some instances. In March alone supermarkets sold an extra 56.7 million packs of bread and other baked products compared with the same period in 2019[i].
The Annual Report references all the key activity undertaken by the FOB on behalf of its members and the industry and the scope of work involved. FOB has worked on a wide variety of issues ranging from working with WRAP and Defra on food waste, to Brexit and technical and regulatory matters.
Gordon Polson, Chief Executive of the Federation of Bakers, says: “Prior to the pandemic, last year was dominated by regulatory issues. Part of the FOB’s role is to challenge on behalf of our members. For example, PHE’s proposed 5.5% reduction in salt for bread and 10% for morning goods, by 2023 which is clearly an area of concern for the industry”.
“The FOB also regularly responds to correct and defend negative articles on bread. As part of a proactive piece of activity to promote the benefits of bread, we commissioned a report from the British Nutrition Foundation, which has now been shared with members and used to support consumer media outreach. Another project has been the overhaul of the FOB website which has been updated to make it simpler to navigate, with refreshed content that is easier for journalists to find”.
Mike Roberts, Chairman of the Federation of Bakers, says: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the FOB Board and the Committees for all the work they do on behalf of the members. It goes without saying that the last few months have been particularly challenging for our industry and I’m proud of how, collectively we have responded. Despite all the challenges of the year it has been great to see how the nation has reinvigorated its love for bread and I hope that this is a trend that continues for many years to come.”