Name: Alan Clarke

Job Title: Chief Executive

Company: Scottish Bakers

When did you join the organisation? 

July 2010

What makes your organisation stand out from others in the same sector?

Scottish Bakers is the only Trade Association for Bakery Companies in Scotland and also a UK-wide provider of work-based learning and qualifications for all bakers and food manufacturers.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Re-establishing Scottish Bakers as a credible Trade Association in the eyes of our members and key stakeholders. We have also strengthened our position as the only specialist provider of work-based learning for the bakery sector in the UK. Our board has just committed to revising all of our learning materials and to producing an online qualifications resource. This will enable us to provide candidates with a blended learning approach and all assessment will be carried out to National Standards as set by the food and drink Skills Council Improve, City & Guilds and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

What has been your biggest challenge?

To maintain and increase our membership numbers in the current difficult economic conditions.

Which of your work achievements are you most proud of?

Being recognised for trying to make a difference.

What are the most important developments coming up in your sector?

The bakery sector in Scotland is changing; traditional high streets are under pressure, the increased presence of the multiples and out-of-town shopping is changing customers’ behaviour. Therefore a key issue for bakers is retaining existing customers and attracting new ones. Understanding consumer trends, reformulation of products to keep up with more health-conscious consumers and communicating with customers through packaging and Point of Sale materials are things that will be more important in future.

Which person/company operating in the food and drink sector do you most admire and why?

It has to be Harry Gow from Inverness, the first ever winner of the Scottish Baker of the Year competition. Their commitment to quality, to protecting traditional craft skills and providing the highest levels of customer service is a recipe that all bakers and food producers should follow.

What are your organisation’s most important ethical considerations?

Food waste is a big issue for all food producers and its reduction is a key concern for our sector. Youth unemployment and the attraction of good quality young people into our sector is paramount. We are currently working in partnership with Skills Development Scotland and Glasgow Regeneration Agency to conduct a pilot project in Glasgow, which recruits young unemployed people, offers them a six-week programme and supports businesses to employ and train them.

Where would you like to see your organisation in five years’ time?

I would like us to be fully recognised as the voice of the bakery sector in Scotland by our members, government and key stakeholders, and as the highest quality provider of bakery skills training in the UK and Ireland.

What would be your perfect meal?

Scallops to start, a medium-rare fillet of beef, a beautiful gateaux and cheese and oatcakes to finish.

Related Posts