Dan and Bray were very impressed with the conference. The Kiwis always put on a great show: I’ve been to a few of them over the years myself. They take their baking very seriously, but they also have a lot of fun.
I feel here in Australia we have lost a lot of that friendship and camaraderie. Years ago, the Baking Industry Association of Victoria (www.baking.com.au) held fantastic conferences. But I must admit, it takes a lot of energy and time. It’s a big commitment. And we don’t seem to have it in Victoria at the moment.
The Kiwis, they have the passion. They really love the industry. The conference in Napier was to be held in Christchurch, but this year’s devastating earthquake put an end to that. So Heavens Bakery (http://www.heavensbakery.co.nz) said they would host the conference, as they have a big bakehouse in Napier.
More than 200 bakers came along for the conference, which included lots of demonstrations, workshops, competitions and awards. They do it well. They even had a social night with a guest speaker and dressing up all around.
Dan and Bray were great ambassadors for Beechworth Bakery. They did us proud. We always say our staff are our biggest asset, so we have to be sure to invest in them. Dan and Bray came back with lots of ideas we can use in our bakeries. They were enthused. All these friendly bakers shared their ideas.
We all need to be friendly with our peers, whether they’re from different businesses or different countries. And we need to keep sharing and learning.