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Baker of the Year
This category showcases the very best bakers in the UK and is a great opportunity for individuals to show how they are adapting to market trends. The award is aimed at professional bakers working in any size of bakery business, and this wide scope makes the category particularly fascinating and competitive. Judges look not just for practical skills and product innovation but also an understanding of the candidates’ baking ambitions and achievements.

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Bakery Innovation of the Year
This category is open to businesses of all sizes ranging from product suppliers to major retailers, wholesalers or foodservice, local bakeries or start-ups. Judges will be looking for innovative, marketable products that they have never seen before. Entries may be brand new, or a twist in the flavour or shape of an existing product, and must be scalable in production and cost in order to potentially supply major retailers, wholesalers or foodservice.

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Celebration Cake Business of the Year

This category is aimed at bakery businesses with a passion for cake artistry and gives them an opportunity to show how they can create awe-inspiring works. It is initially judged on a written entry, with semi-finalists given a practical task (to create a cake with a specific theme and including set criteria within an agreed timescale). Judges will be looking for businesses to demonstrate a team approach from concept through to the finished celebration cake masterpiece.

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Free-from Bakery Product of the Year
This category is aimed at bakeries supplying their own business and/or those who also run a wholesale business. The entrant’s product must be free from at least one major allergen, in compliance with food labelling regulations, and offer high levels of taste, texture and visual appeal. Judges will be looking for businesses with a confident approach to ingredient selection, processing techniques and recipe formulation, as well as a depth of understanding and dedication to advancing the category.

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Outstanding Contribution to the Baking Industry
This award gives British Baker readers the chance to recognise an outstanding individual – one who has made, or is still making, a special contribution to the bakery sector. We want you to nominate someone who has gone beyond the boundaries of their paid salary or ownership, who has voluntarily helped, encouraged or supported others within the bakery sector and sometimes outside it too.
TO NOMINATE, PLEASE E-MAIL: Caryn.Collins@wrbm.com

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Speciality Bread Product of the Year
Judges will be looking for breads that are original, look and taste great, and have been a hit with consumers. Entries can include artisanal breads, continental breads, sourdough breads, seeded or fruited breads, breads with grains, ethnic breads, soda breads, tea breads or novel crusty breads. Bakers should also be able to demonstrate impressive business skills, such as using market research, excellent customer service and clever marketing. Each entrant can submit up to three different speciality breads for this category.

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Supermarket Bakery Business of the Year
Entry is open to multiple retail operators with a minimum estate of 10 sites that sell baked goods produced through an instore bakery and/or supplied to the retailer part-baked or frozen.  Judges will be looking at the retailer’s approach to the bakery category including the retail bakery environment, the customer experience, how baked goods are merchandised and how the baked goods range has developed. Entrants will also be asked to demonstrate staff training principals, how product freshness is balanced with availability and bakery product innovation. One element of the judging process will be unannounced ‘mystery visits’ examining customer service, presentation, variety, quality and freshness of products.

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The Craft Bakery Business Award
This award recognises the work of a craft bakery business, not an individual baker. Entries are welcome from all types of craft business, whether they operate a single retail shop, multiple high street outlets or a wholesale craft bakery. The business should produce artisan/craft/handmade/hand finished and bespoke items for its customers. Judges will be looking for new products, customer awareness, local marketing initiatives/promotions, safety, well-trained staff and for entrants to show why the business is sound, successful and progressive.
NEW FOR 2018: To reflect the excellence of craft businesses across the UK, this category will now be judged on a regional basis. One business from each of seven regions (South East including London; South West, Midlands, Northern England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) will be crowned regional winner, and will be shortlisted for the chance to win The Craft Bakery Business Award.

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The Customer Focus Award
This award will recognise companies that have demonstrated strong customer focus leading to improved customer relationships. Judges will be looking for companies that have committed to focus on their customers, resulting in increased loyalty, improved consumer experience, growth in sales or other successes. Entrants may have spotted an opportunity, seen a gap in their product range, proposed a solution to save them time or money or gone ‘the extra mile’ to ensure they were successful. Businesses of all sizes will be considered for this award.

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The Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award is open to all ages, but is aimed at those in work, training or bakery college who can demonstrate their achievements over the past three years since entering college or the bakery industry. Entrants may be from a college, or craft, supermarket, plant, ingredient or equipment companies. Judges are looking for a person who will contribute to shaping the future of the baking industry. If you believe you, or someone you teach or employ, is that person, enter now.

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