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südback 2022: Bakers’ Trend Forum tackles staff shortage, resource efficiency

This year, the Bakers’ Trend Forum will focus on current issues such as the shortage of skilled workers, resource conservation and customer retention, the organizers anticipate. The diverse program was coordinated by the Regional Association of Guilds of Württemberg Bakers and the Academy of the German Bakery Trade in Southwest Germany.

Trend talks, practical demonstrations and discussion panels will also be on the agenda of the Bakers’ Trend Forum. “We are currently experiencing enormous changes in the market. Some raw materials are sold out and prices have risen substantially. Energy costs have skyrocketed and some companies can barely afford to pay them. The shortage of personnel has never been so severe and customers are making savings wherever possible,” Bernd Kütscher, head of the Academy in Weinheim anticipates some hot topics. He will talk about these disruptions: “I want to provide certain orientation and try and help colleagues to deal with the challenges.”

According to Kütscher, the industry is currently experiencing a period of cleaning up and scrutinization. He is addressing these areas with his recommendations: companies must scrutinize their portfolio and focus their product range to reduce raw material consumption, energy needs and personnel requirements. Kütscher explains: “We are now experiencing a paradigm shift. Anyone who manages to cope with this change can look forward to a golden future.”

Another way to counteract the shortage of skilled workers is through the purposeful use of technologies and digitalization. “This topic has gained significant momentum due to the COVID crisis,” said Stefan Körber, Managing Director of the Regional Association of Guilds of Württemberg Bakers. “Digitalisation provides an opportunity to rethink operational processes and make them better and more efficient. In addition to numerous changes in production, there will primarily be new communication channels in the interaction between production, sales and the company’s customers. For example, robots are being used successfully as serving staff in the first café areas,” added Körber.

Measures to mitigate the effects of labor shortage will also be analyzed and best practices shared.

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Photo: Messe Stuttgart GmbH