Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 8

editorial
Why have we always done it that way?
T
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic accelerated
so many trends, and the economy and society are still
playing catch-up. When it comes to the labor market, it
seems the pandemic exacerbated the dwindling interest
in manufacturing.
We've been talking about the workforce gap for years,
and things have only gotten worse. But our understanding
of the labor crisis also has crystallized. This public
health crisis - and all the crises that have come with it
- has served as a catalyst for so many people, a moment
when they make decisions about their life priorities and
standards for what kind of work they will accept to earn a
living. Nothing like a crisis to provide clarity. And so we
see movements like the Great Resignation, with people
knowing their worth and deciding to go for the job or career
that they believe will lead them to the greatest happiness.
We only get the one life, right?
This shift has been unkind to many industries,
including commercial baking. We all must admit,
working in bakery manufacturing - especially
the production room - is hard work.
The hours aren't great, the production room
isn't inviting, and the work can be tedious and
punishing on the body.
When visiting 5 Generation Bakers, McKees
Rocks, Pa., I talked to the company's founder
and president, Scott Baker, about his plans for future
automation. As he walked me through his semiautomated
process for Jenny Lee Swirl Bread, a difficult
product to automate, he pointed out the finishing process.
Coating Jenny Lee Swirl Bread in cinnamon and sugar is
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Contributing Editors:
EDITORIAL
Charlotte Atchley
Dan Malovany
Keith Moore
Michelle Smith
Lucas Cuni-Mertz
Taryn Parker
Donna Berry
Beth Day
Laurie Gorton
the most labor-intensive part of the process, requiring the
work of four employees, a butter bath and an enormous
tub of cinnamon and sugar.
" When I automate that part of the process, my employees
will be so grateful, " he said.
This crisis has shaken up the industry. Instead of saying,
" We've always done it that way, " more companies are
taking a harder look at their production and policies and
asking, " Why have we always done it that way? " It's in addressing
that question solutions may be identified.
In this issue of Baking & Snack and in season 10 of our
podcast, Since Sliced Bread, you'll find plenty of conversations
around the workforce challenge. In his feature
" Reinventing the Workplace, " Lucas Cuni-Mertz, Baking
& Snack's associate editor, outlines how companies are
making the bakery a more inviting place to work, whether
through automation or company policies. You may
read all about how making the big investment in automated
ingredient handling systems can take the pressure
off employees' bodies and improve product consistency in
Executive Editor Dan Malovany's feature " Eyeing the Big
Picture. " And on Since Sliced Bread, you may listen to my
conversations with bakers about where they've seen success
regarding their workforces as well as how industry
associations are stepping up to fill education gaps.
Those companies that reach outside of their legacy
mentalities of how it's always been done and are able to
reevaluate will be the companies that attract and retain
the most valuable employees.
- Charlotte Atchley, Editor
catchley@sosland.com
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Administrative Officer
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Chief Marketing Officer
Corporate Headquarters
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L. Joshua Sosland
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Phone: (816) 756-1000; Fax: (816) 756-0494
E-mail: BakingSnack@sosland.com
Internet: www.bakingbusiness.com
Elisabeth Spillman
Marj Potts
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8 Baking & Snack May 2022 / www.bakingbusiness.com
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Baking & Snack - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - May 2022

Baking & Snack - May 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 4
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