Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 8

editorial
Seeking a sustainable partner
T
The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE)
serves as a venue for the baking industry to come together
and discover the latest innovation in both ingredients
and technology, hear from experts, and engage in critical
conversation to address the challenges of the day. This
year's event was no different and perhaps even more so
with a palpable energy added after the past three years
of pandemic have suppressed travel and brought an onslaught
of unique challenges.
Bakers were able to peruse the Las Vegas Convention
Center North and West Halls for new technologies: robotics,
integrated systems, AI and remote maintenance
were the innovations dominating many of the conversations.
IBIEducate sessions tackled the workforce issue,
consumer trends and automation best practices. But the
sleeper topic that I did not anticipate was sustainability.
Sustainability was a major talking point at IBIE 2019
with bakers looking for energy-efficient equipment,
heat recovery, water and waste reduction and
sustainable packaging. But the COVID-19 pandemic
and its focus on public health and food
safety placed sustainability on the back burner.
Suddenly, capital spending dollars went to
adding capacity and labor-reducing solutions
rather than green initiatives. Consumers also
became more accepting of single-serve packaging,
recognizing that plastic has its place in society.
This, however, appears to have been a blip with
sustainability initiatives coming back to the forefront in
a more nuanced way. Consumers are again turning their
noses up at single-serve packaging, or at least insisting that
it's sustainable packaging. We saw plenty of solutions at IBIE
2022. Energy-efficient equipment is quickly becoming a
standard expectation, similar to the way sanitary design became
standard over the past 10 years. And bakers and suppliers
were sharing best practices of sustainable operations in
IBIEducate sessions. None of this is new, except maybe the
innovative packaging materials. What was new was the extra
mile bakers expect their supplier partners to go.
Just offering sustainable solutions is no longer enough.
Baking companies are asking suppliers what they are doing
as companies to better the environment. They are
looking for not just a sustainable solution but also a sustainable
partner.
And the definition of sustainability has expanded to
include not just a list of ways a company is reducing its
carbon footprint but also how a company is treating its
employees and sourcing materials in a humane and environmentally
friendly way. Sustainability has become not
just a baker/supplier partnership question but also a recruiting
tactic as well. As the labor market becomes more
competitive, employees are looking to work for companies
whose values line up with their own, and for many
millennials and Generation Z employees, sustainable
business practices are a major draw.
The baking industry has traditionally been a humble
one, doing good and not trumpeting it. But those times are
changing, and baking companies and suppliers will need to
share their good work with the industry, not just to share
best practices but also to simply do business and stay ahead.
- Charlotte Atchley, Editor
catchley@sosland.com
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8 Baking & Snack November 2022 / www.bakingbusiness.com
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Baking & Snack - November 2022

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

Baking & Snack - November 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 4
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 5
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 6
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 7
Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 8
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Baking & Snack - November 2022 - 11
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