30 March, 2007
I feel moved to enter the fray about the training of bakers ('NA makes tough decision to close training section', 26 January, pg 6).
I can't recall an episode of political points scoring like the recent letters sent about this issue. While Elaine Ead may not have been in possession of all the facts, who of us is? Neither she, nor her views, deserved to be lambasted by the NA.Firstly, in response to Tony Phillips: does he not pay tax? If he needs the services of the fire brigade, would he really be happy to accept that it doesn't exist?Secondly, Graham Ryder's point: when you look at a supply chain, it is rare to find all stages are profitable. Many merely contribute to the end product.In response to Gill Brooks Lonican's view, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. It is not my intention to accuse anyone of underhand practices, but we should look beyond our noses.Members' contributions are only one side of the coin. The other is where you can add value and what value members will get. With regard to questions on the numbers of members using training facilities, if I did not have an 'open' sign on my shop I probably wouldn't sell much bread! I would like to see figures that realistically demonstrate the cost of training a student to a specific standard rather than statistics listing every possible expense related to training.My business has benefited immeasurably from the NA's training facilities. This scheme is the missing link in the development of today's trainees into the craft bakers of tomorrow.David Bunn, MD of Fellows, Ardingly, West Sussex