Media release: Bakers in Scotland and England unite to call for ‘sensible approach’ to review of isolation rules

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SCOTTISH Bakers, the association which supports bakers throughout Scotland, and its counterpart body in England, the Craft Bakers Association, are today both calling for their respective governments to urgently review the Track and Trace system and rules on isolation, particularly as they relate to co-workers of a positive case.

Scottish Bakers’ chief executive, Alasdair Smith, said: “Bakers throughout the UK have worked hard during lock down to ensure the consistent supply of fresh bread and sweet treats in stores, but our members are now suffering from the impacts of the Test and Trace system.

“It only takes one staff member to test positive for Covid and the Test and Trace alerts start arriving, instructing colleagues to isolate. This can take out all of the staff on a shop floor, all of the behind-the-scenes bakery staff or an entire production line for some of our larger wholesale members resulting in business disruption and possible closure.

“This is particularly acute in the hospitality side of our sector which has suffered in silence, alongside restaurants and pub owners, with a huge reduction in the requirement for bread based products, as part of the supply chain bakers serving this market have had little additional support from our governments.

“Since lockdown measures have eased to allow eating indoors, the hospitality sector has seen a bounce-back with the bakers in this vital supply chain getting back to some sense of normal but with the rise in cases, the Test and Trace system is now hitting them hard too.”

Karen Dear, director of Operations of the Craft Bakers Association, comments: “We are calling on our governments to act urgently to review the way Test and Trace works, this constant ‘in/out’ approach is impossible to manage and businesses, who have suffered enough through lockdown, simply cannot cope.

“And it is not just the bakery sector, all sectors in the economy are struggling to operate with no idea when staff will be called away to isolate and this comes at a crucial time as furlough and other financial interventions start to slow.

“Our belief is that the focus must be on the test element of Test and Trace, when cases are identified a test-first approach must be taken rather than isolating as a first option and that vaccine status should play a part in the process.”

She continued: “Without this, our bakers and the hospitality sector they serve as well as many other sectors in our economy will continue to feel the pain, slowing the economy yet further.”

Notes for editors:

Scottish Bakers has been supporting and protecting the interests of Scotland’s bakery trade for 130 years.

Scottish Bakers’ core purpose is to promote and protect the interests of the trade; representing, advising and supporting all aspects of Scotland’s baking industry to ensure it remains competitive and equipped for growth.

It does this by providing the widest possible range of benefits that help its members sustain and grow their businesses including: skills development, technical information and assistance, competitions, sector intelligence, legal advice, financial discounts, and social and business networking.

Scottish Bakers manages both The World Championship Scotch Pie Awards and The Scottish Baker of the Year Awards each year to recognise and celebrate excellence in the sector.

But most importantly, Scottish Bakers belongs to its members, it is there for their benefit and is proud of its motto, ‘For the good of all’.

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