07 May Sticking Together – Being “The Glue” In The Industry
Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing BEMA referred to as “the glue.” I love this analogy because the goal of connecting the baking industry is central to everything we do. In a time of extreme challenges, we feel incredibly lucky to have a front-row seat as the industry comes together to create and strengthen important connections.
To further expand on this analogy, we also know choosing the right glue depends on knowing the environment and conditions of its use. In the baking industry, we frequently see that bringing the right people together is an important part of the formula. And just as there is no all-purpose glue, we need a toolkit of glue options to enhance communications and connections.
Over BEMA’s tenure, we’ve found the right solution demands a long-sighted view and understanding of the needs and the personalities in the industry. One way BEMA looks to achieve this is by bringing people together in centralized locations.
- Offering educational classes to connect bakers and suppliers with like-minded skills
- Connecting industry suppliers with their customers/bakers at domestic and international trade shows like IBIE and the U.S. Pavilion at iba
- Building networking opportunities and unique conversations at BEMA meetings and industry conferences
- Uniting the industry by recognizing the needs of one baker, one supplier and one business at a time
Creating quality connections is about choosing relationships that make sense. These connections are happening before our eyes as members of the industry step forward to assist their colleagues in a time of need as bakers and suppliers face new COVID-19 challenges. Even as manufacturers figure out new ways to navigate employee safety, sanitation, restricted access, remote work and supply chain challenges, they are giving back.
At the risk of piling on one more thing, I’d like to ask for your continuing support for those in the industry who are hurting right now. We have launched a We Knead You (#WeKneadYou) campaign to support local QSR/fast serve restaurants and frontline workers.
When our members and partners purchase meals to donate to front-line workers, BEMA will donate $500 (up to $25,000) to Feeding America food banks. With some industry teamwork, we believe this giveback program could become a national concept.
BEMA also supports organizations like The Women’s Bakery (TWB) that use bread to create jobs that provide women with a livable wage, health care and training. Markey Culver and her TWB team, who were scheduled to be at Convention’s Family Breakfast in June, had to shut down operations in April. Without profits generated, TWB is facing real challenges and BEMA is looking for ways to pivot and give back.
As we flex and shift to the “new normal,” we want to thank you for your ongoing support, your patience and your flexibility. Let us know how we can assist in being “the glue,” building better connections in the industry today and in the future.