The Baking Industry Forum members and BEMA staff attended a planning meeting at Intralox.

BEMA added seven new members to the Baking Industry Forum (BIF), expanding the team to 18 members. BIF helps bakers and suppliers work together to explore common industry challenges.

New members joining this year included bakers John Mulloy, 151 Foods, Bellmawr, N.J.; Audrey St. Onge, SK Food Group, Seattle; and Luis Vargas, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Horsham, Pa. Joining as suppliers were Rowdy Brixey, Brixey Engineering, Inc.; Sergio Caballero, FoodTools, Inc.; Delia Justable, Forbo Siegling, LLC; and Jeff Dearduff, The Austin Co. 

Mr. Dearduff and Mr. Brixey have both served previously on BIF as bakers and are now continuing their commitment on the supplier side.

“BIF is unique,” Mr. Dearduff said. “The opportunity for interaction between customers and the suppliers who support them provides a forum that leads to solving industry-wide issues. This is something no other industry has.”

Mr. Brixey added, “BIF provides a competitive advantage for all involved. BIF publishes the group learning and recommendations that benefit our industry. Now, as a service provider and BEMA member company, I’m proud to continue my involvement with the BIF team.”

Prior to the BEMA fall board of directors meeting, the group met in New Orleans to plan projects for the current term. Analytics, lean manufacturing and the Grocery Manufacturers Association checklist for sanitary design are topics the group plans to explore in 2018. Members also are updating the list of certification and association acronyms known as “alphabet soup,” which acts as a resource for industry newcomers.