US bakery trade groups ABA and B&CMA lay out plans to merge

By Vince Bamford

- Last updated on GMT

The two trade groups represent thousands of industry employees. Photo: iStock - SafakOguz
The two trade groups represent thousands of industry employees. Photo: iStock - SafakOguz

Related tags American bakers association Baking Baker

US trade bodies the American Bakers Association (ABA) and the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (B&CMA) are exploring the possibility of a merger.

The organizations have begun a year-long process to investigate potential benefits and synergies. A final merger recommendation has been provisionally scheduled for March 2017, with a closing date of June 30 2017.

Under the merger plan being considered, the B&CMA leadership would join the ABA leadership structure, B&CMA education programs would be incorporated into the structure of ABA while the B&CMA brand would be retained for its Technical Conference and online learning programs.

A Transition Committee has been set up – comprising three members from each organization - to conduct due diligence, address structural issues, and get feedback. Webinars and surveys will also gather input from each group’s members.

Discussions over potential partnerships

The merger plans have been developed following conversations between the groups over potential partnerships, said ABA President and CEO Robb MacKie.

The B&CMA leadership deserves tremendous credit for its willingness to explore a whole range of options to better serve the broader baking industry​,” he added.

ABA chairman Rich Scalise, of contract baker Hearthside Food Solutions, said the association was “excited about possibly building upon B&CMA’s outstanding education platforms to fill gaps in the broader baking industry’s leadership and technical training regimens​”.

Working together and capitalizing on the strengths of the ABA and B&CMA would offer members higher levels of service and value, added B&CMA past chairman Bill Quigg, of Richmond Baking Company.

Key facts: the ABA and B&CMA

American Bakers Association
Formed in 1897 and based in Washington DC, the American Bakers Association represents the interests of bakers to US Congress, federal agencies, and international regulatory authorities.  It advocates for more than 700 baking facilities and baking company suppliers.

Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association
The Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association is a 115‐year‐old international trade organization that describes itself as the largest consortium of cookie and cracker industry professionals in the world. The B&CMA offers training ranging from programs for bakery personnel through to sales teams.

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