The bread and baked goods industry is an important industrial sector in EU with annual revenues over 130 billion euros, according to the 2012 GIRA FOODSERVICE report, of which 62% is attributable to industrial baked goods and 38% to artisan products. This data reflects this sector's important role in the EU economy where Turkey ranks first with bread production exceeding 8 million tons, followed by Italy in a distance, with 3 million and Spain with 1,699,000 tons.
There is also a large variety of bread and pastry recipes, due to the national heritage and culture of different countries, some of them included in the list of GPI and PDO of the European Union, and covering the market of special bakery products, with relevant added value for the producers. Many kinds of cereals, as well as other additional ingredients, are more and more requested from the bakery sector, as a response to the consumers’ demand.
The bakery and pastry sector is therefore a complex supply-chain from farming to industry, made up mostly of SME and large companies that in recent years have evolved enormously thanks to the implementation of new technologies. Some companies may develop a range of products which goes up to approximately 1.000 products; whilst others may specialise in particular solutions for bakers.
Companies in the bakery and pastry ingredients sector supply tailor-made solutions (intermediate bakery/pastry foodstuffs) which can be used ultimately by the artisan and industrial bakeries, chocolatiers or pâtissiers. This complexity added to the environmental concerns, and a growing population of intolerants and allergenics of foodstuffs have produced several changes in many aspects of bakery and pastry production. Therefore hygiene, quality, food safety and good environmental practices training is essential for this sector.