The Nigerian Association of Cake and Sugar Craft Professionals (NACSP) held its stakeholders conference at the Events Centre, Alausa, in Lagos, on November 22, 2022.
Professionals and stakeholders in the Nigerian cake industry gathered to chart the best way forward for the craft and ensure that the health of Nigerians are made paramount.
The president of the NACSP, Tosan Jemide, therefore, hoped to use the platform to dialogue in a better and stronger businesses in a standardized environment.
The director of NAFDAC, Hilda Edwards, who was represented by Dawoda Jimoh, appreciated the organisers for such a platform which provides opportunities for interaction between the stakeholders and the regulators.
Chidinma Ewuzie, Asst. Chief Standards Officer in SON (Nigeria) in her own presentation insisted that standard is paramount in every industries in Nigeria.
“The responsibility of SON amongst others are to develop standards relating products, materials, measurements, processes and services.
“Therefore, the onus is on SON to ensure that stakeholders in the cake industry must agree on standard. This enables Nigerians to offer their services anywhere in the world,” Ewuzie explained.
SON revealed that the cake industry needs standards for product, process, personnel and equipment used in the production.
The Director of Public Safety and Well-being, Adeyinka Adebiyi, advocates for safety at events.
Read the NASCP president’s full speech below.
“Good Morning Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, All our Regulatory Stakeholders here present are respectfully acknowledged in no particular order of eminence, all other stakeholders in the cake industry value chain we welcome you, ladies and gentlemen of the press and of course our own dear members and prominent Baker’s in attendance physically and online thank you for coming. We welcome you all very warmly to this historic meeting marking the advent of a new dispensation in the cake industry. We believe that this will herald a series of revolutionary changes within the space creating more mutually beneficial partnerships in our ecosystem and greater value for the industry as a whole.
“The NACSP [The Nigerian Association of Cake and Sugarcraft Professionals] was set up with a vision to promote professionalism in a community driven by creativity and excellence. Our mission is to introduce standards and structure through advocacy and education in partnership with industry stakeholders and government agencies in the Nigerian cake industry.
“Just over 20years ago, I recall setting up my cake business here in Lagos and at that time we had very few experts in the industry. To be honest baking was still seen as a past time for wives who had nothing else to do and needed to keep busy or a way out for school dropouts and academically challenged people who had no other options! Today we can boast of well over 5000 active bakers from all walks of life and many more enthusiasts. This has broadened the horizon and as a result of this surge in the number of bakers and confectioners, an entire industry has been built based purely on their attendant business needs. From production and sales of the actual cake making ingredients to accessories, props, equipment and tools, even down to packaging, multiple businesses have been established and are now thriving. From a point where almost all the bakers needs were imported, we now have local manufacturers in addition to importers. In a nutshell, it is evident that there has been a major shift in the industry from 20 years ago till now.
“In order to harness these growth opportunities even further, it has become necessary to call for such a meeting where all stakeholders are present and discussions around quality, safety and standards in the industry are put on the table for dialogue. Many questions around compliance to guidelines on safety and quality need to be asked. Is the industry ready to begin to drive compliance? Yes we think it is. First of all from a point of view of public health and safety, there is a huge increase in the number of consumers for the products that come out of this industry. Cakes, desserts and pastries are consumed in large quantities daily. The supply and sales of unwholesome materials endangers the health of consumers and impair the overall quality of the finished goods. It therefore behooves on us to ensure that the quality of our inputs remain wholesome in order for us to churn out good quality finished products. On several occasions we have encountered cases of substandard or adulterated products. Sometimes inedible items are passed off as edible. There are also specific needs that are also crucial to the industry and are currently not being met which we would like to bring to the attention of the relevant stakeholders. In many other climes, flour produced specially for cakes and confectionery called soft or cake flour is in abundance. Here in Nigeria, this is hard to find, with the prevalent flour products not really conducive to give the finest finished product quality. We are desirous of having our cake flour available in the market. Another product we would like to see is castor sugar. We are certain that there is huge market just waiting for its availability.
“Most importantly, we want to ensure that the quality of baker’s raw materials do not vary from batch to batch. Consistency is key.
“Today we wish to dialogue with all stakeholders present here and hope that the panel sessions will pave way for collaborative engagement to tackle the issues we face as an industry. As we continue to work together in partnered harmony we are hopeful that the industry’s growth will continue in an upward trajectory ensuring for better and stronger businesses in a structured and standardized environment,” Jemide read.