Neil Woods
Neil Woods
President Elect
Craft Bakers Association

Neil has been in the baking industry for nearly 60 years, beginning aged 15 as an apprentice within the Associated British Foods Group. Following his five-year apprenticeship, he took on junior management positions before securing a student scholarship at the Innsbruck School Baking.

During his junior years he was an active member of the Bakery Students Union, now the ABST, eventually becoming president of the association in 2013/14.

Over the years he worked in various craft bakeries, including a time in the Jewish trade in London where he learned about rye bread and sourdough production, something which would shape his future career.

Next stop were in-store bakeries – an emerging concept in the UK – as he became an ISB manager in his hometown of Bradford. With more tools in his belt, it was time to branch out on his own, so he purchased a good business which needed some attention and turned it into a successful venture. At this time, he also became an active member of the Bradford Master Bakers Association.

He then joined the Renshaw Group as a technical sales demonstrator with the task of promoting European style breads and sourdough products to craft bakers in 1985 before joining Ireks Arkady where he remained for 33 years as he built a specialist sales team of technical bakers.

Being a long-standing member of the BCA, BSB and now President Elect of the CBA, Neil is still active within the industry, also judging at many events over the years including Britain's Best Loaf.