National Association of Master Bakers (Thomas Fletcher)

The Craft Bakers Association (or as it was previously known The National Association of Master Baker), was formed in 1887 by likeminded  bakers from Birmingham. They were headed up by Thomas Fletcher, who was from then on referred to as the "Father” of the NAMB. Thomas formed the idea whilst president of a local trade society and felt there was a need for a national association to promote and support the bakery trade. Thomas Fletcher was elected the first President of the Association and held the position 3 times in the late 1800’s.

The Function of the NAMB in 1887

The NAMB as it was then known used its position to spread the knowledge of industry law, methods of skilful baking and inaugurated a system of education amongst the trade. During this time there were over 2,000 members who's support allowed the association to become an influential voice to government.

Charitable Assistance - Past

The NAMB under Thomas donated £500.00 from its Education Fund in 1892 to provide an education facility in London for bakers. This was the foundation of the National Bakery School in South East London (Elephant and Castle). The school is still in existence today and forms part of the South Bank University where students undertake a 3 year degree course in Bakery.



The CBA still continues its charitable work under the following two funds.

Education Fund:  To support trainees and experienced bakers within the industry, to enable them to gain new skills, through seminars and secondments to bakery businesses, both at home and abroad.

The Benevolent Fund: The fund was started to support past members who had fallen on hard times. They are supported by way of a quarterly grant of £200.00 and a Christmas gift. The Fund also provides ex-gratia payments to cover costs such as a new central heating system, new furniture, white goods and where needed, funeral costs. We currently support 15 beneficiaries.


The CBA in today’s Industry


Management Structure


The CBA Board of Directors is overseen by our Chairman, George Fuller. All board directors give their time and support to their roles voluntarily. They are all skilled bakers who run their own bakery businesses.  


  • Chairman George Fuller - Fullers Bakery, Goole, Yorkshire (6 Shops with 60 Employees)
  • President Janet Carr - Warings Bakery, Reading, Berks (7 Shops with 75 Employees)
  • Finance Director - Shirley Ryder, Peter's Home Made Bakery, Manchester (1 Shop with 5 Employees)
  • Director - Christopher Freeman, Dunns of Crouch End, London ( 1 Shop with 45 Employees)
  • Director - Caroline Grant, formerly Bakery Director of Betty's Bakery, Harrogate
  • President Elect - Colin Lomax, Rank Hovis



  • Karen Dear-  Director of operations Karen is responsible for the day to day management of the association. Karen is also qualified to CIPD standard in HR and Employment Law and advises the membership on these subjects.
  • Lisa Bassett - Office Manager
  • Tina Bennett - Recruitment and Retention Manager
  • Melissa Thompson - Consultant on H & S and Environmental Health



We provide support by way of

Member Support

  • Employment Law Advice
  • Health and Safety and Environmental Health Advice
  • Primary Authority Assured Guidance  for CBA Members
  • Government lobbying on legislation that affects the membership and the industry.
  • Training – online and in house
  • Thirteen Magazine – The members only magazine keeping you up to date with current industry and association information. 
  • Bakery Business - incorporating Bakers Review.

  • Social and Business Networking

  • Conference

  • Industry visits to supporters such as Irex, Zeelandia, Puratos and California Raisins

  • Training Seminars on new and pending legislation.

  • Craft Bakers and Butchers Exhibition

    Who the CBA represents

    We currently represent 500 bakery businesses in England Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland is supported by the Scottish Bakers Association. Supporting 3,000 shops on the high street and 38,500 employees.

    Our members are still mainly the high street retail bakery , with wholesale companies and specialised confectionery businesses also part of the membership.  

    We also offer a separate membership for Students and Industry Supporters.


    Notable events


    Our most successful lobbying campaign in recent times was the 2013 "Pasty Tax” issue, whereby government proposed VAT on hot baked products. We gathered 1 million petition signatures to oppose this move and were invited to present this at 10 Downing Street, following a peaceful protest outside of  Downing Street

    The decision was overturned one month later!


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