French bakers or ’boulangers’ number around 33,000 in France, says Jean-Pierre Crouzet, president of UIB, the French craft bakers and confectioners association. This does not mirror the decline seen in some other countries, but is still fewer than a decade ago.However, given current economic problems the French body has leapt into action. “We have initiated a programme to go into all the schools; kids just love baking and want to know how things are made,” says Crouzet.French craft breads are certainly one of the delights of visiting France, but how is the recession hitting bakers? “The main problem is the average basket is smaller,” says Crouzet. “We have 15 million consumers a day and they are spending a few cents less; that adds up to a lot per day and makes a difference to cash flow for individual bakers.”But in other ways, boulangers are flourishing. So how exactly is the association proactive for its members? “We are always lobbying,” explains Crouzet. “Every business belongs to a chamber of commerce. There are several chambers in a region and they listen to us.”It is their job to represent commerce and the livelihoods of members to government; we make sure the bakers’ voice is clearly heard. We are a vital part of the business community and we make that known and heard.”It is certainly a different set-up to the UK. Indeed, French boulangers took to the streets a few years ago to protest about the retention of standards and their identity in the face of growing supermarkets and frozen dough.When he hears that, in the UK, most of the lobbying takes place through the British Retail Consortium, whose primary activity is for supermarkets, Crouzet says: “The supermarkets [in France] have no special concessions.You need special planning permission for anything over 1,000sq m and councils look at other shops in the area and the impact of a large outlet,” says Crouzet.What about frozen bread? The question is hardly out, before Crouzet responds: “It’s forbidden! No craft baker who calls himself a boulanger can make or sell frozen bread or bread with additives.” He explains that ’Article 121’ permits boulangers to use only wheat, water, salt and natural yeast. “There is a fashion now for cereals, nuts and seeds, so bakers have a set brief on other components.”Bakers are designers,” says Crouzet. “The success of French bakers stems from the starter dough; it needs to be slow in development at least 24 hours, but usually much longer. We really value good bread and remind everyone politicians, the people, the schools of its value.”In the second week in May, we have a Fête du Pain (Festival of Bread) and on 16 May, we plan events in schools, churches, everywhere to celebrate St Honoré, the patron saint of bakers. We heavily involve children and tell them ’all kids are bakers’.”He continues: “Our contribution is also at point-of-sale and on posters. We have produced leaflets for every boulanger, which says: ’You buy me on a daily basis, but do you really know me?’ But as a trade we have had to adapt. Our members’ turnover is 60% bread and 40% pastries, sandwiches, biscuits and chocolates. We are starting to experience the problem of not having enough bakers, so we are particularly targeting girls. In the towns, our bakers open at 6.30am and, in the country, at 7.30am. They also close later, so shoppers can pick up a fresh loaf on the way home.”Lobbying councils and government, setting strict rules for breadmaking, being proactive with publicity, adapting to new products and opening hours this is the evolving face of craft bakery in France and forms an identity and heritage they manage to protect.But it does help to have planners and governments that listen. Protecting the craft In French law, Article 121 states that professionals who are not involved in the kneading, fermenting and shaping of their own dough from chosen raw ingredients or in the baking process for the sale of bread to consumers must not use the term ’baker’. Neither can their commercial premises be called a ’bakery’. Neither may they use any other term or advertising that could be confusing in a retail environment. Products can at no stage of their production or sale be frozen or part-baked.
Dina Hegab needed one more point. Serving at 5-4, 40-15, Hegab’s second serve was immediately attacked by her opponent Elene Tsokilauri. The return placed Hegab on the defensive from the opening ball of the rally. Tsokilauri attacked, taking the ball early, hitting a forehand into the far corner. But, Hegab was ready. In a dead sprint, Hegab lunged with her backhand, flicking the ball up the line, past a charging Tsokilauri to win the match for Syracuse. Her teammates and the fans erupted in cheer, and after she shook hands with her opponent, teammate Gabriela Knutson gave Hegab a thumbs up.“I was just digging in so deep,” Hegab said. “It’s one of my favorite shots, I’m glad it worked.”With Knutson’s thumbs up, Hegab knew she was the fourth point. The crowd noise gave her a clue as to the importance of her match, but she said she was unaware of just how important it was.“Sometimes we can feel what’s happening on the other courts,” Hegab said. “Today, I didn’t know.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHegab’s clutch play was one of several for SU. First, in doubles, Anna Shkudun and Sofya Golubovskaya rallied from 1-3 down to claim the doubles point. In singles, Hegab and Knutson earned wins as Syracuse (5-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) picked up its first ACC win of the season over Boston College (3-3, 0-2) 5-2 Friday afternoon at Drumlins Country Club.Last season, in a 5-2 loss to Boston College, both Knutson and Hegab lost. This year, the two led the way in earning the third and fourth points for the Orange. Knutson and Hegab are the only Syracuse players undefeated in singles, with an 11-0 combined record.Knutson partnered with Miranda Ramirez in doubles, and the No. 13 doubles pairing in the country won 6-4. With a set level at 4-all, Ramirez took over, forcing her opponents into errors that gave SU the break. Then, Knutson served the match out with an ace, another unreturned serve and a backhand that tagged the opposing net player.At sixth singles, Hegab found herself in a battle from the opening point. Trailing 2-4 in the opening set, Hegab changed her approach. She said she adjusted better and took advantage of her opponent’s mistakes. The improvements to her game showed as the Orange cards started flipping. Hegab won the final four games of the opening set to take it 6-4.In the second set, Hegab grabbed the early break before she was pegged back by Tsokilauri. Trailing 3-4 in the second set, SU’s lead looked precarious.With three points already on the scoreboard from doubles, Ramirez, and Knutson, it was unclear where SU would find its fourth point. On the court next to Hegab, Shkudun began a third set. Another court over from Shkudun was Golubovskaya, who had just squandered the second set 7-5. Both matches were final set bound, and Drumlins was the loudest it had been to date this season.“I felt this was the loudest match we have ever played here, I felt the energy more,” Hegab said.Hegab won the final three games of the set, serving it out confidently, losing just one point while her opponent made two unforced errors. Despite being admittedly nervous, Hegab was patient, forcing herself to breathe extra in between each point. On the first match point, Hegab reached back and clocked a forehand up the line that just missed. The second one, she made no mistake.“Dina is playing with a lot of confidence,” head coach Younes Limam said. “She did improve a lot compared to the last two years.”Knutson struggled early in singles, dropping four of the first five games of her singles match before calming herself down to win 11 of the final 12 games of her match to win 6-4, 6-1. She overcame early frustrations to become more patient and play out longer rallies.“I definitely needed to stay in the rallies and wait for that shot that she would eventually miss,” Knutson said. “I knew I was the better player on the court.”With all of the uncertainty in those final moments, Syracuse held its nerve and remained confident. In front of the energetic crowd, the Orange found the fourth point. Comments Published on February 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+
Last Updated: 3rd September, 2020 23:03 IST Russell And Latifi Believe In Williams Ahead Of Italian Grand Prix In Monzo, Italy Williams drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi say they’re sorry the teams founder Sir Frank and his daughter Claire, the deputy team principal, are stepping down, but are confident in the team’s future. LIVE TV Williams drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi say they’re sorry the teams founder Sir Frank and his daughter Claire, the deputy team principal, are stepping down, but are confident in the team’s future.Sir Frank and Claire said in a statement on Thursday they had made the decision to step down from the team to ensure the Williams family’s legacy.In the wake of the news, both drivers spoke highly of the team and the opportunities they have had with Williams, and have been assured the future of the team is in good hands.Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel is warning it won’t be an easy weekend for Ferrari at their home Grand Prix. The four-time world champion says Monza is not a great track for the Italian outfit, but they will fight for the best result they can.(Image Credit: AP) Associated Press Television News Written By First Published: 3rd September, 2020 23:02 IST WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT FOLLOW US