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As the President of the Bangladesh Caterers Association, the oldest, largest and strongest catering association of its kind in Europe, we have always tried to serve our members, our industry and the country. In our 11th annual edition of the The Bangladesh Cuisine magazine, I would like to share with you some thoughts of reflection but also some vision for the future of BCA.

The BCA was established in 1960 and last year celebrated its Golden Jubilee, an achievement that will never be lost with the passage of time and certainly as with last year when BCA National and Regional Members organized and held a large number of celebratory events we hope to continue with that level of pride and optimism and it is now more than ever that we should remember our accomplishment and recognise that this novel industry which has contributed significantly to the British economy and created thousands of jobs can thrive and flourish despite current difficulties.

We are also looking forward to

arranging a number of consultation events to find out more about your news and views and expanding our Association to cover Europe

In Celebration of our success along with our Honor Awards and regional finalists winners of the Best Caterer of the Year, this year we have chosen to add to that list of achievements - awards for the Regional Chef of the year.

There is no denying or escaping the fact that despite our greatest efforts the Government has failed to fully understand the difficulties and pressures, we as an industry are experiencing both in terms of retention and expansion of our businesses where chefs also remain a key factor. We have been continuing to support our industry by working with key Government Ministers and agencies such as MAC and People 1st in the

hope that our concerns will also be taken into account when Government policy is put in place.

It is to this end that I can share with you that although the answers are not immediately available we at BCA have been working to find long term solutions and on page 37 you will see a report from People 1st outlining our work to ensure that the long term benefits are widespread and relief to the entrepreneurs both old and new are addressed. There is also information on how you can be involved in the new initiative.

Next year along with our membership drive we are proposing to hold a number of advice sessions on the help and assistance available to those wishing to find out more or become

involved in the government schemes and apprenticeship initiatives that have recently been introduced.

We are also looking forward to arranging a number of consultation events to find out more about your news and views and expanding our Association to cover Europe as there is much that we can inform about our experiences and much that we can also learn after all in 1960 when the BCA was formed there were only 300 curry houses in the whole of the UK today that number is in excess of 12,000.

I hope that you will enjoy the magazine and continue to support the BCA and our industry as we continue to lobby on your behalf. Our pledge to you is that even in the face of changing Government legislation, economic instability and the surmounting pressures that we all face, Members of the BCA Board and NEC both as your representatives and as stakeholders of an industry, that we together have built from nothing, will not lose track of the vision our forefathers had bestowed upon us.

Bajloor Rashid President

10  The Bangladesh Cuisine

Curry & Tandoori | Volume 11 | December 2011

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