May 22, 2020
Loblaws announces end of “scratch baking” in Western Canada
Loblaws has just announced they are eliminating the last of the scratch baking in Western Canada and moving to an entirely par baked product as they have done in Eastern Canada.
Currently, approximately 75% of the bakery product offering is par baked, with the remainder baked from scratch in store. Par baked products are mixed, shaped, proofed, and partly baked, then flash frozen with the remaining baking time being applied in store. The company cites several reasons for the changeover, including being able to offer consumers a more consistent product, better availability of product on short notice and less opportunity for product contamination.
This change will be phased in with Vancouver Island stores being affected beginning the first week of June, and stores outside Metro Vancouver following in early July. Stores in Metro Vancouver will be changed over in early August.
The employer advises there are currently no plans to reduce labour. If there is an impact in the future the collective agreement provides strong job protection  and wage protection language negotiated in the past several rounds of collective bargaining.