Nofima baker becomes head of national team

Nofima's baker André Løvaas has been handed the task as coach of the Norwegian national baking team.

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“Of course I’m proud. There will be a lot of work and responsibility, but it will also be great fun,” says the cheerful baker.

André Løvaas will don the flag of his country from the New Year. The primary target is already set: The Bakery World Cup in Paris in 2020.

Intend to work hard

“I have previously served as a member of the national baking team. Then we put in a lot of work qualifying for a championship which is difficult to qualify for. However, we had to stop work due to financial reasons. Now we intend to work hard to attempt qualify for the championships in 2020,” André Løvaas says.

In his everyday work he commands flour, grain and other ingredients in Nofima’s well-equipped full-scale bakery with ample opportunities for analysis at Ås. This is where research, innovation, product development, courses networking and teaching takes place. The national baking team’s new head is a qualified baker and has extensive experience from the bakery industry. Along with researchers and engineers, André Løvaas constitutes a unique platform for research projects and product development. Norwegian agriculture and food producers at all stages of the value chain are offered tailored solutions to cater to their needs. The head of the national team will manage this in addition to the coaching job. He is confident that he will be just fine.

Interesting and rewarding

”No full-time job with a hefty paycheck coaching the national baking team”?

“Ha, ha, no, the coaching job is voluntary work. But I consider it both interesting and rewarding. And because my employer is positive, I believe that managing both roles will be fine. I wouldn’t have said yes unless I wanted to,” the baker says.

The national baking team consists of six bakers who won the gold medal this autumn in the ‘Best bread’ category at the Nordic Bakery Cup. Equalling or improving that performance is the goal for the first year on the national team. In 2016 the Nordic Bakery Cup will be held at home in Oslo – at the same time as the Nordic Pastry Cup. However, it’s not quite the same team who won this autumn that will be kneading the dough next time around.

”Some replacements are natural. Some have decided to step down, while others are eager to join. “Being a part of the national team is popular,” André Løvaas says.

Løvaas’s new role will otherwise entail taking part in smaller competitions, sponsor events and various events to promote the baking trade – which is considerably more diverse than just flour and water and yeast.

Very attractive

”How come you were given this position”?

“Hopefully because I have something to contribute. I assume that it is André Løvaas and what I represent both as a person and professionally that has been what the national team wants, since they offered it to me,” the baker says.

He believes that the professional community at Nofima also played an important part.

“I believe the knowledge the national team gains access to through the professional community here is very attractive,” Andre Løvaas says.

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