The Baking Industry Association of New Zealand was known as the New Zealand Baking Society until August 2005. The New Zealand Baking Society began in 1967 as a breakaway by the bread and cake section from the New Zealand (Except Auckland) Baking & Related Trades Industrial Union of Employers. The mix of large plant bakeries and small craft bakeries created problems, and a number of colourful characters on both sides held strong views on the conduct of labour relations and on the needs of their respective sections.
Founder President Raymond Walker held office for ten years and remained active until his death in 1997. Many members from that time still participate and others who have retired still maintain strong links.
Labour relations and award negotiations remained central to the new organisation's formal activity and were rigidly regulated, but the Baking Society was set up so as to be less formal in its workings. It aimed to foster craft baking and raise standards by providing advice and encouragement to its members.
The organisation became fully national in 1990.
This objective prompted the establishment of the Members Baking Competition and creation of the New Zealand Baker of the Year® title. This title has always been very much sought after. It was altered to the New Zealand Bakery of the Year in 2007 and non-members have been allowed to enter since then.
The organisation formed a close working relationship with its Australian equivalents. As a result the Society was renamed the Baking Industry Association in 2005 to parallel the names of the various state BIAs (BIAQ, BIAV, BIANSW etc.) in Australia.
Labour relations have been less prominent in recent years so the Executive has been able to focus on growing a substantial organisation with membership drawn from all types of baking other than mass-produced bread. The Association keeps a close watch on industry issues and works with stakeholders to ensure baking is appropriately represented. The Association promotes baking at every opportunity and works to raise the profile of baking through events and media.