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The Open University (OU) is calling on owners of small bakeries across the UK to help create a better understanding of the sector by providing input for research.

The bakery owners are being asked to complete a short, anonymous survey, with the type of businesses targeted ranging from sole traders and microbakers to employers of up to 50 people.

The aim, according to OU, is to help create a better picture of the sector, how it has changed over time, and to gain insight into the experience and needs of small bakery owners.

Along with information collected from interviews with bakers, the results of the survey will help to demonstrate the contribution that small bakeries make to job creation and local economies, the researchers said.

The study will also show the challenges bakery owners face, and the support that they need for their businesses to survive and thrive, researchers added.

The study is being carried out by OU with assistance from the Real Bread Campaign and the Craft Bakers Association.

Bakery owners are invited to complete the survey online at: