I REMEMBER, aged eight years old, running up School Lane in Cockenzie desperate to catch the 7.05 bus to Edinburgh.

As usual, I was always running late, tempted to stop at the bakers to buy four jammy doughnuts – one for me, three to sell, a rolling profit to support my sugar addiction.

The tempting aroma of fresh bread wafting across the street and the mouth-watering deliciousness of reaching the jam in the middle of the doughnut was irresistible. No wonder I didn’t balk at the almost-two-hour journey into school.

In those days, every town in East Lothian had at least one local baker, the heart of the community. Everybody bought their daily bread.

Over the years, the bakers in our small towns gradually closed as the bread manufacturers and supermarkets took their trade. Automatic factories churned out baked products, cleverly loaded with flavourings and preservatives to extend shelf life, wrapped in plastic, and sold in multi packs, a trend to make life easier for the newly liberated working woman. Who had time to queue every day to buy fresh bread?

Fortunately, with the resurgence of independent bakeries over the last 20 years, many towns now have our own bakery once again wafting delicious smells of freshly baked sourdough bread, buttery croissants and fancy jam doughnuts. A new young wave of passionate, skilled and enterprising bakers has taken up the challenge to open our eyes to real bread and cakes. And the queues out of their doors testify to their success in understanding the market. Falko, Bostock, Dunbar Community Bakery and many others have become welcome features in our towns.

With soaring grain, fuel and personnel costs, the price of their produce is going to escalate. Because of the benefits these bakeries bring to our communities, not least work for our young people, East Lothian, Scotland’s Food and Drink County, should do all it can to support them and help them to not fall foul of unsustainable overheads. There must be an argument to make sure our county can support those who supply our daily bread.