After three days of competitions, under the watchful eye of an exacting jury and in front of admiring crowds, the winning team of the 2012 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie is Japan.

On March 7, three countries got high marks: Taiwan’s team, already seen on the 2008 winner’s podium, got 3rd place. Then, the United States were called out as 2nd place winners – a much coveted spot. Japan was then announced as the overall champion.

The Coupe du Monde de la Boulan­gerie brought together 12 teams of 3 candidates, each one dedicated to a category: Baguettes & World Breads, Viennese Pastries and Artistic Piece. Having travelled from every continent, these bakers gave themselves body and soul to this competition of art and passion. Thanks to the support of the sponsors, of their countries, with the notable presence of ambassadors, and in particular their coaches, they were able to create products of ex­ceptionally high quality for the 2012 show.

For all these artisans of taste, beauty, crisp delights… it’s the end of a great adventure. During three days, they proved the excellence of their know-how. Their mission tomorrow: propagate new trends.

Patrice Jacquelin, Europain Show President, said, “Thanks to the Louis Lesaffre Cup pre-selection rounds, here at Europain we have brought together the very best of world baking.”

Japanese supporters waved their flags and screamed their country’s name. Some were even fighting back tears! Clearly moved, the Minister Advisor at the the Japanese embassy, Mr Fumio SHIMIZU, said: “I am extremely proud. A year ago, our country was devastated by a number of earthquakes and a tsunami. Our victory here today will give a boost to all our citizens and to the victims of these catastrophes”. More than just a competition, the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie is an international shining light, from which emanates shared ideals, solidarity… and symbols. That is why, today, in a morning, the “sun rose” over Japan.