Briefs

first_imgn Premier Foods plans to close six of its 11 UK sites following a review of its manufacturing facilities after the acquisition of RHM in March. The review covered Premier’s ambient factories, the RHM Culinary Brands’ factories and the RHM Customer Partnership’s Ledbury preserves factory. The six sites are set to close by early 2009.n Scottish wholesale and retail baker Murdoch Allan helped supermarket Asda provide a picnic to 2,000 guests at the recent state opening of the new session of the Scottish Parliament. The Hatton-based bakery’s Empire biscuits went into goody bags given to MSPs and guests.n Kevin Botting has been appointed commercial manager of the Belgian food group Vandemoortele, joining the lipids and dough division. Botting comes from Maple Leaf Bakery UK where he was foodservice manager. See BB’s recruitment pages (p 26).n Edinburgh-based Paterson Arran has won £20,000 to promote a new range of cookies and biscuits containing rapeseed oil. The biscuits contain 60-70% less saturated fat than standard products and are trans-fat free. Companies with innovative ideas for using UK-grown grain have until 9 July to apply for up to £50,000 Home Grown Cereals Authority funding.n Bakers took a day off to test their golf skills at the recent British Society of Baking’s annual Golf Day. The event attracted 112 players to the De Vere Belfry. Max Sivewright won the visitor Rose Bowl, Paul Edwards won the BSB trophy and Mike Thomson scooped the scratch prize. Paul Edwards, Ian Elliot, Paul Greenslade and Ian Jennings were team winners.last_img read more

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Alex Waugh director general of nabim

first_imgThe UK harvest is now estimated to be 80-85% complete. There is little left to do in the south, although there are still fields to be cut further north and in the west.As in other parts of Europe, yields are reported to be down on last year. Official figures are unlikely to be available for some weeks, but a reduction in the size of the harvest of about 10% is anticipated.This failure to meet expectations across the main EU grain-producing regions has been behind the very steep increases in wheat prices in the last few weeks. The prices for 2007 now stand at double the level of a year ago, and bread wheat delivered to the north west is now over £200 per tonne. So, as far as quality is concerned, it is still too early to provide any definitive picture. However, reports from around the country suggest that protein levels are generally acceptable, but that variability is to be expected with some reports of low bushel weights and lower hagberg falling numbers.This means that, despite such high prices, millers will have to be selective about their wheat purchases.At the moment, apart from price, the main problem faced by the milling sector is availability as farmers are reluctant sellers, while wheat prices are still rising.Therefore a period of market stability would be very helpful so that grain can come to the market in a more orderly fashion.last_img read more

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French fancy

first_imgParis-Nord Villepinte will play host to this year’s Europain & Intersuc exhibition, which welcomes confectionery and bakery professionals from around the world.The show covers eight sectors: retail, traditional bakery, industrial bakery, patisserie, confectionery and chocolate, in-store catering, ice cream and La Rue des Ecoles. Show organiser Exposium anticipates that visitor numbers will rise to 80,000 from around 126 countries. Over 600 exhibitors, nearly 200 of them from outside France, will display their wares.Apart from the exhibits themselves, the triennial event will include a range of special events to reflect the development of the baking profession. The highlight of these, The Bakery World Cup, takes place over three days and sees nine teams of three people, representing nine different countries, taking up the challenge to win the accolade. Teams are judged on their level of organisation, their time and space management, their teamwork and the level of skill and expertise demonstrated by each participant.The Innovations Area allows bakers and confectioners to demonstrate new ideas to the market. A panel of judges from the industry looks at these and assesses them on innovative quality, originality, technical performance that may lead to better productivity or safety and a respect for the principles of sustainable development.For confectioners, the Mondial des Arts Sucrés (International Competition of Confectionery Art) brings together 12 teams of mixed double confectionery specialists from around the world in a practical contest over 20 hours, based on a theme chosen by each team. Items to be made on-site include decorative sugarwork, fresh petits fours and individual tartlets.Other competitions include: The Intersuc Blue Ribbons awards, for excellence in confectionery, chocolate, biscuit-making, patisserie and presentation and the International Master of Iced Desserts championship, for teams of two, comprising one ice sculpture, one bombe glacée and one plated dessert.Europain will also hold two conferences this year. The first will focus on the ’Experiences and Opportunities for the bakery trade in Asia, Europe and Russia’. The second will feature ’Bread and Viennoiserie: strengths in the globalisation of the food industry’. n—-=== WHERE: ===Parc des Expositions, Paris-Nord Villepinte, FranceWHEN: 29 March to 2 AprilKey figuresExhibitors 2005: 598, 37% from outside FranceVisitors 2005: 78,537, 40% from outside FranceExhibitors 2008: Over 600, nearly 200 from outside FranceExpected visitors 2008: 80,000Visitor countries 2008: 126last_img read more

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Developing markets already hit by the grain price hikes

first_imgWheat pricing has almost tripled since the turn of the century, according to the World Bank.The bank’s development prospects group’s lead economist Don Mitchell has warned that it is likely to take several years “for supplies to increase to rebuild stocks and allow prices to fall”.Grain price spikes, in combination with higher energy and fertiliser prices, plus increased demand for biofuels, have hit developing countries hardest. In Egypt, the army has been told to bake more government-subsidised bread to cover a shortfall. Four people have been killed in fights outside bakeries as a shortage of bread has led to violent confrontations between customers, with some accusing bakers of selling subsidised flour and bread on the black market.United Nations agency the World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for funding to close a $500 million gap, due to a global spike in food and fuel prices. If this is not found, the WFP will have to ration food aid to developing countries.last_img read more

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Torquay-based Hallett’s Bakers

first_imgsays it has made the largest ever scone. The scone weighed 26kg – 700 times bigger than a standard one. Once the scone had cooled, it was topped with 12.5kg of clotted cream and 10kg of strawberry jam, then served to more than 300 people attending a cream tea festival in the Devon town. Helen Hallett (pictured), who runs the bakery with husband Mel and son Christopher, said it had taken three weeks and nine attempts to make the scone.last_img

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Subway steps up

first_imgWith five outlets opening every week, any figure pinned on the number of Subway stores around the country is always going to be out of date before it is published. But by the beginning of February, the total in the UK and Ireland topped 1,400 – and the chain reckons it is firmly on course to hit its target of 2,010 stores by the end of 2010.The number two in the British Baker Top 50 Bakery Retailers is outstripping its rivals in terms of size, and snapping at the heels of league leader Greggs. Last year, Subway overtook McDonald’s as the fast food chain with the largest number of stores, and outpaced Tesco in sandwich sales.Subway development agent Neil Black has seen the chain go through a dizzying and sustained growth spurt in his 10 years with the company. When he joined, there were no more than a dozen stores around the UK and Ireland.So does Black believe companies can be driven to acquire shops for numbers’ sake? “These new locations are thought through, when franchisees are making substantial investments in them,” he replies. And what is his reaction to the news that Greggs is looking at opportunities in Ireland? “We welcome the chase,” he says gleefully.While the latest advertising dwells on customer choice, two additional strong supports for the brand – value and nutrition – are left more in the background.The availability of value options, such as the £1.49 ham sub roll, is no doubt helping the chain in these more difficult times. But the relationship between Subway’s success and the healthy-eating agenda is more subtle. On the one hand, low-fat options may influence some loyal customers. Then again, as Black puts it: “We’re not going to say, ’Come to Subway and eat healthily.’ If people want to eat indulgently, they can do that, too.”On one particular health issue, the chain has set itself a specific target. “We were stitched up by a Dispatches report on TV, which analysed the salt content of just two of our subs,” Black says. “They didn’t offer us the opportunity to talk about our healthier alternatives.” Nonetheless, Subway has undertaken to reduce overall salt content by 15% by June this year, he says.Undoubtedly, reduced bank lending is having an impact on franchise investments, he admits: “It’s our number one challenge for expansion.” On the other hand, increased numbers of people with redundancy packages are looking for manageable investments with a reliable, low-risk return, he reports.On the product side, the Italian-style white bread sticks that form the backbone of the brand are sourced from Northern Ireland baker Evron, with support from a second German supplier. The frozen bread is then baked-off inside each store. Flatbread is being introduced later this year, and trials are currently under way with ciabatta bread. “We have a new range of muffins from our bread supplier, and bake-off cookies from Otis Spunkmeyer in the US,” says Black. “But generally, I don’t think we do as well from the baked goods area as we could.”Nevertheless, Subway is a great example of what a bakery-based retailer can achieve. In fact, the chain is probably one of the best advertisements worldwide for a franchise model.—-=== Analyst’s View ===At Planet Retail, analyst Beth Miles rates the chain’s prospects highly. “From 2000 to now, it has expanded extremely fast. Who’s to say it cannot carry on and hit its 2010 target?” She agrees that its healthier range gives it a head-start over traditional fast food. “But also, in the downturn, it is benefiting from consumers trading down from casual dining to fast food,” she says. “It has consistently been voted the number one franchise opportunity by Entrepreneur magazine, can be small-format and relatively easy to operate,” Miles adds.last_img read more

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The Bread Factory doubles capacity

first_imgDoubling its sales has prompted handmade speciality bread and cake producer The Bread Factory to build a new production facility. The wholesale baker, which has been baking breads and morning goods for more than 17 years, needed more space after sales rose in the last two years.The Bread Factory spent £780,000 on the new 15,000sq m production area, which includes a new mezzanine floor to utilise space above a production area.The new factory has doubled The Bread Factory’s capacity and prompted it to hire more staff, taking the total to 140. Co-MD Tom Molnar said: “We’re doing more seeded breads and German rye bread, while our hand-piped muffin business has also grown quite a bit.”The company will also open its fourth branch of neighbourhood bakery outlet Gail’s, in Clapham in June.last_img read more

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Lightbody hands over Finsbury helm to Duffy

first_imgMartin Lightbody has stepped down as chief executive of Finsbury Foods, and handed the reins to former chief operating officer John Duffy, as the group announced its full-year results.Lightbody will assume the position of non-executive chairman, following the firm’s annual general meeting on 25 November. He told British Baker it had always been the plan to hold the position of chief executive for a 12-month period, following the departure of former CEO Dave Brooks last year, but said that he would still be “heavily involved with the business”.Duffy has assisted Lightbody since September 2008, and has held previous positions at WT Foods and Mars.Lightbody explained that he and Duffy “are pretty much aligned in our thinking”, and he doesn’t foresee any major changes in the structure or strategy of the business. However, whereas the firm has said previously that it was growing in niche areas, it is now becoming a “properly integrated bread and cake business”, he added.Finsbury’s results for the 53 weeks to 4 July 2009 revealed revenue growth of 8%, with like-for-like sales up 2%. However, profits suffered with the high cost of raw materials such as eggs, chocolate and sugar. Group revenue stood at £178.9m, an increase of £13.8m (8.4%) year-on-year. Adjusted profit before tax was £5m (2008: £7.7m).Finsbury’s bread and ’free from’ arm saw like-for-like growth up 14%, with Finsbury’s recent acquisition, Goswells, now fully integrated within Nicholas & Harris, said Lightbody.Larger cake sales continued to grow in line with the overall ambient cake market, up 2% on last year. “There has been lots of promotional activity in the market,” explained finance director Lisa Morgan. “Offerings are now moving towards things such as multi-buys, rather than just being geared around price points.”Sales of its Thorntons branded cakes rocketed by over 70% during the year. “We have stretched the brand into different areas, refreshed the celebration cake range, and moved into the convenience sector with smaller pack sizes,” said Lightbody.Sales of its WeightWatchers branded cakes also rose by 25%.last_img read more

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Michigan wins appeal over out-of-state liquor shipments

first_img Google+ Facebook WhatsApp http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons” href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALiquor_store_in_Breckenridge_Colorado.jpg”>https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b2/Liquor_store_in_Breckenridge_Colorado.jpg/512px-Liquor_store_in_Breckenridge_Colorado.jpg”> LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Retailers outside Michigan can’t send alcohol directly to the state’s consumers.A federal appeals court overturned a decision by a federal judge in Detroit who had described Michigan’s restrictions as an “unjustifiable protectionist regime.”The dispute centered on a law passed in 2016 by the Republican-controlled Legislature. It allows in-state retailers to ship alcohol to consumers, but it doesn’t extend the practice to retailers outside Michigan.The appeals court said the law “promotes plenty of legitimate state interests” and is constitutional.The lawsuit was filed by Lebamoff Enterprises, which operates Cap n’ Cork stores in the Fort Wayne area. Pinterest Twitter Twitter Google+ Michigan wins appeal over out-of-state liquor shipments By Associated Press – April 27, 2020 0 325 IndianaLocalMichiganNews Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Previous article12 deaths, high rate of infection at one Michigan prisonNext articleMichigan employers coming up short supplying workers with face masks Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.last_img read more

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Indiana reports 1st death of prison guard with coronavirus

first_img Facebook Indiana reports 1st death of prison guard with coronavirus By Associated Press – April 28, 2020 0 422 Facebook Twitter WhatsApp (“Prison Bars Jail Cell” by Jobs For Felons Hub, CC BY 2.0) INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s prison system has reported the first death of a guard after contracting the coronavirus. The state Department of Correction says the 67-year-old guard worked at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in southwestern Indiana’s Sullivan County. Gary Weinke died Saturday from COVID-19 complications and had last worked at the prison on March 29. Prison system statistics show that four Indiana prison inmates have died with confirmed or suspected coronavirus infections. Three of those deaths have been at the Plainfield Correctional Facility near Indianapolis and one at the Westville Correctional Facility in northwestern Indiana. Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Google+ Google+ CoronavirusIndianaNews WhatsApp Previous articleUniversity Park Mall set to reopen on Saturday May 2Next articleElkhart Mayor Rod Roberson to host coronavirus town hall meeting Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.last_img read more

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