BIE gathers pace

first_imgLatest companies to sign up for the Baking Industry Exhibition include Orbital Food Machinery, Abacus Aquameter, Pillopak and Oliver Douglas.Falcon Products, CSS Packaging Machines and Saturn Spraying have also come on board.BIE, organised by William Reed Events, will be co-located with the Convenience Retailing Show, Food & Drink Expo and Foodex Meatex, from April 6-9, 2008, at the NEC in Birmingham.last_img

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Sweet charity

first_imgMost of us would like to make a small difference to the planet or leave the world a little bit better off than we found it.Few of us dreamt, some years ago, that we might be able to do just that. Or that we could relieve some of the worst poverty, help build schools and provide fresh water where there was none. Nor did we guess that we could make that big a difference for just a small amount – but we can.Fairtrade ingredients and Fairtrade products are proving a big success because the quality is good (or they do not make it to market) and the prices are, well, fair.All the supermarkets now stock Fairtrade products. But it was back in 2003 that Napier Brown, which supplies sugar and other ingredients to the baking industry, decided to make it their mission to source Fairtrade sugar and even Fairtrade organic sugar. Their commercial and technical teams have now been sourcing and supplying these sugars from Africa and South America for the last five years with the help of local sugar companies.Peter Hough, development director at Napier Brown, has recently travelled to find out the differences it is making to communities who grow sugar cane in Malawi and Zambia, many of whom live off their own smallholdings. That difference could mean survival.On his latest trip, he was driven from Zambia to Mazambuka, where he saw the face of the Zambian president on almost every wall. It looked familiar. It was the man who had sat next to him on the plane from Heathrow and asked him to swap seats with his wife!But he was not distracted for long. Hough says: “We wanted to buy sugar from African producers who had sourced cane from farmers who had organised themselves into a smallholders’ company, certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO). We could then sell Fairtrade sugar and send the fixed premium back for use in the local communities.”Sugar is a stand-alone product and used in many baked goods – Viennoiserie, cakes and biscuits, for example. “Tesco and Morrisons were among the first to show an interest, but we can now supply direct to plant bakeries or to smaller bakeries via Bako,” adds Hough.So how does Fairtrade sugar work? “We send the premiums back to the farming co-operatives in Zambia and Malawi. It’s that simple” he says. “When customers buy a bag, the premiums go straight into community projects. That means local villagers can get safe, clean drinking water from a bore hole for the first time in their lives instead of having to walk to the river with a bucket and carry often contaminated water back to their dwellings.The premiums also go to community health care and local electrical projects so villagers can use electricity for the first time. “One of the most exciting things was seeing how the money was being used to refurbish a local school, providing walls, doors, ceilings and a new roof,” says Hough.”The children come from all over and go to school in shifts. There are 600 altogether aged 7-18. They have 13 teachers and you could not have a happier bunch of kids.”What about the real nitty gritty – the premium? Hough says: “The premium is fixed at US$60 (£30) a tonne, US$80 (£40) if Organic. It goes straight into the farming cooperative bank account, there are no middlemen and it does not get lost.”The Kaleya Smallholders Company in Zambia typically comprises of 160 farmers, 90 of them women. It is well organised and gives farmers up to eight hectares each to grow products. In a year they may earn up to US$12,000, enough to feed a whole family. Life expectancy is low, so some farmers have to look after many dependents.In adjacent Malawi, the Fairtrade Cane Growers’ Association at Kasinthula gives three to four hectares of land to 280 farmers of which 60 are female. Says Hough: “I went to a meeting and the oldest farmer said a prayer at the beginning and end. It was very moving and I felt very privileged to see where the money was going and to meet people who worked so hard. The local sugar companies give a huge amount of support to these communities. Sales have been developed not only through Napier Brown but also other sugar companies and traders in Europe, following increased awareness and interest in Fairtrade. Even buying one bag of sugar makes a difference.”The sugars available are white refined, golden granulated, golden caster or demerara and these are increasingly used in cakes, biscuits, cereal bars and desserts. Importantly, any baker or retailer who uses Fairtrade sugar can ask the Fairtrade Foundation for permission to use its logo. So it can help bakers’ sales as well as farming co-operatives.Sounds pretty fair, doesn’t it? —-=== At a glance ===* Napier Brown supplies standard and organic Fairtrade sugar* It is cane sugar supplied as white granulated, golden granulated, golden caster and demerara and can be used in cakes, biscuits, desserts and jams* Usual bag size is 25kg* Napier Brown is BRC EFSIS, and Soil Association accreditedlast_img read more

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Co-op embarks on major own-label range relaunch

first_imgThe Co-op is to substantially expand its premium own-label Truly Irresistible range across its in-store bakeries.Head of bakery Mike Owen told British Baker: “After an 18-month review, we have developed a number of wonderful new lines. We are refitting 700 stores this year for an exciting new look and feel, adding a much better ambience to our stores.”We have worked very closely with our bakery suppliers to launch a fantastic new range of breads and morning goods. Our new premium range of Truly Irresistible in-store breads breads will, where space allows, be displayed in pillars of woven bread baskets, to draw the eye.”Included in the new offering are: large, all-butter croissants, triple chocolate cookies (using white and dark chocolate), golden wholemeal rolls, focaccia topped with Cheddar cheese and red and white onion. Other new launches include rye bread topped with caraway seed, a multi-grain rustique including sunflower and poppy seeds, a four-counties cheese knot with Wensleydale and Cheddar, plus a sunflower batard loaf and olive rolls that contain a combination of both green and black olives.The new range has been trialled in stores that include the Islington site, where bakery sales have seen a huge 70% increase, according to Owen.He added: “We have worked hard to deliver true provenance in the range, incorporating top-quality ingredients and healthy inclusions. We have introduced a variety of shapes and sizes suited to all eating occasions.”Importantly, we are making sure the goods really deliver on taste and texture what they promise visually. The Co-op has been working with bakers such as Délifrance Cuisine de France and La Fornaia, among others, on the new range.On the cake side, category buyer Stuart Chadwick said: “Our Truly Irresistible range accounts for 20% of our total cake sales. We will be introducing new two-pack sizes next year.”last_img read more

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Academy on course

first_imgOK, so we’re nearly there. The treacle quagmire of funding has (nearly) been traversed, the boggy lack of consensus over an industry stan-dard qualification has (virtually) been overcome, and the muddied waters of how and where to find adequate training have (almost) been cleared. The formation of a national academy for bakery skills is now within reach.The path forward was always there, though the search often felt like trudging through slowly setting concrete of collective resignation. Thankfully, a Steering Group, featuring a broad industry cross-section, has identified the way forward.It has taken the big decisions and appointed a ’network champion’ (subject to funding), with a curriculum shaping up nicely as we speak. Things have advanced so much, that an April 2009 pilot launch date has been scheduled.Things have moved forward quickly. The idea of a bakery arm of the national skills academy was mooted at the tail-end of 2007, and given real impetus at the One Voice meeting of industry bigwigs, held at the Baking Industry Exhibition in the Birmingham NEC in April. This summer, the Steering Group came together, with a six-month brief to reach a consensus over the many sticking points over hows, whos and whens. Four months down the line, and we’re already talking about a September 2009 national roll-out.The temptation is to grab the Steering Group and give them a hearty slap on the back for getting this far. Yet any triumphalism should be tempered. Funding needs to be met and that’s where employers come in; industry lea-ders are being urged to put their money where their mouths are to get the pilot off the ground.”As a Steering Group, we feel we have made huge strides over the last six months in terms of bringing the industry together and finding a common training package,” says Steering Group chair Dave Brooks, until recently chief executive of Finsbury Food Group. “There is a big opportunity for the whole industry to get behind the initiative, with a relatively small investment that can genuinely make a huge difference to its future.”The initial funding of £100,000 is for the programme’s development; once that is up and running, the programme would be self-funding in the medium-term through employer contributions, training subsidies and other areas. “For a long time, people have been saying that something has to be done about training – now something is being done and we need the industry’s support to deliver,” says Brooks. This means relatively small contributions – thousands of pounds rather than tens of thousands – sourced from employers and associations.If the total is raised, Campden BRI will project-manage and co-ordinate the pilot, in its role of network champion. Leeds Thomas Danby, as ’lead college’, will be instrumental in setting the tone, curriculum and impetus of the programme, which would then roll out through a national college base and in-work training.It is believed that Campden’s reputation for delivering high-class training within the food and drink industry, and its strong project management record, will be enough to convince employers to get onboard. “It’s a great privilege to be NSA champion for bakery,” says Terry Sharp, head of baking and cereal processing at Campden BRI. “We understand the huge amount of responsibility that comes with the position, but we are well-equipped for the challenge, with a proven track record in developing training solutions.”As NSA champion, Campden would work in conjunction with the colleges. Its first job would be to work alongside Leeds Thomas Danby to establish a foundation bakery skills programme, to be delivered through the NSA bakery network. This would be designed specifically for emp- loyees who have not undertaken any formal training.”The Steering Group has identified the need to develop more effective training at basic level, to provide workers with firm foundations on which to build their skills,” explains Campden bakery training manager Paul Catterall. “We can develop an outstanding training programme that efficiently delivers the skills employers want their wor-kers to have.”The question now is whether the supermarkets and larger employers with their own training schemes will embrace the programme. “Employers with their own training programmes will almost certainly want to continue with those,” admits Brooks. “Through the bakery academy, we have to prove we’ve got something equally as successful, so they see the value of merging their qualifications into it.” Morrisons, for example, could eventually become an accredited college with a training programme matched against the NSA programme, he envisages.So most of the outstanding issues have been addressed and the industry is on the cusp of having its own national academy for bakery skills, which would finally put the opportunity to solve the training crisis in the hands of employers.—-=== What is the National Skills Academy? ===Put simply, the aim of the academy for bakery is that every bakery business, large or small, should have access to quality bakery training, wherever they are in the country. This is in tandem with developing a universally valued qualification that teaches a fundamental understanding of baking.The NSA for Food and Drink Manufacturing operates through training provider networks, which specialise in a particular industry sector, such as bakery, fish or meat, or in an operational discipline, such as lean manufacturing. It is not a funding body, but acts as facilitator for improving skills and identifying resources. It co-ordinates a network of training providers, led by a sector champion.—-=== The next steps ===* The new curriculum will be split into three levels. Over the next two weeks an outline of the curriculum for Levels 1 and 2 will be developed* While these are likely to be based upon current VRQ/NVQ structures, there will be a wholesale shift of emphasis, so that everyone completing the foundation level will be grounded in basic baking skills, with more modules covered – such as how to make bread, cake and confectionery – as well as a full understanding of how ingredients function.* A draft curriculum will be presented to the next Steering Group meeting on 17 November for approval. The Steering Group will meet with the colleges before Christmas to offer a full update on qualifications and delivery plans, and invite those colleges to become part of the network of providers.* Industry will be approached to secure start-up funding contributions. If successful, the Steering Group’s structure and format would then be reviewed, having completed its original six-month brief, and would likely be extended into 2009.last_img read more

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Bettys challenges name use for Cheesey Nibbles

first_imgBettys Café Tea Rooms, based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, has lodged a complaint with the Patent’s Office, after a local company starting selling a cheesey nibble using the name ’Betty’.’Fat Betty Organic Cheesey Nibbles’ have been sold for the last two years by Jonathan Kidd, owner of Cheese & Co, under his Taste of Yorkshire label.However Bettys, which operates six tearooms in the county, is said to have became worried about possible confusion over the product’s name. “We have a responsibility to protect the Bettys name for the future of our business and if we allow one business to use our name, we have to let others use it,” said a spokesperson for Bettys.Kidd told British Baker that his company had trademarked the name Fat Betty – unopposed – in October 2006, but in February 2007, Bettys made an initial complaint. “They have lodged an action to get our trademark invalidated, on the grounds that there will be confusion in the marketplace. We’ve submitted evidence to the Patent’s Office to say we don’t believe there’s a single element of confusion,” said Kidd.Cheese & Co’s Fat Betty nibbles are named after a landmark stone of the North York Moors called Fat Betty.—-=== In Short ===== Charge challenged ==The Freight Transport Association has challenged The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities’ plans to implement a congestion charge in Great Manchester on the grounds that it will have a damaging effect on local businesses. Bakeries operating in the area could see their transport costs rise significantly.== Rural award ==The Old Farmhouse Bakery, based in Steventon, Hampshire, is in the running for the Rural Enterprise accolade in the Countryside Alliance Awards. The awards seek to recognise and celebrate rural individuals and businesses who are ambassadors for both local produce and their communities. The bakery produces traditional recipe breads by hand and in small batches.== Bread in favour ==A survey carried out by EBLEX, the English Beef and Lamb group, found that freshly baked bread was ranked as Britain’s third-favourite taste. Of the 3,000 people polled, Belgian chocolate came out top, with bacon butties coming in second.== Local web drive ==A new website to promote top local and regional food and drink producers has been launched. Localfoodadvisor.com has sections on bakery, meat, fish & seafood, fruit & vegetables, deli, dairy, regional specialities and drink, and features a producer database.== Delice recognised ==Delice de France scooped two awards at the National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards, winning The Best Launch of a New Scheme and The Most Successful Payroll Giving Promotion accolades. Supplier of baked and part-baked frozen bakery, Delice, was praised by the judges for creating a good spirit within the company.last_img read more

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Bookings open for BIA

first_imgThis week we open for table bookings to the Baking Industry Awards, which take place on Tuesday 8 September at a new venue, the prestigious Park Lane Hilton.The evening kicks off with a Champagne reception, sponsored by Warburtons, taking place in the glamorous Wellington Room, which overlooks Hyde Park.As well as a celebrity presenter, still to be announced, the evening will have a 1930s theme from the Art Deco era. As part of the theme, two professional dancers, sponsored by Muntons, will appear from the highly popular BBC1 TV series Strictly Come Dancing, to entertain guests.To book places at a cost of £195 plus VAT or £1,895 plus VAT for a table of 10, contact Liz Ellis on 01293 846593 or email: [email protected] For entry forms contact Helen Law on 01293 846587 or email: [email protected] See also pages 24-25last_img read more

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Spice rack: fennel seeds

first_imgFennel seeds are produced by both the feathery annual herb and the bulbous perennial Florence fennel, which is eaten as a vegetable. The flowers produce a mass of seeds, which are quite sweet, and the flavour is similar to aniseed or liquorice. They are used in fish soups and stews and on top of grilled fish or meat. In some Mediterranean countries, the seeds are sprinkled on top of bread dough prior to baking. However, they can be included in other baked products. Add some to soda bread or make a seeded rye bread using a mixture of fennel seeds, cumin seeds and caraway seeds. Swedish Limpa bread, which usually uses aniseed, can be made by adding fennel seeds, honey, orange zest and juice to a light rye bread mixture. A few can be added to a traditional recipe for banana bread or carrot cake and you can make coconut macaroons a little different by adding a few fennel seeds to the mixture.Why not make savoury cheese cornbreads or corn muffins and flavour with some gently toasted fennel seeds? Or if making a vegetarian tart using, for example, roasted peppers and fennel with mozzarella cheese or Feta cheese, sprinkle with some seeds to accentuate the flavour of the fennel.Fiona Burrell, co-author of Leiths Baking Bible, from Leiths School of Food and Winelast_img read more

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Starbucks profits improve as it eyes a rebrand

first_imgStarbucks Corporation has announced strong third-quarter results for the period ended 28 June, 2009, and has exceeded its cost-saving target for the period.Despite a fall in net revenue from $2.6bn in Q3 of 2008 to $2.4bn in 2009, the firm said the success of its consumer-facing initiatives and changes to its cost structure have resulted in improvement in comparable store sales – 2009 has seen a sales decline of 5% in Q3 compared to 8% in Q2.Third-quarter operating profit stood at $204m, compared to an operating loss of $21.6m in Q3 2008.The coffee chain achieved cost savings of around $175m, exceeding its Q3 target of $150m, which amounts to approximately $370m in cost savings for the year-to-date.Troy Alstead, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said its store partners had “embraced the cost disciplines and efficiency initiatives”. The chain has also been trying to boost sales by experimenting with an unbranded outlet. One former Starbucks branded outlet in Seattle has been rebranded and will open as 15th Ave. Coffee and Tea on Friday 24 July.“This coffeehouse is a Starbucks, albeit a different one than our customers are accustomed to,” explained a spokesperson for the firm. It will serve Starbucks coffee and share the same missions and values as Starbucks, but delivered in a totally different way, she added. The new outlet will also serve beer and wine, and there are plans to open a further two outlets of this type.The spokesperson added that the trial is “very specific to Seattle” and there are currently no plans to roll it out in the UK.last_img read more

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Jobs saved as Sunfresh sells

first_imgJobs at Sunfresh Bakers are safe, after bosses bought the business out of administration.Directors Stephen and Mark Taylor bought its assets and goodwill, safeguarding 140 jobs, and will now trade as Taylors the Bakers. The Ashton-under-Lyne firm in Lancashire, which makes oven-bottom muffins, went into administration at the end of last month and insolvency firm MCR was tasked with finding a buyer.A spokeswoman for Taylors the Bakers said it had worked hard to secure the continuity of supply from suppliers and that it had the support of its major supermarket clients, who wanted to continue to buy the “quality of product and service synonymous with Sunfresh Bakers”.Sunfresh Bakers’ most recent accounts in November 2008, filed at Companies House, showed a pre-tax loss of £365,337 and net liabilities of more than £200,000.last_img read more

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Real Good Food’s profit hit by sugar prices

first_imgThe Real Good Food Company has seen continued growth in its bakery and bakery ingredients businesses. However reduced sugar cost levels in the market has led to a 19% drop in sales in its sugar business Napier Brown.Its bakery ingredients arm Renshaw saw sales up 13%, while Haydens Bakeries saw larger sales growth of 20% for the six months to 30 June 2010.“We have achieved significant sales growth at our bakery ingredients and bakery businesses and while sugar has had a more difficult run with lower prices following the end of the EU regime, the summer saw this being reversed to our benefit,” commented chairman Pieter Totté.Despite the downward sales trend, Totté said the sugar market is now seeing “tighter and wider supply conditions and improved pricing”.Overall group sales for the half year were down 11% to £90.7m, which the firm put primarily down to the lower sugar prices.last_img read more

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