Time is running out to apply for three prestigious baking industry training opportunities, administered by the Worshipful Company of Bakers.The Joseph Travelling Award is a financial opportunity for a person working in the indus-try. A sum of money will be provided to assist with study and training abroad.The Piero Scacco Award offers the opportunity for a visit to the Richemont School in Lucerne, Switzerland, or a visit to The House of Bread in Asten, Austria, in Autumn 2006. The Association of Bakery Ingre-dient Manufacturers (ABIM) Award offers a further place on the visit to the Richemont School, Lucerne in Autumn 2006. Closing dates for receipt of applications are Friday 2 June for the Joseph Travelling Award and Friday 9 June for the Piero Scacco and ABIM Awards.For further information and an application form, please contact the Assistant Clerk, the Worshipful Company of Bakers on 020 7623 2223, or email [email protected]
=n Brace’s Bakery is marking its 105th birthday this year by donating a selection of new books to Bearnes Primary School, Newton Abbot. The company’s head of communications Michelle Hughes said it believed books were key to a child’s development but too many children from low-income families could not afford to buy them. “We encourage families to spend quality time together. There aren’t many better ways than cuddling up on a sofa reading a book together,” she said.n Quiche company Worth Eating was named runner-up in Somerset Life magazine’s search for the best local producer. Owner Julian Langdon, a former chef in some of South West England’s top restaurants, uses locally sourced produce, such as Somerset vintage Cheddar, Wiltshire bacon, Dorset Blue Vinny cheese, and Bristol smoked salmon, as ingredients for his quiche dishes.n Two men broke into Upper Crust bakery at Watford Junction railway station last week and stole a substantial amount of cash. Police are investigating.n Peter Ford, who sold his Scottish family bakery business Fords to Cheshire-based Lyndale Foods in 1999, has set up a new business – the Premier Roll Company. Based in Bilston, it concentrates on producing just one product – “quality” morning rolls – to supply to other businesses. “We have two delivery vans on the road doing 450 dozen rolls a day and we intend taking that up to 1,800 dozen a day,” he said.n A bread-maker from north Powys, Wales, has been fined £2,750 and ordered to pay £750 costs for selling loaves under weight.
Stories of recession loom large in this week’s media. The government’s national debt is massive – as it tells us not to spend beyond our means, it is not so good at taking its own advice.Much of our gold stocks were sold years ago, at very low prices, and the American housing market, where loans have been made to those who cannot afford to repay them, is having an impact over here, with confidence reaching an all-time shakiness.So what would happen to the bakery market in a recession? One baking industry CEO said to me this week that he feared consumers might buy fewer premium goods, which provide so much of the profit compared to standard lines. I don’t agree. Call me an optimist, if you like, but I actually agree with Edwin Booth, chairman of Booths supermarket, who said: “Consumers will continue to pay top whack for premium food despite a tightening of the economy.”I believe that is partly to do with shopping ’habits’, an appreciation of better quality, more taste, which makes for a difficult reversal. And there is also the self-pampering effect – the need for a treat when times are tough and the big things have to go, but the premium loaf (quality) and the doughnut (treat) stay.Nevertheless, it is common sense if you are a baker to streamline products, cut down on wastage and produce only consumers’ favourites. The news that Tesco is doing just that will cause unease among suppliers, but in-store bakery buyer Simon Holt spells out to us just what is required and why (pg 4). At the moment, 80% of Tesco’s ISB sales come from half the products. Do you know your ratio? I am sure you do, because it is vital, and it also tells you the best time to launch seasonal products each year and how long to maintain them for.I am delighted I can still buy mince pies until the end the January – but I may be the only customer doing so!Elsewhere this week, if you run a small business and train your own staff, you may not be interested in a national skills training scheme. But for many there is a desperate need. So please let us know what you think about a National Skills Academy for Bakery (pg 17). We will publish your views.
Lantmännen Unibake (LU) plans to expand Eurobuns’ production into Danish pastry and croissants, following its purchase of the Milton Keynes frozen food specialist last week.LU’s chief executive Bent Pultz Larsen told British Baker that Eurobuns’ facilities would be used to make products for both the UK market and for export to continental Europe.Pultz Larsen said the British market was “very promising”. He added that as a result of LU’s successful partnership with Bakehouse, Britain had become its third-largest market for Danish pastry and, with the acquisition of Eurobuns, it had become “our largest market by far”.Eurobuns operates seven high-tech bakery lines and has forecast net sales for the current financial year of £46 million.Sales and marketing director Martin Jones said the deal would strengthen Eurobuns’ position.He said: “I am confident that Lantmännen Unibake will add value to Eurobuns and strengthen our position within the UK market.”In addition, we expect to have access to a raft of other products that will complement the range we produce ourselves.”The acquisition is LU’s third this year – it took over Finnish Baco Oy in February and US firm Eurobake in April.Following the Eurobuns’ takeover, LU – which specialises in fresh and frozen bakery goods – now has 100 bakery lines at 31 bakeries in 10 countries, employs nearly 5,000 people and has an annual turnover of £744 million.The company plans to expand globally through acquisition and is targeting companies in Central and Eastern Europe.—-=== In Short ===== Butter shortage ==Japanese bakers are finding it hard to get their hands on enough butter, Australian newspaper The Age has reported. A widespread shortage has hit both consumers and bakers buying in bulk. The shortage is due to market conditions, which chased hundreds of domestic dairy farmers out of business, compounded by health scares, encouraging Japanese consumers to drink less milk.== Prudens grows sites ==Prudens Bakery has expanded its family-run business with a new shop in Stoneycroft, Hemel Hempstead. Its sixth shop opened on 7 May and business is “going very well” so far. Prudens had been looking for new premises for a couple of years, and has now found the ideal location at the site of an existing baker. “It closed down over a year ago,” said Jon Pruden. “We moved in, refitted it and opened the Wednesday after the first May Bank Holiday.”== Greencore results ==Greencore has reported a good performance for the half year ended 28 March with “good prospects for the remainder of the year”. Group sales rose 2.5% to £514.5m, while group operating profit rose by the same percentage to £32.6m. Greencore’s ingredients division recorded a “very strong performance”, with total sales up 32%, while operating profit from convenience was down 3.8%.== Bakery bombing ==A suicide bomber targeted a bakery in Pakistan, killing 10 people. The attack on the bakery, on a Pakistani army base in Mardan, Peshawar, took place on 25 May.The attack is the deadliest in over two months as the government is locked into peace negotiations.
David Armstrong, MD of Bako UK for the last year, left the company at the end of January.Armstrong, who formerly worked for Threshers and Unwins, has been recruited by supermarket Asda to work in a senior position within the retailer’s wine and spirit buying team.Bako chairman Michael Bell, of Bells of Lazonby, said: “We are sad to see David leave Bako. However, we wish him every success in the new role. Before we recruit a replacement, we can review how we do things.”Bako is a co-operative between five different regional buying groups; Northern in Durham, North West in Preston, Wales in Swansea, Western in Cullompton, and London and South East in Merton. Bell added: “This allows us to provide a great local ser-vice through national purchasing strengths. Our aim is always to obtain the best price for the local baker.” Queries can be referred to John Smyth, group purcha-sing manager.
British Baker is delighted to announce the Baking Industry Awards finalists for the ADM Milling-sponsored Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year category. Mark Jones of New Primebake, Des Kingsley of Kensey Foods and Sarah Day of Greencore Cakes & Desserts, will join the other finalists at our 1930s-themed event at the Park Lane Hilton, London on Tuesday 8 September. The awards will be hosted by top comedian Ronnie Corbett, with entertainment from two dancers from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.Associate sponsors of the event feature a host of top names from the world of bakery. Délifrance is to sponsor the bread rolls; Warburtons, the champagne VIP reception; Muntons, the ballroom dancers; Kluman & Balter, the cracker raffle; Allied Bakeries sponsors the disposable cameras; Bako UK, the champagne table centres; and Nexus Communica-tions on behalf of British Lion Egg Products is to sponsor the egg-based dessert course.Cereform, sponsor of the casino, is offering a fantastic prize – a trip to Burgh Island Hotel in Devon, including Bollinger on arrival, lunch, a cream tea for two, pre-dinner cocktails, and accommodation at the upmarket hotel.Tickets for the event are almost gone, so make sure you don’t miss out by booking your place now. Tickets cost £195 + VAT each, or £1,895 + VAT for tables of 10. To book, contact [email protected] or call 01293 846593.—-=== ADM Milling finalists: Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year ===New Primebake – Mark JonesKensey Foods – Des KingsleyGreencore Cakes & Desserts – Sarah Day
Spanish firm Europastry is to open a commercial subsidiary in Holland in order to widen its distribution links in Europe.The new site will serve its markets in Germany, Belgium and Northern Europe, to which it already distributes. The firm, which produces parbaked bread and frozen pastries, also has subsidiaries in Portugal and France and exports to 20 countries.With plans to expand further into international markets, Europastry said it already obtains 15% of its income from outside Spain. Last year it achieved a €360 million turnover (£320.4m) and grew by 10%.It has seen high growth rates for a number of its products, such as Pan Gran Reserva – a country loaf – and its dougnuts. “During the first six months, doughnut exports grew by 40%, making Europastry the largest European manufacturer of frozen doughnuts,” said a spokesperson for the firm. It has also invested €12.3m (£10.94m) on research and development this 2009, and has worked to eliminate hydrogenated fats from its products and launch a new range of healthier pastries for children.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will launch a second wave of saturated fat posters early in 2010, as part of a renewed campaign to reduce saturated fat intake, following a drive to target pastry earlier this summer.“We intend to come back to saturated fat as a campaign – probably in January, with poster advertising,” Stephen Airey of the FSA told The Big Bakery Debate on Sat Fats and Calories. He told delegates at the Landmark Hotel in London that the strategy of the agency was to “set a direction of travel for the industry as a whole and to recognise that it’s in the hands of industry to deliver this advance in public health”.The FSA is currently consulting on a 10% reduction in sat fats in baked products. FSA head of nutrition Rosemary Hignett said the agency was working to influence European law to allow bakers to make a 10% reduction claim on-pack; the law currently requires a 30% reduction in fat to make a claim. “We agree with you that it would be helpful to make a 10% claim and are making that case to the European Commission at the moment,” she told delegates. “Signs are that they are very open to the argument that the 10% reduction claim will actually help reformulation, so please don’t take the fact that the law at the moment is how it will always be.”See this week’s issue, out 6 November, for the full story on The Big Bakery Debate
A new healthy snack food range, Gourmet Raw, has been launched this month. It comprises two varieties of Gourmet Raw Brownies Celestial Cacao and Cocobanana and three varieties of Flackers Salsa, Jive and Sunshine. Flackers are being marketed as an alternative to crackers for snacking or bread and could be served with dips, such as guacamole or salsa, or filled with houmous and salad as an alternative to a sandwich. A range of three gluten-free snack bars are currently in production and will be launched soon. These include: Oracle (goji berries, hemp- and other seeds), Supadoopa Slice (nut-free and sweetened with lucuma), and Mutiny (coconut and chocolate).To claim their raw status, none of the products are heated above 40.5°C. They are free from refined sugars, artificial colours, preservatives and flavours, and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.www.gourmetraw.com
Aryzta has announced negative growth in bakery for the six months ended 31 January 2010, with its UK and Irish markets seeing the highest revenue decline.Its food business, which is primarily focused on speciality bakery, saw underlying growth fall 10.1% in its European arm, with revenue down 7.7% to €533.6m. Operating profit for Food Europe stood at €60.7m, down 5.1%.Its bakery business has a wide customer base including convenience retail, restaurants, gas stations, catering and hotels. Chief executive officer Owen Killian said credit availability remained difficult for many customers “who need to maintain and develop their consumer-facing investment”, which led to customers reducing costs and postponing investment decisions.According to a statement from Aryzta, consumers continued to switch channels during the period, with foodservice more impacted than retail. However, some growth came from new customers in Continental Europe. Meanwhile, underlying growth in Food North America dropped 2.7% although Aryzta’s Developing Markets division saw growth of 3.4%.The firm formed in August 2008 through the merger of Irish company IAWS and Swiss bakery firm Hiestand. It is a mix of business-to-business and consumer brands, including Hiestand, Cuisine de France and Delice de France.