first_imgI am always bemused by the fact that being seen as ’old fashioned’ is something of a slur, whilst using the word ’traditional’ is often a big plus. In that case, I wish we would return to ’traditional’ discipline and ’tradtitional’ mealtimes at least once a day. My Reverend godfather used to say that most education takes place around the dinner table. He said it was when you passed on your values to your children.I also love the ’tradition’ of fermenting bread, so the dough develops naturally at its own pace, giving full flavour. But i recognise that, in today’s mechanised times, there is an important role for good plant bread. In the past, those kitting out their bakeries often turned to APV but we have heard less and less about them in recent years.So I hope the acquisition of APV by private investors will herald a new opportunity for the company. Interestingly it is reverting to its ’traditional’ name, Baker Perkins, “a name that was familiar to customers in the last century”. Yes, many things were better last century, but it is very important to move forwards. A smart society, like a smart company, adapts and, even better, spearheads the new, while retaining the core values that made it a success in the past. In the case of Baker Perkins that name traditionally represented well-built bakery machinery that would last for years. I hope it will again.I always think bakery is a sector that evolves rather that making a dramatic overnight debut, like the iPod. It is certainly evolving in Tesco, where senior bakery buyer Andy Brocklehurst has revealed that the supermarket is to revamp its offer with a new range, signage and layout. Interestingly more space will be dedicated to wholemeal and seeded breads, a sector that Tesco has helpped develop with its focus on low GI. Speciality bread and cakes are also the focus of our FREE supplement this week, I hope you enjoy it.Meanwhile, Asda has launched a partnership between in-store bakeries, North Yorkshire Farmers and – wait for it- the RSPB. Yes, you read that correctly. The result will be bread that uses wheat from ’bird-friendly’ fields and encourages wildlife to flourish. What a great initiative! I hope it spreads.Finally this week, many congratulations to Michael Bell’s company for winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, a super accolade for a super person running a great firm.last_img read more

first_imgn The British Society of Baking’s annual conference takes place this week in Coventry with speakers including Asda bakery director Huw Edwards and Federation of Bakers’ director Gordon Polson. See the website [http://www.bsb.org.uk] for full details.n A new report, Profiting from Changing Snacking and Beverage Occasions, from market analyst Datamonitor has revealed that young Britons aged six to 24 are Europe’s most frequent snackers. Young people aged between six and 13 consume on average 825 snacks per year, over two snacks per day; and 14 to 24-year-olds snacked on 856 occasions in 2005. “Snacking is so ingrained in UK eating habits that it has become a way of life rather than a trend, but it is younger consumers, with their relatively care-free approach to eating, who are particularly frequent snackers,” commented Daniel Bone, author of the report.n A new round of HGCA Enterprise Awards runs until the end of the year. Under the scheme, companies using UK-produced grain can gain funds of up to £50,000 for promoting innovative products or opening up new markets for existing products.See [http://www.hgca.com/enterprise]n Sharwood’s has launched a range of fresh naan breads in Asda, made by Honeytop Speciality Foods. The range includes Peshwari naan and a mixed pack of mini naans, featuring mango and red chilli and garlic and coriander flavours. Charles Eid, joint MD of Honeytop, said: “The popularity of ethnic foods has really taken off. The increasing attraction of ethnic food also means that the quality has to constantly improve, as consumers expectations have grown.”last_img read more

first_imgThe national bakers buying group Bako has decided on a radical restructure of its group purchasing division, following a strategic review by its directors. Two new purchasing divisions – Northern Purchasing Division and Southern Purchasing Divi-sion – will be created. These will be based at Preston in the north, while in the south, group purchasing will be electronically shared between Swansea, Wales, Cullompton Western and Merton, London.Former chief executive David Armstrong, who reported directly to the board and recently left to work for supermarket group Asda, will not be replaced.The original Bako Central Purchasing and Marketing Division, located in different offices in Preston, has closed. The functions have been allocated to the new divisions. A minimal number of staff at Preston are in consultation about jobs, but there will also be some redeployment. Two new positions have been created at Bako North Western in purchasing and one will be created at each of the three southern locations.Six regional Bako sites provide ingredients, packaging, equipment and finished products to craft and wholesale bakers throughout the country. These are based in the North West at Preston; the North East – Durham; Glasgow – Cumbernauld; Wales – Swansea; Exeter – Cul-lompton; and London – Merton.Acting Bako chairman John Waterfield, MD of Waterfields of Leigh, Lancashire, with 48 craft shops, told British Baker: “Waterfields has been a member of Bako for over 30 years. This is a very positive step forward – not only for Bako, but also for suppliers and customers. The closure of the central buying offices at Preston will reduce overheads and enable the Bako companies to give a better service. The move will also allow each Bako region to build a closer working relationship with suppliers and customers.”He continued: “The glue that helps hold Bako companies together is its own-label products. The change will also enable North and South purchasing to develop Bako brands, which have increased over the years and now account for over 25% of total sales.”last_img read more

first_imgLast week I attended a meeting at the Bakers’ Villas in Epping. I was able to see first-hand the great work and care given to the elderly residents there, who have connections to the bakery trade.The National Association of Master Bakers also runs a Benevolent Fund to assist master baker families who need support through age, disability or other difficult circumstances. As a visiting almoner, it is always a great experience to distribute Christmas hampers each year.Caring and supporting each other during periods of hardship is something that craft bakers do all the time. During the floods last year, when some bakers’ premises were waterlogged, other bakers were quick to rally round and provide goods until production started again.We all have stories in our own areas, such as bakers falling sick and others providing goods to help the businesses keep going until the owners are well again. On one occasion, a fellow baker of mine had his main electricity cable severed by builders and, during the three days it took to repair, he and his small staff took over my bakery during the night, bringing all their own flour and ingredients with them and using our ovens and equipment. They vanished by 4am with their newly baked goods, just before our bakers were due to start.Craft bakers are a breed apart, competitive in the marketplace but always eager to help each other during times of difficulty. Compassion and friendship are some of the greatest values that we can have.last_img read more

first_imgSwiss-based baker Aryzta has unveiled two acquisitions that it hopes will strengthen its market position in Europe and the US.The firm, which produces bread and pastries under brands including Cuisine de France and Delice de France, now owns Fresh Start Bakeries, a global supplier of speciality bakery products, and Great Kitchens, a supplier of pizzas and appetisers with a focus on the deli segment in North America.It follows the announcement that a decline in Aryzta’s like-for-like sales was decelerating in the third quarter; revenues fell by 4.6% to E822.9m (£679.7m) compared to a fall of 8.6% for the nine-month period to April 2010.Aryzta said this decline in revenue was still most evident in Ireland and the UK.The company added that the support provided to customers within c-stores, to reposition their foodservice value proposition through freshly and consistently prepared convenience offerings, was helping to drive footfall. CEO Owen Killian added: “From a business perspective, we will operate with a greater geographic footprint and with much better channel access to consumers. These acquisitions double our manufactured volumes, with an additional 30 production locations in nine countries.”last_img read more

first_imgThe UK’s parched wheat fields are entering a ’critical’ phase, with yields already down 10-15% and more dry weather on the way.Crops in the south and east of the country are under stress, with ears forming two weeks earlier than normal after less than half the normal levels of rain in March and the hottest April on record.The dry weather has continued in May, with above-average temperatures predicted until the end of the month, prompting environment secretary Caroline Spelman to call an emergency ’drought summit’ of water companies and farming groups earlier this week.Wheat in France, Germany, Eastern Europe and the US is also suffering from unusually dry weather, while heavy rain has delayed plantings of Canadian wheat. All this is underpinning high wheat and flour prices, with the delivered price of a tonne of wheat standing at around £220.”Concern is growing by the day and the markets are getting jumpy. We are now losing yield as every dry day and week goes by,” said Jack Watts, senior analyst at the Home Grown Cereals Authority. He estimated that yields in the UK could be down by between 10-25% on last year.At miller Rank Hovis, head of wheat procurement Gary Sharkey said: “Given current weather patterns, yields could be down 10-15% on last year, which is a big concern. Farmers are currently unwilling to forward-sell, because they are not sure they will have the quantity or quality to meet orders. The next few weeks are critical. A couple of inches of rain in early June would help salvage the situation.”Earlier this month, the US Department of Agriculture forecast that global wheat production for 2011/12 would be 669.5mt and consumption at 670.5mt.“The wheat market supply and demand is finely balanced and any production shortfall could lead to a tighter supply situation,” said ADM Milling in a statement. “The lack of rainfall has caused some in the industry to question the likely yield potential of this crop, with some traders in the UK estimating up to a 10% reduction in the UK crop size.”last_img read more

first_imgGb Plange launched its Energie Solpan Bread Mix at Bakers’ Fair in Bolton last Sunday (2 October). The bread has a distinctive corn crust topping, and a natural golden yellow crumb, said the firm. The bread contains golden pieces of corn and is also enriched with vitamin D hence the name Solpan, which means sun bread.”Bakers’ Fair was the perfect launch pad for Solpan,” commented Marie Parnell, general manager, Gb Plange. “It’s really important that craft bakers can profit from the popularity of speciality breads and the fast-growing, functional foods market. Solpan ticks all the boxes when it comes to delivering distinctive taste, flavour and health benefits, which will add value to any bakery offering.”last_img

first_imgMacphie has made its 5th Avenue Orange Icing available for a limited time only, so bakers can make the most of it for use in products for Halloween.The ingredients manufacturer suggests using it for pumpkin cupcakes and cake pops, orange whoopie pies or Halloween-themed cookies.Jania Boyd, marketing manager commented: “Halloween outsells both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day combined and is now worth £300m compared to just £12m in 2001 (according to Scottish Food and Drink).”Use orange and green crepe paper, carved pumpkins and plastic creepy crawlies to make your window display stand out and entice people in. Present products in Halloween-themed wrappers and boxes and introduce a few new lines, such as pumpkin cake pops, orange iced éclairs and cookie monsters, for example.”The orange icing is available in 6kg pails while stocks last.last_img read more

first_imgSara Lee has sold the majority of its North American foodservice coffee and tea operations to The JM Smucker Company, which owns coffee brand Folgers, for $350m (£218m).Jan Bennink, executive chairman of Sara Lee, said: “In recent years, our North American coffee business has been foodservice-based and largely unbranded, which is a challenge in a highly competitive marketplace.  “Our decision to sell a major part of this business to Smucker is an example of Sara Lee Coffee and Tea’s renewed focus on sustainable, profitable growth.”Smucker and Sara Lee have also entered into a licensing agreement to co-operatively develop liquid coffee technologies to drive long-term growth. “This transaction further strengthens our position as a leading North American coffee company,” said Richard Smucker, chief executive officer of The JM Smucker Company.  “The addition of liquid coffee concentrate to the Smucker portfolio aligns with our desire to compete in all forms of coffee, adding to our roast and ground, single-serve, instant and ready-to-drink platforms. The innovation partnership further allows us to collaborate on new technologies in the liquid coffee category for the foodservice market.”last_img read more

first_img Previous articleLogansport meat plant closing after workers contract virusNext articleWhitmer to extend stay-home order; state furloughs workers Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications. (Photo supplied/Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s health commissioner says the state’s first coronavirus infections occurred at least a couple weeks before the first illness among a resident was confirmed in early March.That would indicate the virus could have been spreading around Indiana for perhaps six weeks before the statewide stay-at-home order took effect March 25.Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Wednesday that infections have been tracked to at least mid-February.Indiana’s coronavirus death toll reached 661 as the state health department added 31 newly reported deaths on Wednesday. By Associated Press – April 23, 2020 0 311 Twitter CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsApp Google+ Indiana tracks coronavirus cases weeks before 1st confirmed Pinterest Google+ Facebooklast_img read more