first_imgPukka Pies (Leicester) has introduced a new saveloy sausage to its range of catering sausages. The new saveloys are batch-produced by Pukka’s team of butchers. They have a meat content of 39% and contain pork, bacon and a blend of spices. They are free from artificial flavours and colours. The saveloys are available in size 4 and are packed 36 to a 4.08kg (9lb) boxPeter Mayes, marketing and business development controller at Pukka Pies, comments: “Developing a skin that didn’t contain artificial colours has been a challenge. The saveloy is a great-tasting product and is free from both artificial flavours and colours.”last_img read more

first_imgNorthern FOODS said it was “taking it day by day” after a massive blaze ripped through Fletchers Bakeries in Sheffield last Sunday. Around 150 workers of the Northern Foods-owned bakery’s 650 staff were on site when the fire started at 10.30am on 16 July. All were evacuated safely. The heat from the fire led to a series of explosions, prolonging the blaze and causing parts of the bakery to collapse. The fire was brought under control by 80 firefighters by 7pm on Sunday night, but was still smouldering into the week.The inferno is believed to have started in a processing plant, where a cooler may have exploded. It was blamed by firefighters on a “catastrophic technical failure” and is not being treated as suspicious. Head of communications Hilary Baker said Northern Foods had been unable to get onto the site to assess the damage, but initial reports suggested some production units had been untouched. Fletchers’ customers have been contacted following the fire, she added.Fletchers is a large supplier of speciality breads to customers including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Tesco. Production of its range may be moved to Northern Foods’ other bakeries, including Kara in Manchester, Grain D’Or in London and La Baguette Doree in BarnsleyBaker told British Baker: “We are looking at what production we can move and what we can’t. It is too early to estimate the impact of the damage. We are taking it day by day.” She said the bakery is insured under Northern Foods’ group insurance for property damage and business interruption. However, there is a £4m excess on the policy. Staff are on full pay, she added. Fletchers supplies about 300 customers. Around 85% of its business comes from 15 clients, its largest being Tesco.It makes a range of fresh and frozen bread, rolls and speciality products, including burger buns, doughnuts and scones. Northern Foods’ bakery division, which includes Park Cakes and Smith Flour Mills, was put up for sale on 31 May. The division’s total turnover is £106m a year.last_img read more

first_imgSandwich chain Subway is planning to add new shapes and styles to its bread range “bringing some innovation to the customer”.The chain, which now has 780 outlets in the UK, has a team of people working on its bread strategy, said Bryan Griffiths, MD of the European Independent Purchasing Company (EIPC), the company which manages buying for Subway franchises.Subway, famous for its six- and twelve-inch submarine rolls, already offers some wraps and round rolls. Griffiths told British Baker it is looking at additions to the range. He commented: “There have been lots of developments in other areas of the Subway business, now we need to focus on bread. Grain, flavours, everything is on the table for us.”Subway is also looking at offering wider breakfast and evening ranges, he said.As Subway continues to grow in the UK, Griffiths said it was confident that it would beat its oft-quoted target of opening 2010 outlets by 2010.He said: “We should hit out target by 2009 – 2010 stores by 2009 does not sound quite as snappy!” Subway expects to sell a total of 160 million rolls in the UK this year, he added.Subway is supplied by bread company Evron in the UK and Ireland and Griffiths said the two companies will grow together. He said: “Evron opened a dedicated factory in Wales in July and has room to grow with us.” Brakes Logistics provides its distribution.last_img read more

first_imgLightbody Cakes, part of the Finsbury Food Group, is playing host to a BBC children’s show called Beat the Boss.In the show, a group of three children pitched their talent against three business professionals to come up with a new birthday cake for the children’s market. The two teams worked with Lightbody to design a prototype for their cakes, including packaging. The prototype cakes were then tested by 25 children.The programme will be screened from March 3, 2008 on BBC1, BBC2 and CBBC.last_img read more

first_imgStarbucks has opened its first store in Portugal. The new store, located in Lisbon, is part of the company’s ambitious plans for international growth.Starbucks has been working with small speciality Portuguese food companies in order to de-velop food items that use local ingredients and are exclusive to this market.”We are thrilled that we will be able to share our passion for high-quality arabica coffee and the Starbucks experience with the people of Portugal,” said Luis Mello, operation director of Starbucks Coffee Portugal.”Additionally, we are excited to be offering traditional Portu-guese food items in innovative ways that are complementary to our high-quality coffees.”Products include pastel de nata, a small custard tart and pastel de Feijao, a pastry made with almonds and sweet beans.last_img read more

first_imgBuilding work has started on a £2m extension to Lewis Pies’ factory in Swansea, which will boost production of savoury pies, pas-ties and sausage rolls.Part-funded by the Welsh Assembly government, the first phase of the project is due to be completed in May, with the opening of a new 10,500sq ft factory extension, boosting production space by around 25%. The extension will house a new butchery, packing area and extended free-zing operation, including a new eco-friendly blast freezer. A state-of-the-art test kitchen is also planned.Later in the year, phase two of the expansion will see the installation of a new pie and slice line. The increased capacity will enable Lewis Pies to increase its UK sales, as well as grow its export business to Spain and Portugal, said national accounts manager Dave Phillips.The company has appointed Jim Watkiss, formerly of Peter Hunt’s, to head up its export business from an office in Portugal.last_img read more

first_imgThe standard rate of VAT will increase from 17.5% to 20% from 4 January 2011, announced chancellor George Osborne in his first Budget earlier today, but zero-rating for most food remains in place.The government said the British economy had been too reliant on growth from a limited number of sectors and regions. “This Budget is the first step in transforming the economy and paving the way for sustainable, private sector led growth, balanced across regions and industries,” according to the Budget document.Food & Drink Federation director general Melanie Leech commented: “No one welcomes spending cuts or tax increases for their own sake. But we are relieved that the chancellor has confirmed that most foods will continue to be zero-rated for the life of this Parliament.”Other headline announcements include the increase in reduction in the main rate of corporation tax from 28% to 24% over the course of four financial years from April 2011.”Generally the measures could have been a lot more severe, however it will take a few days to work out the true impact of today’s budget,” commented Mike Holling, chairman, National Association of Master Bakers. “Many retailers had predicted the VAT increase; the positive news was that the chancellor did not extend VAT to other food items, that move would have a major impact on the NAMB membership. We also welcome the reversal in the planned increase in the employer national insurance contributions,” he added.Federation of Bakers director Gordon Polson said the fact that food remains zero rated for VAT is obviously good news, and that the reduction in corporation tax was a welcome announcement. “We’re all prepared for tough times, and consumers’ budgets are going to be constrained, but we’ll continue to survive and produce good value bread.”Funding for small businesses will be increased through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG). The facility for this year will be increased by £200 million to support additional lending of up to £700 million for small businesses until 31 March 2011.There was a reversal of “the most damaging part of the planned increase in employer National Insurance Contributions”, with the threshold to be raised by £21 above indexation by April 2011.The personal tax allowance for employees under 65 will be increased by £1,000 in April 2011; and the government has also announced it will introduce a levy based on banks’ balance sheets from 1 January 2011, to encourage less risky funding profiles, while it also plans to take action on bank bonuses. A 1% cut to small companies’ tax, the new £5 million threshold for entrepreneurs’ relief on CGT and measures to reduce some National Insurance liabilities were welcomed by The Forum of Private Business.It also welcomed the pledge of a wholesale review of employment law. However, it expressed concern at the failure to confirm the creation of the Conservatives’ pre-election ‘fuel price stabilizer’. A spokesperson for the British Small Shops Association said there was much that will appeal to small businesses in this Budget, especially as they have been expecting the worst: “Cutting corporation tax, capital gains tax changes, particularly the increase in the entrepreneurs’ relief limit to £5m, National Insurance support for new businesses outside London and increases in personal allowances will all receive a warm welcome from retailers..”On the other hand, 77% of the real Budget still has to be detailed (in the public sector spending round and the reviews of pensions) with departments of government facing budget cuts of 25%, so there is a lot of bad news yet to come. Given the axe that is to be taken to government itself the only thing that rings false in the Chancellor’s predictions is that unemployment will peak this year and then begin to fall through the period until 2015.”The future role of regional development agencies was also not addressed in the budget, said The Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and Humber chief executive, Jonathan Knight.He said: “There has been no clarity on the specific support to businesses in the region, besides the creation of a Regional Growth Fund from 2011, and some loud hints that RDAs will need to transform into some form of Local Enterprise Partnerships in order to continue their business development functions-this detail is eagerly awaited.”last_img read more

first_img“I have been for three years baking cakes. And now I’m going to bake a cake that has a bitter jelly. The message of the new music is now more bitter than it was before. Because the sweeter the cake, the more bitter the jelly can be”Er, got that? Lady Gaga draws a cake parallel when asked about her new album. For “jelly”, read “jam”, not that that makes her remotely intelligible”Hospitals are visited by a very broad cross-section of society and, as such, the whole hospital environment should reflect the importance of healthy living”a statement from The Welsh Assembly Government, which is gearing up to outlaw cheese sarnies and sugared tea from vending machines in hospitals in favour of low-fat cakes, water and juicelast_img read more

first_imgIt appears the jury is out as to whether UK scientists have cracked the genetic sequence for wheat.At the end of last month, scientists at the University of Liverpool, in collaboration with the University of Bristol and the John Innes Centre, announced they had succeeded in decoding the genome of wheat in a breakthrough that could help crop breeders increase the yield of British wheat varieties.However, the findings are being disputed by the International Wheat Genome Sequence Consortium (IWGSC), which has said that it strongly disagrees with claims, reported in an article by Associated Press, that these findings represent in any way the sequence of the wheat genome or that this work is comparable to genome sequences for rice, maize or soybean.The IWGSC said it stands by the position of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which funded the research, that “this is an important step, but significant work remains to be done to achieve a complete genome sequence”.Alex Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers said the process of establishing which of the characteristics in the wheat genome are most useful for new varieties will still be a complex process. “There’s still a lot of work to be done in order to translate these findings into real change. However, the more we understand, the better able we will be to meet future production requirements and, importantly, to use resources more efficiently, making agricultural production more sustainable.”Professor Ian Crute, chief scientist at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, added: “Having access to the DNA sequence of all the genes in wheat will truly revolutionise breeding. As well as yield and quality improvements, this significant advance will speed up the ability to identify and select the sets of genes that control important characters for sustainable crop production.”>>Wheat genome code has been crackedlast_img read more

first_imgCity & Guilds has formally accredited Sainsbury’s six Food Colleges and Bakery College.At least 20,000 Sainsbury’s staff will attend the colleges this year, making it the largest ever accreditation in the history of City & Guilds. Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury’s customer service and colleague director, said: “Sainsbury’s is absolutely committed to giving all of our colleagues the opportunity to develop and learn new skills, despite the challenging climate. “This accreditation from City & Guilds is in recognition of the high standards we have set at the colleges and we can already see how our customers are benefiting from the improved service and quality from our newly trained counter colleagues.”The colleges offer training to staff working on the meat, fish, deli, hot food counters, bakery and the café.The six Food Colleges opened following the successful launch of Sainsbury’s Bakery College in May 2010.The Bakery College, at Whitworths Mill near Northampton, has halved the amount of time it takes for Sainsbury’s bakers to learn the necessary skills, with some of them completing a Level Two qualification.Last year Sainsbury’s became the first food retailer to be awarded Gold accreditation by Investors in People.>>Raising the barlast_img read more