Ashers has acquired another bakery business as well as signing a supply agreement with Tesco.The Nairn-based 10-shop chain has purchased Smillies of Elgin for an undisclosed sum. Employing 35 people, Smillies operates a bakery and two shops in Elgin, as well as an outlet in Lossiemouth. The firm also supplies wholesale.Ashers’ joint-MD George Asher said: “It’s a good business with a good product which gives us another 20% on our sales. It will be run as a self-contained business and will continue to trade under its existing name.” Smillies’ previous owners will not stay with the new set-up.Ashers moved to a new bakery in Nairn some five years ago, since when it has acquired three shops.Mr Asher also confirmed that his company had concluded a regional supply deal with Tesco for bread and morning goods.
Sixty British Bakeries workers who thought their jobs were saved last month have been told that their Plymouth factory will stop manufacturing at the end of July.British Bakeries axed 79 jobs in April after a business review, but said it would keep its breadmaking plant open on an interim basis while its viability was assessed. However, last Friday, staff discovered that all 139 manufacturing jobs will go. Two of the three units had already closed. Workers were shocked at the news, said Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union district secretary John James.A spokesman for British Bakeries said: “As a result of increased excess capacity nationally, the business has decided to now cease all manufacturing operations at the site.” It will now convert to a depot facility, with 100 jobs at the site.
Butter prices are in turmoil, according to June’s Bulk Dairy Market Report from Staple Dairy Products.Prices in the UK have risen by 40% since January 2007, according to the report. On butter and milk powders it says: “Supplies remain scarce and prices remain firm – and getting firmer as EU milk production starts its seasonal decline into the summer and early autumn trough.”Dairy farmers have continued to exit the industry in large numbers over the past three years, which is leading to uncertainty over milk availability, especially in the coming autumn and winter periods.Other reasons for the price increases include demand from developing countries, while Australian exporters are struggling to recover from drought. Butter subsidies have also been withdrawn and poor climactic conditions in the UK are a factor.Intervention stocks of butter are now at zero, which effectively makes the EU market over 80,000 tonnes short in the second half of 2007 compared to 2006.”Markets look uncertain going forward for both dairy fats and proteins. Whey powder markets, while calming down recently, remain nervous, as does Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), caseinate and indeed any form of dairy protein.”The report continues: “Demand is outstripping supply by some way – world demand for dairy products in total is growing by around 2.5% but production is growing by 1% only.”See [http://www.stapledairy.co.uk] for more information.
Most London bakers are becoming seriously perturbed about the position of flour prices in relation to the official Food Council scale for bread prices.And although we have regarded it as our duty to remark upon the disappointing quality of some of the flour that has reached the bakers latterly, it is not to be assumed that we do not realise that the miller is as much disappointed by it as the baker who receives it. A little more of a “get together” attitude between bakers and millers might do much towards a satisfactory solution on the question of bread quality – especially when it comes to the flavour.
The Real Good Food Company’s interim results saw total group sales dip 8% to £104m in the six months to 30 June. Overall, the group made a pre-tax loss of £1.59m in a period of “difficult trading conditions”.Sales at its baking ingredients division Renshaw grew 13% to £14.3m, but operating profit dropped 32% yoy to £78,000. Its sugar division Napier Brown saw sales fall 10% to £85.7m, with operating profit down 36% to £1.8m. Its bakery division, which includes Haydens Bakeries and Seriously Scrumptious, saw sales dip 4% to £8,535,000, with an operating loss of -£275,000.Chairman Pieter Totte said Christmas was a critical period.
Over the past year we have grown to love the undisputed godfather of bowel regulation via his bygone missives, resurrected in BB. But how much do we really know about him? Here’s a remarkable insight into his daily routine – an example we should perhaps all strive to follow. This is especially true when it come to spicing up your life – what better way to treat yourself than with a bowl of boiled onions?The doctor’s day: “I rise between 7am and 8am as a rule, and wash. While still wet, I dry my face, ears and neck, and then give my body a vigorous rubbing with the towel, and get it into a glow. My head gets washed only every three weeks, as I find too much soap causes scurf in the head, bleaches the hair, and makes it brittle. Occasionally, I go in for a little mild exercise before dressing, such as throwing my arms about, or stooping in various ways to exercise the muscles. When dressed, I go out for half an hour’s walk before breakfast, no matter how cold, wet or foggy. My dinner, at 3pm, varies a little. When I am using my brain more than usual, I dine on bread and fruit.”Two or three days a week, I have a plain cooked dinner, composed of a vegetable soup, milk pudding or stewed fruit. Tea, at 9pm, is a repetition of breakfast; for a change, I may have beetroot, celery, or boiled or fried onions.”
Hollands Pies has launched its new cheese and onion pie recipe, using mature cheese from the award-winning Dew Lay Creamery in Garstang. The new recipe has been developed using Holland’s ’Pie Panel’ of amateur pie tasters. The manufacturer says the pie reflects consumers’ growing desire for local provenance, with the new cheese being sourced from a creamery 30 miles from the pie factory.The pie comes both chilled and frozen and has been approved by the Vegetarian Society.The company says this re-launch is the first of many and its range is undergoing a revamp.”With the help of our Pie Panel we’ve been reviewing the quality of all of our products and we’ve been listening carefully to our customers.”We’ve revisited all the things people have traditionally loved about our pies and looked to retain and, where necessary, rediscover that love,” explained Neil Court-Johnston, managing director of Holland’s.www.hollandspies.co.uk
Bakery equipment specialist Eurobake is holding a Refurbishment Roadshow at Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery in Bolton on 11 June, 2009.The show has been designed to give bakery equipment buyers the chance to see how Eurobake’s refurbishment service works.Visitors will be able to see Eurobake’s team transform old, dirty and damaged mixers and dividers and moulders, of various makes, into upgraded machines. The machines will be stripped down to the frame and refurbished with new parts, steam-cleaned and lubricated. For more information and directions, contact Eurobake on: 01204 468671
Bakers’ Fair 2009 will take place at Manchester’s Armitage Centre on Sunday 4 October. Organised by British Baker, the show is free to attend and aims to provide inspiration and ideas for your business, as well as the chance to make important contacts.The exhibition will be sponsored by Norbake for the third year running, and the Richemont Club will host its annual competition at the event, targeted at craft and independent bakers, coffee shops, sandwich shops and food-to-go outlets. Companies already exhibiting include Acrivarn, Rank Hovis, British Sugar, Norbake, Reiser UK, Laxey Glen Flourmills and Reynards.For details on booking a stand at the fair, contact Jennie Dick on 01293 846520 or visit www.bakersfair.co.uk.
== SAMB joins network ==The Scottish Association of Master Bakers has joined the National Skills Academy’s (NSA’s) Network of Excellence for Bakery. Coventry University’s training business Acua, Westminster Kingsway College and Barnsley College have also become accredited NSA members.== Coffee Republic dea ==lAs British Baker was going to press the administrators of Coffee Republic, KPMG, announced it had agreed a deal with Arab Investments for the UK coffee chain. A spokesperson for KPMG said that contracts were due to be exchanged on Wednesday, 28 July. For the latest on this story go to bakeryinfo.co.uk.== RGFC sees stability ==The Real Good Food Company, supplier of sugars and bakery ingredients and a manufacturer of bakery products, announced it has noticed “some stability returning to the markets” in which it operates. In a trading update, the company also said the merger of its sugar and bakery businesses to form renshawnapier had gone well.== Cancer prevention ==A report in The Daily Mail said scientists have discovered that regular consumption of bread, and particularly bread crusts, could help prevent bowel cancer. The chemical reaction that produces the crust during baking also triggers the release of cancer-preventing antioxidants called pronyl-lysine.== High street vacancies ==Research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has found that 12% of town centre shops are now vacant, three times more than last autumn, as the recession accelerates decline on the high street. A 20-point plan for securing the long-term future of town centre retailing has been drawn up by the BRC.