A concept, a product range and a business were the subjects of the three marketing campaigns in the final of last year’s Baking Industry Awards. That illustrates the scope of this award. The judges will not just be looking for big-spenders, they’ll be looking for bakers with talent and creative ideas that they’ve put to good use to promote their businesses. They will be looking to reward initiatives that have led to a growth in sales. Supermarket giant Asda knows a thing or two about marketing, which is why it sponsors The Marketing Award. This category is open to all bakers and bakery food manufacturers, and you don’t have to be a supplier to Asda to enter. So what are you waiting for? If your ideas translate into extra sales then enter today – and we’d particularly like to hear from you if you’ve never entered before. Who knows, it could be you attending the prestigious 19th Baking Industry Awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London on September 18. Three Marketing Award finalists and their partners will attend the event, which attracts some 900 people from across the industry. You will be rubbing shoulders with the best in the business. It really is an event not to be missed!We have made the entry process as easy as possible. Simply fill out the form on page 18 and we will do the rest.
Anyone reading the press in recent months could be forgiven for thinking they were about to drop dead in the street because they had munched on a hot pie laced with ’killer fats’.It’s all pretty scary stuff. And, of course, it’s all complete and utter nonsense. For ’killer fats’ read trans fatty acids, which have always been in foods such as butter, milk, beef and lamb, and which for decades have appeared as a by-product of the process of partially hydrogenating the oils used to make biscuits, cakes and pastries.Food manufacturers are committed to reducing trans fats levels to as low as is technically possible because there is evidence to suggest they can lower HDL (good) cholesterol and raise LDL (bad) cholesterol.But there are myths about trans fats that need dispelling. The most sinister is the perception put about by the anti-food brigade that this is a huge problem. ’We need new rules,’ they cry; ’we need banning orders,’ they scream; ’we need better labelling,’ they demand. But this just isn’t true.The fact is that the government’s latest national diet and nutrition survey shows consumption of trans fats had fallen from 2.1% of total energy in 1985 to 1.2% of total energy by 2000. And the work continues to reduce those levels further.Earlier this month, the FDF polled its biggest members to find out how much they had achieved. The results were stunning: we reckon that more than £1.5bn worth of products have been dramatically reformulated in the last couple of years to either remove trans fats completely or virtually eliminate them.So, that’s why I believe the lurid headlines are ludicrous. But I suppose they do serve one important purpose: reminding us that we all need to do a better job of countering the headlines and telling consumers the truth about the foods they enjoy – pies and all!
A Cornish bakery is trying to piece together part of its company history by tracking down former workers.Redruth-based Furniss wants to trace 100 years of missing history at the firm, which master baker John Cooper Furniss set up in the late 1880s.It started out as a Truro teashop and made fairings, gingerbread, shortbread and oat crunchies but went into administration earlier this year, leaving only 20 years of company records.Proper Cornish Food Company bought the biscuit factory and is keen to track down people who worked for Furniss as far back as the 1930s-40s in a bid to discover the fate of the company’s founder.If you can help, please email [email protected] or call 01208 265830.
n Supermarkets could be made to adopt the traffic light system of food labelling in a deal made between the Department of Health, the Food Standards Agency and the European Union, according to the Daily Telegraph. Public health minister Dawn Primarolo has confirmed it is the government’s favoured option, but Tesco, and around 50 other firms, prefer a system of guided daily amounts to alert consumers on health issues.n Oxfordshire-based silo and storage tank manufacturer Braby has developed a state-of-the-art breadcrumb facility to keep flour cool and avoid problems created by warm dough. Developed by Braby’s in-house team of designers and engineers, the system has two aluminium powder silos, a vacuum conveyor, and sieving and metallic separators.n Butt Foods, which recently launched “breadies” – a bowl made of bread that can hold hot soup, chilli or curry for eight hours without collapsing – has been nominated for two awards. The Nottinghamshire-based bakery, which makes 60 million naan breads a year, now makes 50,000 of the edible bowls a week for pubs and other eating outlets across the UK and in Europe.n Sliced bread supplier Brace’s Bakery has expanded its distribution fleet to 90 vehicles with 10 new Iveco 3.5-ton vans. The company said recent trials of the new vans revealed an average daily fuel saving of eight litres per vehicle, equating to a £26,000 reduction in annual costs.
Manufacturers and bakers will be able to get free advice on automating their plants from CenFRA, a newly-formed body whose vision is to to provide independent, affordable automation solutions.Funded by Yorkshire Forward and The Northern Way, CenFRA – a not-for-profit organisation – has been set up to carry out assessments of bakeries and offer practical, independent advice on equipment and suitability. It will also provide bespoke solutions and help with workforce training. Companies in Yorkshire and the Humber, the north east and north west, can qualify for free ’audits’ of their automation needs, though the service is accessible nationwide for a fee.”The bigger companies have embraced automation a little, but the smaller companies haven’t at all,” says Michael Taylor, CenFRA’s chair and also the operations director at Foster’s Bakery in Barnsley. “There are significant barriers towards robotics. But I believe it’s the way forward as we’re all facing smaller margins and we will all have to be really efficient.”We have been looking at a project at Foster’s to automate repetitive jobs, like loading and unloading an oven, that enables the oven to be full all the time, and those are the kinds of efficiencies we’re going to need going forward.”The benefit over buying off-the-shelf robotics is that CenFRA will take the time to research a solution which equipment suppliers may not have the time and resources to offer, he says.The organisation is supported by a dedicated team of professional engineers, researchers and technologists drawn from a wide variety of academic and specialist engineering centres. Contact details are 01302 765680, or email [email protected] Alternatively, visit the website at [http://www.cenfra.co.uk]
The Co-op group is to roll out an in-store labelling system for its bakery products following a successful trial. Pre-printed labels were replaced with a print-as-you-bake function as part of a pilot scheme in 10 stores, with results showing a range of improvements. Costs and wastage were cut due to pre-printed labels no longer being stored, produced and distributed from a central point. There was also an improvement in product availability as no time was wasted pre-ordering labels. The new system will now be rolled out to 150 stores.The system comprises a touchscreen and thermal printer, with staff calling up products via an image on the screen. They can then print a specified number of bar-coded labels, with the date, price and product information for The Co-operative’s standard range of baked goods and pastries, as well as its Truly Irresistible range.A further 350 stores will be adapted as part of the company’s two-year store refit programme, which includes the enhancement of the bakery offering to customers under The Co-operative Bakery.Steve Bond, the Group’s Food IS head of solutions and service said: “What was seen as a simple IS development has enabled the business to enhance the customer experience of the brand in our food stores while making cost savings.”
The steering group tasked with drawing up a new industry-stan-dard foundation skills course for bakery moved to clarify issues surrounding the future of bakery qualifications, following sector skills council Improve’s announcement (BB, pg 6, 14 November) that it would be reforming the structure of qualifications.A baking industry representative steering group had been working to set up the first Natio-nal Skills Academy (NSA) for bakery, which would offer an industry-standard entry-level course to teach a thorough understanding of the baking process for people already in employment. The draft curriculum for the new NSA bakery foundation skills course (years one and two) received unanimous endorsement at the steering group meeting last week, which featured representatives from craft, plant and ingredients industries.The group, Academy ’champions’ Campden BRI and lead college Leeds Thomas Danby, had carried out an analysis of industry needs, arriving at around 12 core product topics.Rachel Combret, representing Warburtons on the steering group explained: “We felt there was real added-value for emp- loyees in the industry in understanding how an ingre-dient such as flour works, not just in bread production but also in pastry, biscuits and cake.”Meanwhile, Improve plans for a radical qualifications reform, which would recognise workplace skills outside the NVQ structure for the first time in 20 years, starting September 2009. Last week, the NSA met with Improve to discuss how the foundation course curriculum might fit within the new Improve qualifications framework.While the Improve modules would be available for employers to pick and choose workplace competency and on-the-job skills development, the NSA foundation course would teach all the fundamental baking skills needed for people to move easily across all sectors of the industry, from craft to in-store and plant.Improve’s development director Derek Williams said: “The new bakery foundation course seems to align well with National Occupational Standards for bakery. The standards will provide modern, fit-for-purpose qualifications to meet employer needs.”The steering group is now analysing the options of how to deliver the curriculum, develop the support and training mate-rials and secure the funding for running the pilot course.
Landmark Wholesale has launched a new 500ml orange juice drink under its Lifestyle own brand. The juice, packaged in a PET bottle has been introduced in response to demand for healthier drink options. It is packed in a single-serve re-sealable pack and contains no added sugar or preservatives. Jon Burton, senior trading controller for Landmark Wholesale, said: “We have worked closely with our own-brand supplier to produce our own-label fresh orange juice.”RRP: 75p[http://www.landmarkcashandcarry.co.uk]
The baking industry in the north west is set to benefit from over £1m of government investment, which will be used to develop new products and boost production.The North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has awarded grants to Bells of Lazonby, Peter Hunt’s and United Biscuits for a variety of projects in the region. Bolton-based Peter Hunt’s has secured a £250,000 grant under the Grants for Business Investment (GBI) programme to invest in new equipment, enabling the savouries company to diversify into the £100m par-baked Continental pastries market. The company believes it could gain 5% of this market within three years.David Wood, Peter Hunt’s MD, said: “The UK imports large quantities of freshly-baked croissants and Danish pastries, available in supermarket in-store bakeries. With the help of this NWDA grant, we will soon be producing high-quality products for this growing UK market from a new production line in Kearsley.” Meanwhile, Cumbria-based Bells of Lazonby has secured a £480,000 grant from the NWDA under the Grants for Research and Development scheme. The money will be used to improve the nutritional value of ’free-from’ products by cutting salt, fat and processed sugars and boosting fibre content over a three-year period. As part of the deal, Bells will also invest £1m-£1.5m.Said Bells’ MD Michael Bell: “This project will bring the principles of thoughtful nutrition to free-from baked goods.”United Biscuits has also benefited from a £425,000 GBI scheme investment at its Aintree factory, enabling the firm to increase the output of TUC crackers and to start manufacturing Jaffa Cake Bars. The NWDA is funded by the government, via the Single Budget, and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund. Its budget for 2009/10 is £397m.
Belgium-based pastry manufacturer Pidy has announced plans to increase its presence in the UK, with a particular focus on the bakery and cafe sectors.Recently appointed general manager of Pidy UK, Robert Whittle said he aimed to double the company’s overall growth in the UK over the next two years, through a “rigorous” programme of research and development and new product launches.He said one of the main problems for bakeries and cafes is a shortage of skilled workers combined with time-pressures and often a lack of space or resources. “In 2010 we plan to address this by launching bakery and cafe-friendly kits which can be assembled in minutes to create eye-catching ‘window candy’ using fruits, custards/fondants, chocolate,” he explained.The independent family firm currently manufactures a range of ready-to-fill pastry products for the six different sectors: manufacturing and industrial; hotel and restaurant; contract and event catering; cash and carry; bakery; and retail.The UK growth will be driven through targeted product launches such as edible coffee cups and bakery and cafe-friendly kits such as Tarto Presto, launched earlier this year, which contains pastry tartlettes and crème patissière. New products to launch before the end of the year include: Trendy Shells – a range of round and angular pastry cases; Artisan Quiche – a rustic update on an original product; and Sable Breton – which can be used as a base for patisserie and desserts.Pidy has also launched a brand new website, which includes downloadable information about each individual line, as well as serving suggestions and recipes. Whittle joined the company following the sale of his business, Foodafayre, which manufactures filo pastry cups, tortilla baskets and associated products.