Birds of Derby’s Bolton shop became the set for a series of BBC outside broadcasts before the Burton Albion vs Manchester United replay on January 18.Conference side Burton had earned a lucrative FA Cup replay after holding Manchester United to a draw earlier in the month. Retail operations manager Mike Holling told British Baker the BBC crews arrived at 5am, staying until 9am and filming six sports news slots from the shop. Birds put on a special Burton bun – a standard Swiss bun with yellow strands and chocolate for the event, selling 180. And staff baked a cake for Burton chairman Ben Robinson. Manchester United even-tually won the match five-nil.
Leading Irish artisan bakery My Own bakery in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, has been sold by Siobhan Walsh, the woman who started the business five years ago, writes Hugh Oram.Walsh sold the business for an undisclosed sum to a Dublin-based food processing company, CWK Food Processing of Baldoyle, Dublin. The owner of CWK Jim Kilbride said he intends to run the bakery along its present lines,without making major changes. The business was set up by Walsh on her 150-year-old family farm, where she had a bakery built. The bakery employs six full-time and eight part-time workers and has a turnover of approximately E500,000. My Own produces baked goods mainly for the Christmas market, hand-mixing all products. Under the My Own label, four varieties of Christmas puddings are produced, as well as Christmas cakes and brandy butter. The bakery also makes gluten-free and diabetic versions and catering sizes. My Own bakery services the multiple and convenience grocery market as well as deli and health food shops, catering outlets and hamper companies. The firm has won a number of accolades for its products, including five Great Taste awards.
Reiser (Milton Keynes) has been selling and servicing food processing and packaging equipment for almost 50 years. Reiser equipment can be found in a variety of bakery applications worldwide, including depositing, sheeting and dividing, as well as packaging.
The 2008 Budget, out next week, is likely to heap an unfair tax burden on many smaller firms, such as craft bakers and bakery retailers, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB).In his Pre-Budget Report and the Comprehensive Spending Review of 9 October, 2007, Chancellor Alistair Darling revealed that small firms’ corporation tax contributions would increase from 19% to 22% from April 2008. However, the higher rate of tax to be paid by large firms will be reduced from 30% to 28%.In addition, Capital Gains Tax taper relief will be brought to an end. Following sustained pressure from the FPB and other groups, the Government partially restored the 10% rate, but, after the first £1 million in asset sales, the higher 18% rate will still be imposed.”The FPB is urging the Chancellor to radically rethink many of his ideas, in particular his tax plans, which specifically disadvantage smaller businesses,” said the FPB’s policy representative Matt Goodman. “Issues such as excessive legislation and unfair competition must be addressed as a matter of priority.”Research carried out by the FPB show that 97% of respondents believed recent tax changes had made the UK a worse place to do business.
I’d like to reply to the comment by tutor Jim Bridge in the 16 May edition of BB, about the fact that we need to be looking at 13 to 14-year-olds. Alas, most school careers officers don’t have a clue about bakery as a career.I had a good relationship with two of the three local senior schools, especially the home economics teachers. Pupils designed and decorated cakes and I was invited along to judge them and award a small prize.Kids then came on a bakery visit and even for work experience. Some of the results would have graced a craft baker’s shop.Over a decade, the bakery employed 10 school-leavers, trained them in-house, and allowed them to attend Birmingham college to learn Cake Design & Decoration or Bread & Confectionery. One lad excelled and ended up winning a prize at the Cardiff Exhibition.However, in the late 1990s, home economics was taken off school curriculums. This did a lot of harm to the industry, and my own supply of school-leavers dried up, compounded by careers officers giving little or no information to youngsters looking to enter the bakery trade.Now, with childhood obesity, moves are afoot to reinstate home economics. Birmingham College runs a Saturday morning course, and goes out to schools. Their bakery students have moved into the 21st century.The National Association of Master Bakers has moved on, too. When Graham Nash was NA president, 1998-99, he went to Birmingham College to open the refurbished bakery department. Out of 50-60 people invitees, only one career advisor attended.If a meeting were arranged now, I don’t think many, or even any, careers advisors would attend. The ’in things’ at the moment are the leisure industry and IT. It is something this industry needs to put right.Eric Cran, past NA presidentHednesford, Staffs
Walkers has become the first food company to retain its Carbon Reduction label, after reducing its carbon footprint by 7%.The snacks brand was also the first to display the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label in March 2007, when it committed to cut its carbon footprint by 3% by 2009. Companies have to re-apply for the label after two years.Walkers has introduced a number of energy-saving schemes which helped save 4,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions including: new high efficiency gas burners and low energy lighting; light-weighting packaging; switching to 100% British potatoes to lower food miles; and running delivery trucks on biodiesel containing 5% used cooking oil. This has saved Walkers more than £400,000 over the past two years, which it has reinvested in future energy-saving projects.Last year, Mey Selections also signed up to pilot the scheme and now the Highlands-based producer, which makes oatcakes and shortcake, is working to reduce its carbon footprint. Initially, Mey Selections’ Luxury All Butter Shortbread, Heather Honey and Blossom Honey will feature the new label on-pack.
== Calorie clarity ==Pret A Manger and Subway are among 18 major catering companies introducing calorie information on their menus for the first time, initially on a trial basis. Pret is to trial it in one store initially, with plans to expand to a further 24 shops. Subway stated it would display it in a minimum of six stores initially. The move coincided with the first annual report of the government’s obesity strategy Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives – One Year On.== Costa reaches 900 ==Costa Coffee this week broke through the 900-store mark as the branded coffee shop sector showed little sign of a slowdown in the recession. With a new outlet opening in London’s Piccadilly on Wednesday, a spokesperson told British Baker that Costa would open 100 stores in 2009. Costa also spent £150,000 on the opening this week of its third barista training academy in Newbury.== Supermarket agenda ==A new business development programme designed to help food and drink producers secure supermarket listings has been launched by development organisation Scotland Food & Drink, Sainsbury’s and the Scottish Government. Eleven food and drink companies, including Kingdom Bakery, Mey Selections and Murdoch Allen & Sons, will start the six-month programme this month.—-=== On the web ===l New chairman of the NSA’s bakery steering group Ian Thomson, talks about the group’s strategyl British Baker is now on Twitter – follow us at http://twitter.com/BritishBakerl Chester based-bakers P&A Davies teams up with California Raisins on local Chester radioTo read the full stories check out bakeryinfo.co.uk
Walkers’ new premium crisp brand Red Sky has launched a new advertising campaign for Spring. Featuring the strapline ’From Nature’s Kitchen’, the TV advert consists of various creatures – for example squirrels and bees – working together to harness the ingredients in Red Sky, with the voiceover: “nature works hard so you can enjoy new Red Sky Potato Chips”.Launched in February this year, the crisps contain only 100% natural ingredients and are available in West Country Bacon and Cream Cheese and Anglesey Sea Salt in 40g formats.Roger Edmonds, senior brand manager of Red Sky, says the campaign is designed to highlight the natural taste of Red Sky. “It has scored really well and we are totally confident that this will boost sales of the new brand even further.”www.walkers-crisps.co.uk
Last 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.
The World Scotch Pie Cham-pionships have been revamped and several new categories added, in an effort to give bakers and butchers wider exposure.The 2010 awards, to be announced later this month, will see the reintroduction of the Sausage Roll Category, as well as the addition of five new Speciality Savoury Categories: Hot Savoury; Cold Savoury; Fish; Vegetarian Savoury; and Individual Steak Pie. These will run alongside competitions to find the best Scotch pies and bridies.”We felt it important to include sausage rolls again, as they are one of the most popular products in the savouries sector. There is so much innovation in speciality savouries, it was only right to split them up,” said organiser Alan Stuart, MD of Stuart’s of Buck-haven. “The awards raise public awareness of bakers and but-chers and boost sales and more categories will help do this.”Other changes include a new website www.the-pie-club.co.uk and, for the first time, the entries will be judged when both hot and cold. The 11th annual event will be held at Carnegie College, Dunfermline, Scotland, on Tues-day, 10 November.