Data from the Office of National Statistics reveals there were 170 mills in the UK in 2006, operated by 105 companies.The statistics point to a 6% year- on-year decrease in the number of mills, down from 180 in 2005.The number of companies operating these mills also dropped from 110 in 2005.Of the companies registered, 45 had a £5m plus turnover in 2006, down from 50 in 2005.The figures, gathered by the Office for National Statistics on March 17, 2006, give details of turnover and location of all companies which classify themselves as manufacturers of grain mill products.National Association of British and Irish Millers’ director general Alex Waugh commented: “These figures include other grain mills such as oats, rice, maize and even animal feed. We think there are 60 flour mills in the UK.”The flour sector saw a disproportionate number of the 10 closures he said, as the sector went through a burst of consolidation.During the course of 2006, Rank Hovis closed four mills and ADM Milling closed a site in Tewkesbury. On 13 April (pg 4) British Baker revealed a 5% annual decline in the number of bakery retail businesses while the number of bakery manufacturing companies was down 0.8%.The figures reveal there were 2,880 bakery retail businesses in the UK in 2006, operating a total of 6,405 units.There was also a total of 1,740 bakery manufacturers in the UK, down 15 on the previous year.The coded data, available from the ONS, also show the number of takeaway outlets in 2006 totalling 61,935, a figure that includes sandwich bars, coffee shops, pizza parlours, fish and chip shops, kebab houses and burger joints.
A new company has been set up, which sources high-quality seeds for the baking industry.Unicorn Ingredients, run by Frank Horan and Nicola Divers, who each have approximately 20 years’ experience sourcing seeds and pulses, can source from around the world and arrange processing and shipping to suit individual customers’ needs.Targeting ingredients suppliers, plant bakers, speciality bread suppliers and wholesale distribution companies, Unicorn supplies ready-to-use finished products to grades required, and packaged as per customer needs.Based in Epsom, Surrey, Unicorn’s Frank Horan, who formerly worked for seeds supplier Fuerst Day Lawson, told British Baker: “Growth in the bread market is almost entirely driven by loaves with added seeds and grains.”When commodity prices and currencies are highly volatile, bakers need to be able to rely on supply and price levels.”Horan added: “We have shortened the supply chain, working with the original processor to meet customers’ requirements. All companies we work with have the necessary accreditation.”Seeds that Unicorn sources include poppy, pumpkin, sunflower, golden and brown linseeds, and sesame. The firm has also launched a website: [http://www.unicorningredients.com].—-=== In Short ===== Costello’s revamped ==Costello’s Bakery in Driffield, Yorkshire, has reopened following a £9,000 refurbishment. Previous winners of the Gold Great Taste Award, the family-run craft bakery set up shop in Market Place 10 years ago. Costello’s produces hand-raised pies, as well as quiches, traybakes and cakes.== Heinz gets Heinzsight ==Heinz Foodservice has launched a new online resource tool, Heinzsight, aimed at helping catering companies fully realise their profitability. Heinzsight will aim to match the most suitable products to meet individual businesses’ requirements, as well as providing insight and recommendations in order to help businesses understand more about their customers and be as profitable as possible.== Game, set and match ==Danone Waters has started a five-year tenure as Official Bottled Water of The Championships, Wimbledon. Its Evian brand will be present at all matches, with reinvented packaging for the season: the Evian Mountains will be temporarily placed on a vibrant pink tennis ball.== Breadhead attempt ==A man has broken the world record for balancing the most bread on his head at Ilkeston Market Place in Derbyshire. John Evans carried 300 loaves on his bonce to break the record, in a bid to raise money for the Derbyshire Association for the Blind.== Delivery ban ==A Blackburn-based naan bread bakery owner is outraged at the council’s decision to ban vehicles unloading outside his shop. Kashif Ali fears the move will cripple his business, as lorries that regularly deliver two-and-a-half tonnes of flour to his premises are refusing to park outside.
A Labour MP has accused former Lyndale Group chief executive Michael Quinlan and chairman Sandy Birnie of plotting the reorganisation in the Group’s affairs that led to Lyndale Foods Ltd going into administration.In a House of Commons debate, MP for Hayes and Harlington John McDonnell said leaked minutes from a Lyndale Group board meeting in 2005 showed the pair had been “considering and discussing such changes for nearly three years”. McDonnell said that, at the 2005 meeting, the board had discussed rationalising the business down to a single new bakery in Bolton or Liverpool, and had discussed the possibility of staff redundancies at that time.He continued that Lyndale Foods went into administration on 9 June, with the loss of 450 jobs. Sayers bakery was closed, along with 41 stores across the north west and Sayers headquarters. Quinlan and Birnie had already formed a new company, Sayers the Bakers, which bought back 158 Hampson and Sayers stores as well as Hampson’s bakery in Bolton. The Peter Hunt bakery has since closed down, as administrators BDO Stoy Hayward failed to find a buyer.McDonnell said Lyndale had shown a “lack of consultation, lack of information, lack of dialogue with the union and a lack of proper dialogue with individual MPs”. He added: “I believe that we are dealing with a scam. It was planned over time by the same personnel who are now benefiting from it – Mr Quinlan and Sandy Birnie.”McDonnell has asked the minister for employment, Pat McFadden, to launch an inquiry into the matter. McFadden said he was happy to meet with MPs if they wanted to raise further issues about the situation.Birnie refuted any suggestion of wrongdoing. “There is no truth whatsoever in this, we’ve invited Members of Parliament to repeat what they’ve said outside the protection of the House and they haven’t.”Birnie added that the unions were lobbying the Labour party to change a lot of laws and that he and Quinlan had simply been “caught up in the middle”.”I think people have forgotten that we saved 1,500 jobs,” he said. “I have never heard of a firm being criticised for saving jobs.”
The Naked Baker has officially opened its second shop and café in Hedge End, Southampton, as part of a wider expansion plan, which has seen the firm relocate its bakery production site.The bakery, previously based in Botley Mills, has relocated production to a larger premises in Shamblehurst Lane, Hedge End, but has retained its existing shop. “We needed a bigger bakery in the first place,” explained director and owner Andy Churcher. “The site used to be a greengrocer’s so we renovated it and turned it into a bakery.”The new shop and café has created seven new part-time jobs and has been trading since the beginning of February. It will continue to sell the bakery’s French-style breads, while the café offers paninis, sandwiches, and freshly made cakes. The firm also has a wholesale, catering and sandwich delivery business.
Export consultancy Food from Britain (FFB) is shutting up shop on 31 March, but arrangements have been made to continue supporting British food and drink exporters. From April, any companies interested in export opportunities will need to contact UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).Companies are advised to register on its website – www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk – in order to continue receiving information about any government help on offer.FFB has previously helped many UK businesses tap into the export market, including bakery firms such as Indulgence Patisserie and Walkers Shortbread. UKTI and its partners in the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offer a full range of services to food and drink companies.From 1 April, companies in every sector will also be given greater access to funding from UKTI’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP). Food and drink firms will be able to apply for up to six grants of up to £1,800 to visit trade fairs overseas, with the proviso that these include at least two different markets.For more information please visit FFB’s website: www.foodfrombritain.com
British Baker is delighted to announce the Baking Industry Awards finalists for the ADM Milling-sponsored Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year category. Mark Jones of New Primebake, Des Kingsley of Kensey Foods and Sarah Day of Greencore Cakes & Desserts, will join the other finalists at our 1930s-themed event at the Park Lane Hilton, London on Tuesday 8 September. The awards will be hosted by top comedian Ronnie Corbett, with entertainment from two dancers from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.Associate sponsors of the event feature a host of top names from the world of bakery. Délifrance is to sponsor the bread rolls; Warburtons, the champagne VIP reception; Muntons, the ballroom dancers; Kluman & Balter, the cracker raffle; Allied Bakeries sponsors the disposable cameras; Bako UK, the champagne table centres; and Nexus Communica-tions on behalf of British Lion Egg Products is to sponsor the egg-based dessert course.Cereform, sponsor of the casino, is offering a fantastic prize – a trip to Burgh Island Hotel in Devon, including Bollinger on arrival, lunch, a cream tea for two, pre-dinner cocktails, and accommodation at the upmarket hotel.Tickets for the event are almost gone, so make sure you don’t miss out by booking your place now. Tickets cost £195 + VAT each, or £1,895 + VAT for tables of 10. To book, contact [email protected] or call 01293 846593.—-=== ADM Milling finalists: Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year ===New Primebake – Mark JonesKensey Foods – Des KingsleyGreencore Cakes & Desserts – Sarah Day
A world of change and only 650 words to sum it up (that’s 12 wasted already). You could write a book on the new qualifications framework, its implications and benefits for employers, and how bakery fits in. Instead, here is the slimmed-down, abridged, Dr Atkins version just the protein, no carbs.Last year, the government demanded a shake-up of the qualifications framework. So food and drink sector skills council Improve developed new modular vocational qualifications, which meant:l VRQs are to be replaced with Improve Vocational Qualifications (IVQs): these are intended to provide underpinning knowledge and could be college-based;l N/SVQs are replaced by Improve Proficiency Qualifica-tions (IPQs): these will confirm the competence of people in the workplace.The writing of the IPQ units is nearly done-and-dusted. And in an intriguing twist, employers would even potentially be able to create their own IPQ units to fit their own business needs.Meanwhile, the National Skills Academy (NSA) has been developing a broad-based modular qualification aimed at a Level 2 audience the Professional Bakery course to offer a rounded, gold-plated qualification for the whole industry. You can file this under IVQs.The evaluation of the Professional Bakery three-month pilot is now in and it is being hailed “a huge success”, with the report saying it demonstrated: that the course would appeal to all kinds of employers; that employers were willing to train staff if it were provided at the right time and in a convenient location; and that there was a relevant future for colleges working in partnership with employers.In fact, some of the feedback suggested that some content was too tough in places and this will be remedied and fed into the development of a new, more advanced, second part to the course. Those people who completed the first part would be able to graduate on to this.The key to Improve’s IPQ units and the NSA’s Professional Bakery course is the flexibility of delivery. The former will launch in April and the latter in September.The murky area of funding is a yet to-be-written opus, with discussions ongoing, and it is one for which we have (blessedly) run out of space.
Premier Foods has announced strong growth for Hovis’ branded bakery, and plans to push for increased sales of white bread.In the firm’s preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2009, it announced that branded bakery sales for Hovis grew by 13.5% to £370m, though it explained that the increase in volume sales was partly offset by pricing – with the proportion of bread sold on promotion higher than in 2008.Retailer brand bakery fell by 15.6% to £179m, however Premier noted that the loss in non branded sales was “more than offset” by increased volumes of branded bread.Hovis grew its market share of the branded bread market to 26.6% by value and 25.8% by volume in 2009, which Premier put down, in part, to the firm’s ability to develop advertising which emotionally connects with the consumer.Commenting on opportunities for the future, Premier said growth was still available from “expanding in segments of the market in which Hovis is underrepresented, such as white bread”.Total bakery sales in the Hovis division were up 2% to £549m. Milling sales fell by 16.8% to £193m, as raw material costs had a significant effect, according to the firm. This resulted in a fall in total sales for Hovis of 3.6% to £742m.However trading profit for the division was up 75% from £24m in 2008 to £42m in 2009.Premier announced that branded sales had increased across the board, and as part of its strategy for further growth it said it will “concentrate our investment into areas with the greatest growth potential”. It has therefore placed its brands into Drive, Core and Defend areas of focus. Within the Drive category – the areas it believes it can grow ahead of the market – are its bread and cake businesses, including the Hovis and Mr Kipling brands. It classifies its Cadbury Cakes business as a core brand within its Drive category.
As Niall Irwin, director of Irwin’s plant bakery, Portadown, NI, incoming president of the Irish Master Bakers Association, received the chain of office from outgoing president Patrick Smyth, it was a significant moment. “He has been inspirational for the trade!” said Irwin.Patrick Smyth, of AB Mauri’s Yeast Products in Finglas, Dublin, has been president for four years that is not one but two terms. The association comprises not only plant, but also craft bakers from all-Ireland, so welcoming a new president is quite an occasion. There were many marked tributes to Smyth and his wife, Angela, who have played a major role in social, business and also fundraising events for the Irish Bakers’ Benevolent Society, which has paid out £46,000 in the past four years.Also in the past four years, on the business side, the conference heard how the Northern Ireland Bakery Council formed an alliance with Northern Ireland Manufacturing. They managed to get industrial rates, which were introduced in 2007/8, capped at 30% of government expectation. They have been active lobbying the NI Food & Drink Association and government. They lobbied hard over EU driver hours, regulations and breaks, so MEPs are now reviewing them. And they are seeking to influence country-of-origin labelling and lobbying against electricity charges, which are 40% higher than the UK. The Council also implemented a Training for Success programme and trainees are now beginning to enjoy management roles.For the Republic, Gerard Cunningham of the Flour Bakers’ and Confectioners’ Association, said the industry was “facing huge challenges”. But he began by paying tribute to Patrick (Pat) Garvey, who died in May, over his lobbying on VAT rates, the setting up of an insurance scheme and his achievements in training. Then, outlining the current challenges, Jim Hyland, for the Irish Bread Bakers’ Association, said that a salt reduction model was in place, the minimum wage was too high, and 2007 flour costs had made a significant impact, going up twice.Discounters had set up in the Republic and were achieving 8.5% of sales. Tesco and Dunnes were still managing to dominate the market, but he emphasised: “The industry is facing major flour price increases again, as well as other commodities, and this represents huge challenges.”The conference saw three speakers give papers. David Wragg of Mars, still a family firm producing goods ranging from chocolate confectionery to petfood worldwide, spoke about Integrated Business Manage-ment, a business programme run by Oliver Wight.Key senior management phrases, such as “We support the responsibility of others”, “We need freedom to shape our future”, “We need profit to remain free”, were all stressed. David Wragg said: “We empowered managers, because the process enables good decisions to be made. Sales need to be forecast and all other departments need to support them,” he said. Integrated Business Management seems to have worked at Mars, where profits were up 7% in recession, beating all targets, he added.Gordon Polson of the Federation of Bakers, with eight plant baker members in the UK, spoke mainly about salt reduction in branded bread. He said that, overall, a 30% reduction had been achieved. The level used to be 0.52 sodium per 800g loaf. Now it was 0.41 although 0.43 had been the previous target.Now the goalpost had moved again and the 2012 target was 0.4 “and we have not agreed to meet it!” said Polson.The reasons he spelt out were: technological stickiness of the dough; taste “you must take the consumer with you”; and commercial “owners have invested millions in a brand and won’t risk upsetting consu-mers overnight”.He said: “More research is needed by the Food Standards Agency and a new route-map is required. We have to stand up and be different. Some products can cope, others can’t, but it is an opportunity for new dialogue on potassium chloride. The challenges are there.”Speaking about regulations, as opposed to mandatory directives, he said: “There are new views and drafts every two weeks!”Speaker David Powell, formerly of David Powell Bakeries and now a consultant to Rich Products, to whom he sold his successful business, inspired delegates with his talk on ’Be daring, be different, be practical!’ a partial quote taken from the biography of photographer Cecil Beaton.Powell spoke about quality long-fermented breads, hand- moulded, baked on the oven sole, and about cakes provide completely different flavours and recipes, then about service “the salesperson may get grief when he turns up, but the actual owner gets a ’thank you for coming’!”New president Niall Irwin, who studied bakery at Thomas Danby in Leeds, told the conference: “I am proud of our industry. It is changing fast, but must give us the returns we deserve. But let’s look after it. Let’s delight our customers. If we do it correctly, we all prosper.”
Every food-based business has big waste disposal and recycling issues to consider and bakery is no exception.The food industry is responsible for almost twice as much food waste as householders, according to statistics from environmental advisory body Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and such waste needs to be handled responsibly.Philip Simpson, commercial director at PDM Group, which provides environmentally sustainable recycling and process services for the food industry, says: “It’s no longer acceptable to send bakery waste to landfill and, as the environment becomes an important business objective, finding sustainable disposal options is top of the agenda.”Landfill is increasingly taboo because it produces greenhouse gases that are hugely harmful to the environment. We are also running out of holes in which to put the waste.Bakery waste includes meat products, dough that does not come up to spec, broken biscuits, bits of cake, bread, fats, oils, sugar dust, sacks, litter, plastics, paper, cardboard, metals, batteries, office and bakery equipment and pallets.Simpson says such waste is an important resource and can be used to make a variety of new products. Bakery waste that does not contain meats can be used to produce animal feed, for example, and waste such as sausage rolls and meat pies can be used to create renewable energy.Cawleys Waste Management, which handles a wide range of foodstuffs, says waste dough can be routed through anaerobic digestion or in-vessel composting. In anaerobic digestion, organic material is blended and bugs that occur naturally within the environment will start eating the matter, giving off a methane gas material that can becaptured and used for power.With in-vessel composting, the methane that is produced is not captured; it is an option for reducing waste that produces a compostable material.Tony Goodman, Cawleys’ sales director, says waste is also produced by individuals taking wrapped food into work. “This will be prevalent in any commercial bakery business and is collected as mixed general waste,” he says.General office waste is most commonly sent to landfill, or to material recycling facilities. Goodman says there is little in a bakery that cannot be recycled.”If companies have a real wish to become ’zero landfill’ and put in systems at source to segregate and recover the material, a solution can be found to give a 100% recycling route,” he says.”Most bakeries have systems in place for animal feed but they’ve been a bit lacking in processes to deal with more general waste on site such as office and industrial waste produced by the activities of factories. It’s more difficult for small independent high street bakers and easier when you have volume of any type of material to deal with,” Goodman says.Cawleys estimates savings of 25%-50% can be made within six months, depending on the size of the business.Hayden’s Bakeries, a £23m turnover business supplying patisserie to Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, says managing the waste the company creates and the savings from reducing the creation of waste at source is worth thousands of pounds a week.The business underwent major changes two years ago when managing director Paul Smith joined. This included work on material control, reducing stocks, a just-in-time ethos and improved planning and forecasting.Hayden’s introduced new manu-facturing methods and standardisation, and used data analysis and root-cause problem solving, tackling waste at source.Operations director Stephen Brooks says: “We’ve set up a waste-stream management area, we recycle cardboard and aluminium. We are recycling a lot of plastic. All our food goes to processing for conversion to feedstuff, pallets and delivery crates are broken down and we recycle scrap metal.”The business has a dedicated full-time waste control operative and, as a result, has virtually eliminated over-production while achieving high levels of customer service. Overall waste has been reduced and food waste, in particular, has been cut by 40%. “All those waste streams were previously given to landfill,” Brooks says.Baynes, in Fife, makes ’green’ waste disposal a priority, with the help of Cyrenians Organics Recycling Enterprise (Core).General manager George McKay says all cardboard, paper and plastics throughout the business is recycled and it has different bins for each material used. The green ethos covers every aspect of the business, including buying tuna in foil pouches instead of boxes and tins, while it recycles waste-meat products which are fed to hunting hounds.McKay says the company has reduced its monthly landfill by 90% thanks to a regime put in place by technical manager Eleanor Hutchison.Hitting landfill targetsUnited Biscuits announced earlier this year that four of its 14 UK sites had hit its zero-waste-to-landfill target (British Baker, 2 February).The company increased its recycling volume last year by 19%, improved the recycling percentage from 70% the previous year to 95% and decreased landfill volumes by 55%.Food Partners, part of Adelie Group, a significant player in the chilled ’food for now’ market, advocates involving all staff in an approach introduced at the end of last year to ensure nothing from the business is sent to landfill.The Kilmarnock company, which makes a wide range of traditional sandwiches, filled paninis and wraps, uses what it describes as the latest eco-technology whereby all waste, including food waste is treated as a precious resource and diverted to other uses including creating energy to power homes, fertiliser to return nutrients and condition to the soil, and feed for livestock as part of its Ready, Steady, Green campaign.The company, which produces £3m of fresh sandwiches each week, recognised its scale of manufacturing could have a heavy footprint on the planet. Ready, Steady Green diverted nearly 300 tonnes of food waste from landfill and generated 57,000 KwH of electricity from the same waste in the first three months of operation.Cawleys’ WasteSolve carried out an audit and identified different recycling processes according to the type of food at each manufacturing site, and the location of various recycling facilities.The Waitrose supermarket chain is one of those rolling out the use of Cawleys’ commercial collection service to 50 of its stores across the UK within the East Midlands and London.The business collects its food waste in biodegradable corn starch bags which are placed in 360-litre bins. Food material is taken to a BiogenGreenfinch anaerobic digestion plant. Other material goes through a de-packaging machine. The packaging is shredded and sent to Cawleys’ materials recovery facility in Luton, Bedfordshire, which recycles card, paper, plastic, scrap metal and wood.Greggs’ target this year is to divert a further 10% of waste from landfill. The chain extended its waste contract with specialist, waste management company Biffa for another two years in 2010 and continues to work with it on various recycling initiatives.A spokeswoman says: “We are committed to reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill and are pleased with our progress so far in 2008 we diverted 20% of waste from landfill, followed by an additional 18% in 2009 and 36% in 2010.”Its recycling initiatives include anaerobic digestion and composting. Pies fuel the country Greenergy, which supplies one-fifth of Britain’s road fuel, last week began producing biodiesel from food waste. In a partnership with edible oils recycling specialist Brocklesby, unsaleable food products, which would previously have gone to landfill or compost, are now being converted for biofuel and energy production. The company is making biodiesel from high fat solid foods such as pies, sausage rolls and pastry, which typically contain between 25% and 30% oil and fat. The finished biodiesel is then blended in small quantities into the diesel that Greenergy supplies to petrol stations around the country.