Bread back in focus as Bakemark restructures

first_imgBakeMark UK emphasised its commitment to bread ingredients this week as it announced a restructure, following a six-month strategic review.The ingredients company will now focus on five core product areas – bread ingredients, cookies, cake mixes, value-added doughnuts and soft icings, MD Marco Bertacca told British Baker. Other divisions of Dutch parent CSM will produce lines for the UK market, he added. Mr Bertacca started the strategic review after joining BakeMark UK in April last year. “When I arrived, BakeMark UK was trying to do a bit of everything,” he said. “I started looking for opportunities where we could be number one. Our financial performance was unsatisfactory last year. Profitable growth and cost reduction are both elements of my vision.”The shake-up sees the creation of a bread focus division, directed by Derek Kemp, as the company bids to re-establish its position as number one in this market. Mr Bertacca said: “Our heritage is in bread but we lost track of it. We have listened to what our customers want, and have reinforced that we want to be famous for bread.”In the restructure, BakeMark UK is introducing a dedicated customer service department and integrating operations, including order capture, logistics support and scheduling, to increase coordination and efficiency. It will have three functional directors instead of four: John Lindsay, sales and innovations director; Andy Clifford, business support director; and Fabrice Barreau, supply chain director. The shake-up is set to cause 74 redundancies, subject to a 30-day consultation process with trade unions, which started on Monday. BakeMark UK plans to take out layers of management and stop UK development activity in some areas. The company’s five trade brands – Arkady, Craigmillar, Caravan Brill, Bon Vivant and Readi-Bake – will remain unchanged.last_img read more

Polish Bakery gains acclaim

first_imgThe bakery market in Poland is the yin to the UK’s yang. Dominated as it is by the craft sector, with nearly nine in 10 loaves sold unpackaged and produced ’artisanally’, it holds up a mirror to the UK, where four in five loaves are plant-baked. But craft baking in Poland is in decline, while plant bread production is on the rise. Could it be because all their bakers are over here?Legions of Polish bakers have flocked to the UK, ably filling the massive skills gap across the UK’s home-grown bakeries. A number of specialist Polish bread bakeries have also been popping up – not least to feed these migrants workers. Unsurprisingly, they employ Polish bakers too. First among them was the pithily named The Polish Bakery.This forward-looking outfit was launched in 2003, a year before Poland was admitted into the EU. The Home Office estimates that more than 260,000 workers from Poland have come to the UK since 2004 – 60% of all new Eastern European arrivals. The scale of the market for catering to Eastern European tastes is underlined in a recent survey, conducted by Warsaw-based ARC Market & Opinion, which found that 55% of Poles employed in Britain have no plans to return home.The bakery has evolved from humble beginnings in a small bakery in Acton four years ago to supplying Asda and Budgens, benefiting as the multiples increasingly tailor individual stores’ offerings to their locality. There are also around 200 independent retailers on the books. “Polish people are scattered around the UK and some retailers have spotted the gap in the market and approached us,” says MD Agnes Gabriel. “But we are trying to supply more supermarkets as well at the moment.”This is why the bakery is now undergoing BRC accreditation. It has moved premises three times in four years, finally upscaling to a unit in Park Royal that boasts ample spare capacity to develop into.The genesis of the business came when Gabriel’s partner Romuald Damaz – an award-winning Polish baker – spotted the gap in the market. “Poland wasn’t in the EU yet and Polish bread was something completely new,” says Gabriel, formerly an English language teacher, who had arrived to complete an MA at Metropolitan University.”We were the first Polish bakery to open in the whole of the UK. My partner worked in the Polish Centre in Hammersmith as a chef. He saved his money and decided to invest it into the business. In the beginning, it was hard – people were not sure what Polish bread was. But with time, it became very popular and there is really a huge interest in Polish breads.”A breakthrough of sorts came when London Food Link approached the firm to take part in a project to celebrate the diversity of London bread-baking in 2004 called Bread Street: the British baking bloomer. “The aim was to make people aware of other types of products from different countries made, for example, with sourdough, rye flour and natural ingredients. That gave us some support and the products became more and more popular.”Polish customers tend to prefer fresh products manufactured using traditional recipes. All the breads use sourdough and many come in seeded varieties. “It’s different to other types of bread. It needs to be freshly baked every day, and it’s handmade. It is soft inside, crispy on the outside, and it’s made with natural ingredients – we don’t use any preservatives or additives. Everything is made to order – we don’t bake bread and store it.” Most ingredients are sourced in the UK, except for flours, which are imported for authenticity, as well as poppy seeds, which the bakery has had trouble sourcing in the UK.She says that while, traditionally, Polish breads have gone into the high-density communities of immigrant Poles, the breads are providing an alternative for British shoppers who want to try something new and who value additive-free food. “A lot of people go for them as a healthy option,” she says. “The nice thing is that we get phone calls or letters from customers not of Polish origin. They approach us and say, ’We really love your bread.’ We love the fact that the brand is more and more popular with different nationalities.”So how is this Polish craft baker finding life in the ultra-competitive UK market? “At the beginning it was really difficult,” she says. “Even when we moved to the second premises, the costs were taking up all the income – there wasn’t much profit. But we have to fight and be competitive.”People like the products we are baking because they are made with passion, skill and craft. It is handmade – a lot of hard work is put into it but the loaf is worth it.” —-=== I get by with a little help… ===The development from cottage industry to a thriving small business is being supported by the London Manufacturing Advisory Service (LMAS). LMAS has been working with The Polish Bakery MD Agnes Gabriel in a drive to gain British Retail Consortium accreditation (BRC), which would enable the company to market its products to more of the UK’s retail multiples.Moving into new premises offered a fresh opportunity to create an ultra-efficient working environment. London MAS specialist Kourosh Saminipour says: “We saw that they wanted to move towards BRC accreditation with new premises, so we put a manufacturing plan together – how to control buildings, layouts, operations and storage.” Typical BRC accreditation takes between six to eight months and The Polish Bakery is hoping to complete by late October.Every region of the UK has its own MAS, funded by regional development agencies. “Our objective is to open a huge door for the company, help them employ more people and make more money,” says Saminipour. The MAS service launched in 2002 with the aim of helping small to medium-sized manufacturers (below 250 employees and E30m) improve productivity, develop products, improve design, marketing and business operations; it is estimated that 80% of businesses in London qualify for this service. The programme is non-commercial but, with bigger projects, companies will be asked to contribute up to 50% of the cost.”It’s a really broad service in terms of what we can do for a small company,” says Saminipour. “Our interventions are small – we always try to tackle the most important aspect. Where we’re different from other programmes is that we actually implement things and get involved with companies. We’re not just consultants. We’re hoping that, long term, The Polish Bakery gets busy to the point where it needs support within its manufacturing system. Then we can bring some expertise in terms of new manufacturing technologies and methods, how to make things cheaper – not making the product cheaper but through efficiency in the process.”l For more information on all the MAS regions visit: [http://www.mas.dti.gov.uk]—-=== International snapshot Poland ===l Baked goods volume sales are showing a steady downward trend, with a decline of 2% in 2005; value sales are experiencing moderate growthl Decreasing consumption of unpackaged/artisanal bread, which accounts for 87% of the total volume, is the main reason behind the shrinking sales of baked goods as a wholel A growing population of wealthier consumers is opting for more expensive bread products, including dark and packaged/industrial ones, which deliver health benefits, taste and/or conveniencel The growing popularity of bread variants with added value was the reason why packaged/industrial bread enjoyed the strongest growth at 5% in current value terms and 2% in volume terms in 2006 to achieve sales of PLN1.1 billion (£195m @ 21.08.07)l Cakes, which account for 15% of baked goods value, grew by 3% in current value terms in 2006. They seem to be gaining some momentum after experiencing only moderate growth of about 1% in each of 2004 and 2005l Bakeries face strong competitive pressure related to significant market fragmentation and struggle for demand with an increasingly wider range of high quality cakesl Schulstad SPC Sp zoo held the largest value share of packaged/industrial bread with 6%; in pastries, the unquestionable leader is Chipita Poland Sp zoo with a value share of 45% in 2006.(Source: Bakery Products in Poland – Euromonitor International, April 2007)last_img read more

McVitie’s withdraws Irish fig rolls in packaging row

first_imgMcVitie’s has been forced to change the packaging of its fig rolls for the Irish Republic after rival supplier Jacob Fruitfield (Jacob’s) argued it was a copycat of its own packaging.McVitie’s will have to stop distribution of an estimated 60,000 existing fig roll packets, although it does not have to recall packs already in stores.It was alleged in court that McVitie’s packaging on its fig rolls, as well as cream crackers, was very similar to that used by Jacob’s on its best-selling brands, which could create confusion in consumers’ minds.McVitie’s had argued that its packaging design had been independently arrived at.Mr Justice Frank Clarke said that Jacob’s had made a justifiable case for its fig rolls, but not its cream crackers. Jacob’s had sought an injunction against the launch of both the fig rolls and cream crackers ahead of a full hearing, which is unlikely to be heard before the New Year.last_img read more

AG Barr gets a taste for the exotic

first_imgIrn-Bru maker AG Barr has announced the acquisition of Groupe Rubicon – a UK-based manufacturer and distributor of exotic juice drinks.Rubicon had sales of £27.3m for the year ended 31 December 2007 and will diversify Barr’s product range, while significantly enhancing its customer base.AG Barr chief executive Roger White said: “The acquisition of the Rubicon business is a great opportunity for Barr. The growth momentum of the Rubicon brand in the exotic juice drinks sector and the potential to build on this through its combination with Barr is exciting. The acquisition is in line with our core strategy of developing our portfolio and increasing the scale of our business. At the same time it strengthens our position in the growing juice drinks category.”Rubicon juices include papaya, mango, passion fruit, guava and lychee.The transaction was approved by shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 25 August, and was due to be completed on 29 August.last_img read more

The In-Store Bakery Award

first_imgWinner Tesco, Meltham Lane,ChesterfieldTesco, Meltham Lane bakery manager Ian Cain’s 15-strong department, which includes eight fully-trained bakers, makes around 80% of the in-store bakery’s products from scratch.Cain has been a baker with Tesco for 16 years and many of his staff have been with the department for over 10 years. This wealth of experience was noted by the judges, who cited “overall product knowledge and product quality” as two of the reasons for picking Chesterfield as the winner.”We take pride in what we do,” says Cain. “We’ll even customise our products – we’ve got one customer who likes his bread burnt, so we leave a couple of loaves in a little longer when we know he’s coming in!”Finalist Morrisons, Laceby,CleethorpesSteve Mumby, bakery manager at Morrisons, Laceby, has been in the baking industry for 24 years and bakery manager at Laceby for four. His team of 11, includes four fully-trained bakers. Products include scratch-baked rolls and plant loaves and 64 frozen bake-off items.Production is staggered to offer warm fresh bread throughout the day.Mumby cites good teamwork as being vital to the department’s success: “People stay here a long time, and they are all very dedicated to ensuring good customer service,” he says.Staff are also encouraged to put forward ideas about product promotions, such as a recent sampling of a new line of muffins, which boosted sales by over 300%.Finalist Asda, Crewe,CheshireAsda Crewe bakery manager Claire Chadwick has worked for the retailer for 13 years and been Crewe’s bakery manager for four. She loves the department, she says, because: “It’s hands-on. You see things from beginning to end.” Some 65% of products are scratch-baked, with cookies and muffins baked-off and cream cakes bought in. Production runs from 5am to 10pm.The 28-strong team includes six fully-trained bakers.Stotties and healthier eating sub rolls are big sellers, as are the hot meat pies, suggested by a customer and implemented by the bakery.”If we wouldn’t buy it, we don’t sell it,” says Chadwick.Finalist Sainsbury’sCamden Town, LondonLawrence Ijieh, bakery manager at Sainsbury’s, Camden Town, has been with the retailer for a year. When he joined he wanted to energise his 23 staff and give them a true passion for their jobs. “I like to give them instant feedback, good or bad,” he says. “It’s important to make people feel really involved.”Ijieh says his staff are all multi-skilled. He has also moved to staggered working hours, ensuring there is always one of his six fully-trained bakers on hand to provide freshly-baked bread. Some 80% of their products are scratch-baked.The department’s weekly turnover has increased dramatically since his arrivallast_img read more

Crantock to launch Best of British pasties

first_imgCornish bakery Crantock is to launch four new Best of British pasties next month, as part of its Autumn range.The new additions are a Bangers & Mash pasty, with onion gravy; a Chicken Tikka pasty, made with tikka masala sauce; a Roast Chicken Pasty, which features stuffing and gravy; and a Bacon and Brie pasty. “We’ve used locally-sourced Cornish ingredients wherever possible, from the potato and swede grown on local farms, to the herby Cornish sausage in our ‘Bangers & Mash’ pasty,” said new product development manger, Becky Hornabrook.“They’re certainly not a traditional Cornish pasty, but they still contain the authentic taste of Cornwall.”Crantock Bakery’s pasties, sausage rolls and hand-raised pies are sold all over the country in branches of Morrison’s, Asda, Proper Pasty, Cornish Kitchen and many independent bakeries.The new range will be available from 1 September.last_img read more

Spice rack: Black pepper

first_imgPeppercorns are the fruit of a flowering vine grown in South India. The peppercorns are harvested and dried before use. Different varieties available are green peppercorns, which are the immature fruits, white peppercorns, which are the centre of the peppercorn with the black husk removed and black peppercorns, which are the whole dried fruit and, as such, the type with the most kick. Many savoury recipes the world over contain salt and pepper, but in some recipes it is pepper that has a starring role. You would expect to find pepper in savoury baked recipes, for example foccacia with cracked black pepper and rosemary, black pepper and cheese scones and black pepper and parmesan biscotti, but it can also be included in sweet baked recipes, particularly when combined with other spices. The Scottish Hogmanay favourite, Black Bun, is a pastry case packed with dried fruit and flavoured with spices, including a half teaspoon of black pepper. Black pepper also mixes well with cinnamon and cloves in Spice Cake.Black pepper is known to go well with strawberries so why not add some to strawberry and black pepper scones or make cracked black pepper shortbread to serve with strawberries and cream.Fiona Burrell, co-author of Leiths Baking Bible, from the Leiths School of Food and Winelast_img read more

Price of bread set to rise this autumn

first_imgThe price of a loaf of bread looks set to go up by at least 10p this autumn, according to Anthony Kindred, director, National Association of Master Bakers.Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme yesterday morning, Kindred said it was likely his business, Kindred Bakery, would be putting up its prices this autumn for the second year running, due to the effects of the dry weather on this year’s wheat yields.Presenter Sarah Swadling told listeners: “We’ve already heard predictions on Farming Today that, in some parts of East Anglia, the wheat harvest could be halved. The crop is also expected to be down in Europe.”Kindred explained that bakers like wheat with a nice high gluten content, which is reliant on having a good summer with a damp spring. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to get it that way round this year,” he said.He added that a compromise on the quality of flour used in products would be bakers’ last resort, so they would have to pay the premium to get the best quality flour. “I think around September, October time we’ll see a big increase in bread prices for the second year in a row,” said Kindred. “Last year the flour increase cost bakers around 5p per loaf, and with other pressures such as fuel costs, and sugar, we actually put 10p on the price of our loaves.” When asked by Swadling if the price will go up by around the same amount this year, Kindred said: “At least the same, I believe. There aren’t the margins that we used to get on bread, so I think we’ll have to pass the price increases straight on to the consumer.”>>Concerns as dry weather threatens wheat yieldslast_img read more

Sen. Young among lawmakers frustrated over lack of a coronavirus relief package

first_imgCoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Google+ WhatsApp (Saige Driver/95.3 MNC) Lawmakers are growing ever more frustrated with each other as they still cannot come to an agreement on a coronavirus relief package. Republicans continue to blame Democrats for the stalemate over the issue and vice versa.“It’s December and we still don’t have a coronavirus relief package,” said Sen. Todd Young of Indiana. “People are hurting. They’re beyond frustrated with this whole exercise.”Young urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass what they agree upon right now, and then focus on what they don’t agree upon afterward. So far he says both sides seem to agree on quite a lot in the current Senate version of the bill.“Republicans have actually put forth a package that can be signed into law,” he said. “One that provides to schools and students. One that provides assistance to our hard-hit small businesses.”However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), calls the bill “partisan” and urged Republicans and Democrats alike that both sides need to be willing to compromise. He said a coronavirus relief bill needs to be a “top priority.”Young believes that Democrats are not making COVID relief a top priority.“It seems the House is focused on other priorities,” said Young. “We just heard that they are focused on something pertaining to marijuana and giving more consideration to marijuana policy. That can be debated, but the far left needs to sort of cool their jets right now.”He again mentioned his RESTART Act, a bipartisan bill he co-authored with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado. He said the bill now has 58 co-sponsors in the Senate and around 180 in the House.Young said both chambers need to at least pass the RESTART Act in order to renew Paycheck Protection Program loans and provide other means of assistance to the country’s small businesses.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday they have an idea of what President Trump would be willing to sign in to law, now it’s a matter of getting more feedback from lawmakers in Congress. Twitter Pinterest Pinterest By Network Indiana – December 2, 2020 1 316 Sen. Young among lawmakers frustrated over lack of a coronavirus relief package Facebook WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+ Previous articleSanta Claus is coming to town, but you’ll have to set an appointment.Next articlePublic won’t be allowed at caucus to replace Rep. Christy Stutzman Network Indianalast_img read more

Press release: Ministry of Justice takes over running of HMP Birmingham

first_img What we have seen at Birmingham is unacceptable and it has become clear that drastic action is required to bring about the improvements we require. This ‘step in’ means that we can provide additional resources to the prison while insulating the taxpayer from the inevitable cost this entails. We have good, privately-run prisons across the country and while Birmingham faces its own particular set of challenges, I am absolutely clear that it must start to live up to the standards seen elsewhere. “Step-in” process will stabilise prison, inject fresh leadership and bolster existing staff There will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and conditions at the prison are expected to quickly improve Forceful action follows intensive period of Ministry of Justice measures to compel improvements putting in place one of the prison service’s best governors to lead the prison, as well as a strong senior management team allocating experienced HMPPS officers to bolster existing staffing at the prison; an initial 30 extra officers will be deployed reducing the prison’s capacity by 300 places while improvement action is underway Related linkUrgent notification for HMP Birminghamcenter_img The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has today (20 August) taken over the running of HMP Birmingham for an initial six-month period at no additional cost to the taxpayer.This follows an extended period during which HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has worked with the operator, G4S, in an attempt to drive up standards at the prison amid serious concerns over safety, security and decency.It is clear, however, that without additional support the prison will not be able to make sufficient progress on these pressing issues which have again been highlighted following the recent HMIP inspection. G4S accept that this is the case.From today, the running of the establishment will be taken over by HMPPS in accordance with the Criminal Justice Act 1991 and as part of the contract with G4S. However, HMPPS will work closely with G4S to ensure minimal disruption and to reassure staff of our mutual commitment to stabilising the prison and putting it on a sustainable footing.The immediate steps that will be taken include: While HMPPS will run Birmingham for an initial six-month period, this may be extended and the prison will not be handed back until ministers are satisfied that sufficient progress has been made.Justice Secretary David Gauke and the Prisons Minister have recently visited the prison and concluded that ‘stepping in’ is the best way to make immediate impact and begin the necessary improvements.Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said:last_img read more