AB Mauri subsidiary Cereform (Northampton) says its knowledge of functional ingredients, bakery plants and processing technology allows it to work with a wide variety of flours and adapt to changing bakery industry demands. The company’s standard product range includes a variety of “off the shelf” bread conditioners, some multi-purpose and others suitable for specific applications, such as baguettes, burger buns, wholemeal and organic breads or pretzels. Cereform believes its enzyme-based fluid dough technology is the future of plant baking and continues to invest in developing innovative products.
Well they are at it again! This time it’s the Conservative leader, David Cameron, suggesting that the old Protestant work ethic is out of date. Try telling that to our Asian competitors, particularly the Chinese, and see what they think of such rubbish!Now we all know MPs will do anything for votes and there are many more employees than employers, but they insult the intelligence of our staff if they think they can win their votes this way. When I enter into a contract with an employee, I understand our mutual agreement is that I pay him or her a set amount of money for his or her time and skills. This means that, while working for me in the hours agreed, their time is mine as I pay for it.It logically follows that, if they skive off in my time, they are stealing my money. We have all had or have staff that are lazy. In our bakery we had one who liked to relax over a cup of coffee, sometimes for hours and hours, and another who retired, but we didn’t realise it for a year; we kept wondering why he never collected his pay packet.When there are no jobs, they will blame us and the only answer I will give is: “Well, you listened to the politicians and while you were getting a fulfilled life, the rest of the world was taking your jobs.”Small businesses provide the majority of jobs in this country. Yet MPs appear to have no idea how it works; government often gives huge grants to large firms – supposedly to create jobs. Then, in a few years, the company folds and sends its products to be made in another country, where the workforce is presumably looking for work rather than a so-called balanced life-style.The government should stop taking so much of our hard-earned money, cut down on the stupid laws and we would soon produce all the jobs necessary if they just left us alone.We all know that if you say, “I believe in Victorian values”, you get ridiculed by the trendy liberals. Well I do! There are the deserving and the undeserving poor. We have all employed staff who are incapable of coming in on time, have days off and spend an enormous amount of energy dodging work.What is wrong with good manners, consideration for others and doing a good week’s work for a good week’s pay? Think of their world… it wasn’t all bad. Look at what they achieved, then compare it with The Dome.Let’s face it, if a Martian landed on earth and said: “Take me to your leader”, what on earth would he expect to learn? n
Momentum is building among craft bakers for National Doughnut Week, the fundraising event in aid of the Children’s Trust, with chains including Forfars of Brighton and Martins of Manchester registered.With the week due to take place from May 5, Susi Coutts, sales and marketing manager of 18-shop bakery JG Ross of Inverurie, said bakers should get the local community involved.”Last year, we got local schools involved, inviting pupils to enter our ’Design a Doughnut’ competition. The winning design, a chocolate and custard bear’s paw doughnut, was sold successfully in all our shops during National Doughnut Week.”Joanne Toner from The Children’s Trust said the money raised through National Doughnut Week has enabled the charity to help children like Alfie, who was knocked off his bike at the age of 10 and suffered extensive injuries.To register visit [http://www.fundraising.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/nationaldoughnutweek].Alternatively, contact Christopher Freeman at Dunns Bakery on 020 8340 1614 or email [email protected]
Only in its third year, Tesco’s latest ’Enjoy the Taste of Scotland’ has already become the biggest Scotland-only food and drink show in the UK and probably the world, says its initiator and Tesco’s senior buyer for Scotland, Sarah Mackie.Previously staged in Edin-burgh, this year’s event took place in George Square in the heart of Glasgow. According to Mackie, the show provides “a platform for suppliers to shout about their products” and a reason for journalists to head to Scotland to hear their latest news. And with the event open to the public, “to get direct feedback from customers is a real bonus”, she adds.Taste of Scotland is a highly visible manifestation of Tesco’s support for Scottish companies and Scottish jobs, claims the supermarket, and it enhances the multiple’s image north of the border. It also represents an opportunity to “encourage our customers to get to know the locals” and to help them gain a better understanding of the provenance of their goods, explained Tesco’s chairman David Reid, when visiting the show on the first day. In retail value terms, Tesco buys more than £2 billion worth of produce annually from Scottish suppliers and there is an increasing expectation among Scotland’s consumers that it will offer even more local food in the future, he acknowledged. In this context, many of this year’s exhibitors took the opportunity to organise product tastings.In addition, the event attracts a range of buyers and enables suppliers to network face-to-face with each other, leading to mutually beneficial inter-trading. “That, I think, is a real success story,” ventures Mackie.Some of the companies attending the Glasgow show have been supplying Tesco for many years or even decades. By way of example, she notes that J G Ross Bakers of Inverurie has been listed in some of the retailer’s regional stores for more than 30 years. Other firms, such as Lanark-based Border Biscuits, began by supplying Tesco stores in Scotland, but have subsequently secured a national listing.From Tesco’s perspective, the success of Taste of Scotland is not measured in terms of additional sales generation. Far more important, Mackie suggests, is its value in building rapport. Tesco is keen to develop long-term relationships with suppliers and events such as Taste of Scotland help to strengthen these links, she explains.However, she also emphasises the scope for new suppliers to join the Tesco fold: the recent acquisition of stores on the islands of Orkney, Shetland and Lewis “will inevitably lead to new suppliers coming along”. Such companies qualify to participate in Taste of Scotland, which is open to all of Tesco’s Scottish suppliers, Mackie points out, adding that Kingdom Bakery of Fife and Island Bakery Organics from the Isle of Mull were among the companies making their debut this year.Scotland’s deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulated Tesco on “providing the opportunity for a wide range of Scottish suppliers to showcase their products”, adding that the Scottish government was “absolutely committed to doing whatever it can to boost the profile of Scottish products for economic, environmental and health reasons”.
“Consumers are showing signs of fatigue of celebrity marketing. The cult of celebrity has reached a crossroads – over-exposed celebrities have saturated the market and ageing populations mean that the growth audience is shrinking.”Marketers must therefore pursue new tactics to avoid the pitfalls that are associated with celebrity-backed campaigns or celebrity-branded consumer packaged goods”- from a new report by market analyst Datamonitor. Hovis’ new ad agency, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, take a bow (see opposite)”We want to see shops opening, not more cafés. We want to see something different in Havant to attract people here”- Hampshire retailer Carol Fletcher, quoted in The Mirror, where the small town was reported to be ’in revolt’ after 15 coffee shops have opened in its centre. There is now talk of another Starbucks opening. Man the barricades…
The Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees’ (ABST) Annual Conference is to take place over the first May Bank Holi- day weekend.Students and members of the baking industry are encouraged to take part in the three-day event, from 2-4 May 2009, to be held at the TLH Leisure Resort in Torquay, Devon. The conference will include the live judging of bakery and confectionery competitions, banquets, live bands and the AGM.There are cash prizes available for the competitions, which include the British Confectioners’ Association Award, the Innovation Trophy, the Slattery Trophy and the President’s Cup.ABST general secretary David Mizon said: “We have nine colleges interested in attending this year, which is more colleges represented than any year in the last 10.” However, he is keen to get more colleges involved.Tickets for students cost £75 and include accommodation, access to all activities and competitions, and free transport from six pick-up points across the UK. The conference is supported by the California Raisins Admini-strative Committee.l For more information or to book tickets, please email David Mizon on [email protected]
Terence Conran’s soon-to-be-rolled-out Albion café and bakery concept is part of an influential new breed of independent bakery shops that combine upmarket retail with casual dining.That’s the view of retail analyst Greg Hodge, from research company Planet Retail, who says that upmarket bakery shops and cafés, such as Gail’s, Hummingbird, Konditor & Cook and Patisserie Valerie, are having a growing influence on larger chains. “These independent retailers are at the cutting edge and are starting to have an impact on the larger players,” he said. “The deli-cum-café concept is all about fast-casual dining and you can see this trend developing with chains such as Carluccio’s and Nando’s, which combine elements of retail and foodservice in a relaxed setting.”The latest in this new generation of outlet is Shoreditch-based bakery and café Albion, due to be rolled out to three sites in London next year. Restaurateur Terence Conran has invested £10-£15m in the project, which will open new outlets in Covent Garden, Victoria and Regent’s Park in the spring and summer. The chain could also be exten-ded nationally.”Albion has been such a smash hit in Shoreditch we really feel it is something that could work throughout London and beyond,” said Conran. “Albion is in many ways a British version of Carluccio’s, with a small shop and a café. But it makes bread instead of pasta and has well-known British dishes on the menu.”Hodge added: “People like the quirkiness of independents and the fact they are not a chain.”
Premier Foods has entered into a high profile TV sponsorship for the first time, with the announcement that cake brand Mr Kipling will be sponsoring the 2010 season of All Star Mr & Mrs on ITV.This will be backed up by a fully integrated marketing communications campaign and will give Mr Kipling a presence across both ITV1 and ITV2 at peak viewing times during the eight-week run. The entire Mr Kipling range will be featured.“Mr Kipling is thrilled to be sponsoring All Star Mr & Mrs this year,” said Rachel Moss, Mr Kipling’s marketing controller. “The program indexes highly with our target audience who love celebrities and we are confident that the sponsorship and supporting communications campaign will generate incremental sales across the entire Mr Kipling range.”The campaign will include a competition that gives consumers the chance to win a second honeymoon in Paris. The series airs from 2 January.
Richard Stevenson, technical manager at the NAMB, answers members’ queries on food and trading law and other business issuesQ: I am in the process of changing the design of my counter labelling. Can I continue to use a price list on the wall, which my customers are used to, or should I now consider putting the price on the ticket?A: For goods sold loose – not pre-packed – you have the choice to use either method. Price lists are still OK, provided that they are legible, are unambiguous and are easily identifiable to the customer.For pre-packed items that you produce and sell direct from your own premises, the selling price and net weight must be indicated on a label on the packaging, but the unit price can still be that shown on the price list.
When is a divider not a divider? When it’s a sheeter, as is the case with Rademaker’s Crusto Bread line. With continuing demand for replicating the characteristic taste and structure of craft-inspired products, this divider alternative claims to lose less gas in the dough through the production of baguettes, free-standing bread and ciabatta.This is because, rather than dividing, it is based on a sheeting system. Instead of portioning the dough, it forms a continuous dough sheet, resulting in no damage to the gluten network, claims the firm. The dough sheet is produced stress-free, with less shrinkage of the product after cutting, and it is suitable for watery dough types, such as ciabatta.Several modules are available, including: the X-pack for processing non-fermented stiffer dough types; the Low Stress Sheeter for semi-liquid to liquid dough types, which are fermented before processing; and a new Stress Free Sheeting system for processing liquid and fermented dough types. The latter is already being used in Europe and is also suitable for high-capacity lines.Rademaker has also developed the “bottom seeder” and the “Baguette Injection line”. The “bottom seeder” module moisturises and seeds the bottom of the dough pieces evenly. The Baguette Injection line is a newly developed machine for the production of (garlic) butter-injected baguettes and pistolettes.Another firm that can handle very wet dough of up to 86% water is Rheon, which offers a range of dough sheeting machines. Its V4 Stress Free Dough Feeders use a patented gravity feed system, which gently moulds the dough to form a continuous sheet without damaging it. The gentle action of the stress-free feed system eliminates the need for intermediate proofing or chemical additives.Rheon also offers a range of V4 Stress Free Twin Dividers that feature a gravimetric cutting system to control the speed of the guillotine cutter for accurate dough portioning. The gravimetric cutting system is operable with one or two lanes, which allows a wide portioning range using one lane for larger products or two lanes for smaller products. The combination of the circular cutters and the guillotine can produce square or rectangular pieces of set weights, which can be panned or further processed by hand.Gulliver’s travelledItalian manufacturer Gulliver Machines, supplied via Interbake, specialises in producing dividers and moulders for specifically shaped products. The machine a Combi Special R Divider has a dividing head on the hopper with a range of cutters that can be quickly interchanged with cutting knives; these will individually cut one piece at a time or will divide from two to six pieces simultaneously. Once the dough piece has been cut to a specific size that encompasses a weight range of 15g up to 1,200g, it can be moulded into various shapes which the machine can adjust by means of a 30-programme memory. Its flexibility allows the baker to manufacture a diverse product range from just one machine.Also from Interbake is the Daub Slim Dough Divider a practical machine that does not stress the dough when dividing. The machine’s pressureless dividing system is based on a vacuum, preventing the dough from being compressed. This gentle action allows operators to divide up to 1,100 pieces of dough per hour. The four models in this series offer a weight range of 50-1,700g, and options include a rounding device on the outfeed belt, a flour duster and an extended outfeed conveyor to line up with an intermediate prover.If you want a machine that’s easily adjustable to produce a range of exact-weight portions, dough absorptions and crumb structures, the Vemag Dough Divider from Reiser can make all types of breads, buns, rolls and English muffins. The positive displacement double-screw assures gentle handling of doughs and exact-weight portions, claims the firm. The pumping element doesn’t overwork the dough and can handle a range of absorption rates from 45% to 95% with a quick change of the double-screws from stiff bagel doughs to soft English muffins. It can also produce a range of crumb structures.Weight portions are precise to 1% standard deviation, and from 5g to 20kg. It can run bread dough in single or double lanes at 200-plus exact-weight pieces per minute. An optional high-speed Servo Divider can output eight lanes of product at up to 300 times per minute.