The UK food and drink manufacturing sector is the largest and only growing manufacturing sector, with:l £73 billion annual turnoverl 500,000 employees, over 80% of the which are in Englandl 118,000 new people needed by 2014 – 40,000 of whom will be machine operators, 38,000 will be supervisors/managers, 16,000 will be skilled workers and 13,000 will be technical workers.l In bakery, this translates to 96,000 currently employed, which equates to 25% of the total number of people involved in food and drink manufacturingl England accounts for 82% of bakeries, with the north-west region hosting 17% of all workplaces, but 21% of all employeesl 88% of bakeries manufacture bread, cakes and pastries, with 12% manufacturing biscuits, rusks and preserved pastries
Warburtons has teamed up with NetApp to help manage and store data from its 14 bakeries, producing over a million products a day. As the business has expanded, the organisation of the data has been of critical importance and Warburtons needed an efficient, secure and easy way to manage it. NetApp specialises in providing solutions for the storage, delivery, and management of network data and content.”Warburtons is seeing double-digit growth and, for a number of years, we have been spreading geographically,” explained Martin Ogden, infrastructure manager at Warburtons. The company needed a robust data storage system, with data copied in real-time to a disaster recovery facility. And the IT upgrades had to be made without disrupting its 24/7/365 operations.The final upgrade was completed with zero system downtime, added Ogden.’’www.netapp.com’’
Sarah MorrisGiles FoodsThe new national sales executive at chilled and frozen bakery products manufacturer Giles Foods is Sarah Morris, who has worked in the food industry for most of her career.In her new role, Morris will be responsible for looking after customers and developing the company’s business with wholesale distributors, food manufacturers and quick service restaurants, as well as major pub chains in the northern half of Britain and Ireland. She has previously worked with McCain Foods and McCormick Foods.Alex BattyCrantock BakeryCornwall’s Crantock Bakery has expanded its new product development (NPD) team with the appointment of Alex Batty as NPD technician. The move follows the appointment last year of NPD manager Becky Hornabrook, brought in to expand the company’s range of Cornish pasties and bake-off products. Batty is a food and nutrition graduate and his first task will be to review the company’s entire bakery range, including over 30 different varieties of pasty.Harold BinkDawn FoodsHarold Bink has been appointed product manager Europe with sweet bakery specialist Dawn Foods. Based in the Netherlands, Bink will be responsible for market research and testing a wide range of products, while also driving Dawn’s New product development forward. In addition, he will look after sales analysis throughout Europe.Bink joins Dawn from Panasonic Netherlands, where he worked as a sales manager and later product manager.
Dutch divestment Greencore Group is to sell its Dutch-based convenience foods business, Greencore Continental, to Convenience Foods Europe. Greencore Continental supplies sandwiches, chilled pizzas and chilled sauces to customers based in Continental Europe. It had a turnover of E58.2m (£48.6m) for the year ended 25 September 2009.Grocery growth Latest grocery market figures from Kantar Worldpanel have signalled positive growth from UK multiples for the 12 weeks to 11 July 2010. Grocery market growth reached 4.4% the highest since February as World Cup promotions and warm weather boosted sales. The Co-operative saw the strongest rise in this period, with year-on-year growth of 19.3%, while Iceland grew by 11.4%.New M&S plantMarks & Spencer has opened a new 1.1 million sq ft distribution centre on ProLogis Park Bradford, just off the M606. It will serve all M&S stores with ambient food from next year.McVitie’s rewardsUnited Biscuits UK is to launch a rewards scheme across 360 million packs of McVitie’s biscuits from 16 August. McVitie’s VIP Club will offer consumers the chance to claim tea-break treats or build up a collection of points in order to claim larger rewards.Ingredients initiativeButter brand Lurpak is inviting bakers and retailers to promote their wares on a new website, aiming to help consumers source good food ingredients. The Good Food Finder will allow both consumers and bakery business owners to submit their own food finds into the database. To get listed, go to www.lurpak.co.uk/goodfoodfinder
Dawn Foods’ new Traditional Scone Mix only needs the addition of water to produce all sweet scone varieties and, once the scones are produced, they can be frozen.The mix is sold in a 12.5kg pack, with each bag producing approximately 300 x 60g scones. Dawn says the product gives consistency, good volume, and stays soft. Marketing manager Jacqui Passmore added: “The scones can be frozen and defrosted and, for the just-baked feel, can be baked-off in the oven just before serving.”
Ingredients firm Gb Plange is helping bakers tackle business challenges such as rising costs and reducing additives by hosting a series of development days.The next FOC Energie Development Day will focus on how to manage bread quality and costs in an inflationary market, delivered by technical experts at Gb Plange and flour miller Nelstrops. It should help bakers gain a more in-depth understanding of the function of flour and bread improvers, and how they can apply this knowledge to influence bread quality and cost.Gb Plange general manager Marie Parnell said: “We want to enhance the industry by providing practical support and relevant advice for bakers on a range of issues that affect their business performance.”To sign up, click on the Energie Development Day button at www.gb-plange.co.uk.
The government’s consultation on changes to the tribunal service, with a view to reducing the number of cases, has now closed. A survey by legal firm Eversheds on the proposed government reforms found that:l 91% of its respondents supported the proposal to introduce a “formal offer” system, under which compensation may be increased or decreased if the other party declined to accept a reasonable offer of settlement. If no award of compensation were made, the tribunal might make a costs award against the party who refused the offer.l 83% supported the introduction of fees for lodging employment tribunal claims.l 78% believed that raising the unfair dismissal qualifying period from one to two years would result in a drop in claims.Interestingly, this does not coincide with the views of many lawyers, who are sceptical that a change in qualifying periods would result in a decrease in claims, feeling that those without the required length of service often bring discrimination claims instead (which have no service requirement).The number of claims may be falling anyway. The Tribunal Service’s quarterly statistics for 1 October 2010 to 31 December 2010 show a fall of 51% in the total number of claims, compared with the same quarter of 2009. But age discrimination claims more than doubled from 1,100 to 2,900 and pregnancy and sex discrimination also increased, by 47% and 27% respectively. The number of claims fell on working time, equal pay, redundancy, breach of contract and unfair dismissal.
Fats distributors say red tape could prevent their sustainable palm oil products from carrying a new certification logo.The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) logo can only be used by its members on products that contain palm-derived ingredients sourced in compliance with RSPO standards. Although the design was released last year, rules governing the use of the trademark have just been published.While Bako distributes fats, it does not manufacture them, but even under the new rules it said it, too, would need RSPO approval. Fats buyer Frank Wade said he had wanted to put something on products about the fact they are sustainably sourced. “Our manufacturer Cardowan in Glasgow has taken the time to get itself approved by the RSPO, but that’s not good enough,” said Wade. “We have to pay E2,000 to be on the RSPO’s books and would need to be audited, although we’re only transporting it. The system seems to be tied up with red tape. There’s nothing to stop us simply saying our products are fully sustainable I’m not sure we will bother [using the logo].”BFP Wholesale is similarly affected, said MD Nick Harris. “We’re hanging fire and won’t be applying for certification until we get clarification. When Fairtrade started to be available, it was suggested that distributors needed to be registered, but that is only the case for some products.”However, an RSPO spokesman said a firm, such as a wholesaler, could distribute products made by an RSPO-certified manufacturer, who had used the RSPO logo on-pack, without themselves being certified. “The use of the RSPO trademark is subject to strict rules that are meant to protect the value of the trademark as well as the integrity and credibility of the RSPO.” He said the membership came with obligations, but these were fundamental to the protection of the brand.
The UK’s largest bagel chain has been placed on the market for £2m, receiving a wealth of potential takeover bids.As reported by M&C Report, Bagel Factory is looking for an outright sale or an injection of a new investment to develop the brand’s growth. A spokesperson from Coffer Corporate Leisure, who is advising the group on the move, spoke to British Baker on the sale of the national bagel chain. He said that the business had been pleasantly surprised by the response of offers currently on the table, with interest from private equity firms, along with trade buyers operating in train stations offering healthier alternatives to fast food.In addition, he mentioned how it was early days for the company to make a decision, but Bagel Factory was looking to make an announcement in the next couple of weeks.The brand opened its first site in London back in 1997 and currently operates 14 outlets in England and 40 franchise units in Ireland. The majority of its sites are based in transport hubs.In August 2008, Bagel Factory acquired its five-strong rival Oi! Bagel, for an undisclosed sum off an asking price understood to be around £1m. However, the group closed five of its own sites this year with four outlets making a loss. The company has plans to close a further two before the end of 2011, with a further unit set to close next year.Bagel Factory is currently owned by a group of private investors, including the company’s chairman Geoff Westmore, former global head of M&A at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a stake in the business through investment vehicle Subito Partners.The chain reported pre-tax profits of £148,524 for the year to 25 September 2010, against a pre-tax loss of £350,635 in the previous year. Operating profit stood at £149,066 compared to a loss of £351,160 in 2009 and turnover declined from £6.194m in 2009 to £5.287m last year.
Kingsmill has announced the first phase of its campaign to support this summer’s Big Lunch event on 3 June – a food-focused lesson programme to run as part of the national curriculum.As sponsors of the The Big Lunch, Kingsmill has organised a programme of activity to drive participation in the event, as well as capitalising on its link to the lunchtime meal occasion in order to drive sales of the brand, said the firm.The nationwide ‘Feed Your Imagination’ initiative, which will run in conjunction with the National Schools Partnership (NSP), will aim to educate children aged 7-11 about food, and bread in particular, in an exciting and engaging way. Six lessons would form part of the national curriculum for this age group, and would offer the chance for the children to learn and understand the importance of food hygiene, provide insights into how food differs around the world and explore different aspects of food packaging.Guy Shepherd, category director, Allied Bakeries, said: “This programme with the NSP aims to be a fun and creative schools initiative, which will see thousands of children across the UK taking part in bread-themed lessons, fuelling the excitement for lunch and ultimately boosting retailers’ bakery sales.” Kingsmill’s programme of events will also feature projects such as designing a bread bin. Other plans to be announced include the launch of a nationwide ‘Fun Lunch Roadshow’, and downloadable ‘Fun Lunch Book’.