Neil Houliston

first_imgNeil Houliston, the 17 year old son of British Bakels’ sales director Keith Houliston was tragically killed in a road accident on Christmas Day. He was returning home, having driven his sister to Selby Golf Club where she was temping as a waitress. The funeral service was held in Selby Abbey on January 4, where family and friends were joined by representatives of all sections of the baking industry. We express our deepest sympathy to the Houliston family.last_img

Baker Perkins’ Tweedy eye

first_imgBaker Perkins (Peterborough), formerly APV Baker, is offering an upgraded control system for Tweedy mixers. The company says that most Tweedy mixers in daily use are mechanically sound, but their control systems are obsolete and provide limited functionality. Upgrading these improves performance and extends the life of the machine.Tweedy mixers are fitted with one of three types of control system, each of which has a different upgrade level. Although tailored to suit individual requirements, control systems are based on standard components. Baker Perkins’ offers site survey and design of the system, plus commissioning and operator training.last_img

Just Puds looks to Ireland as distribution expands

first_imgPremium desserts business Just Puds is to be listed by an Irish distributor following a recent listing with London-based chilled foods wholesaler Bespoke Foods, which supplies 600 independent retail outlets.The firm, which revamped its image earlier this year, is also developing ambient products to add to its existing range and as Christmas specials, said Graeme Robinson, who started the business with his wife Rosemary in December 1999 in their farmhouse kitchen. In January, Just Puds sub-contracted production into a newly-converted former airline desserts bakery in Beverley, East Yorkshire. Just Puds has the potential to use all 1,900sq m of the Beverley capacity, said Robinson, who conceded that expansion had been impossible for the last couple of years.The company supplies Harrods and some Waitrose and Asda stores but was looking for more listings with small retailer chains and with catering wholesalers, he added.Just Puds will also launch Christmas products in September for sale through the ambient products wholesaler Hider Food Imports, he said. These include Dundee slice; cherry cake with kirsch; a cranberry, pecan and maple Christmas pudding; and a light carrot, apple and date pudding.The company’s established puddings are: sticky toffee with butterscotch sauce; saucy chocolate with Belgian chocolate sauce; gingerbread with ginger wine, brandy sauce and stem ginger; treacle; and lemon drizzle pudding.last_img read more

Seriously wasted

first_imgWith landfill tax now costing £32 a tonne and set to rise by £8/tonne every year until 2012, business is facing an inflation-busting bill for its waste.And disposal is, in fact, just the tip of the iceberg; the cost of waste also includes raw materials, management time, processing and transport costs, labour costs, energy costs, and the reduction in productivity caused by producing waste. Trade association the British Retail Consortium reckons that reducing waste can save you costs equal to 1% of turnover.But in the face of these numbers, the food industry still dumps 12.6 million tonnes (mt) of waste every year, out of the UK’s 72mt total (according to the Environment Agency).So why, with the financial argument seemingly so persuasive, isn’t everyone in the industry protecting their bottom line? And how are the most forward-thinking operators in the café sector, from the big branded cafés to traditional high-street operators benefiting from tackling rubbish?Pret A Manger, Oliver Adams and Greggs are among those businesses that have made waste control a priority. Sandwich chain Pret A Manger’s flagship policy is sending its leftovers to homeless charities. Sustainability manager Nicky Fisher says the 180-shop chain donates 1.7 million items of leftover food to charities every year, vastly reducing its landfill bill to £400,000, and also making its contribution to local good causes.Meanwhile, 28-shop Northampton craft chain Oliver Adams has saved itself £23,000 a year by introducing a tranche of measures to reduce the amount of waste it sends to landfill by 70%. One of its many initiatives is sending food waste to be processed into electricity at a biogas plant. Stores manager Phil Race says the chain’s reputation for environmental best-practice now attracts fact-finders to its bakery: “We are always looking to save in every single way possible, there is always something more you can do.”Greggs, the UK’s largest bakery retail chain with more than 1,350 outlets, says its target is to reduce landfill by 50% of the 2006 base, by 2010, “depending on commercial factors”. Measures in place to reduce food wastage include a handful of second-day shops, typically in the suburbs or on an industrial estate. These sell goods that are one day old at cut prices, such as ’dry’ cakes, bread and rolls, but no chilled products, for safety reasons.They might also sell some fresh products that would otherwise be left over from the local Greggs’ bakery.Many smaller retail bakers have also cracked it when it comes to leftovers. Two-shop Stott’s Bakers & Confectioners, based in Blackburn, for example, reuses leftovers wherever possible – cake crumbs in trifles, for example. And good old-fashioned neighbourliness also comes into play in controlling waste: “We recycle; we have an arrangement with the Co-op next door. It uses our yard and we use its recycling cages for cardboard and paper. We scratch their backs, they scratch ours!” says owner Geoffrey Stott.So, with so many smart and money-saving ideas on tackling waste in use by bakery retailers across the UK, why is it that the industry produces more than 12mt of food waste?British Sandwich Association director Jim Winship says that waste control can be difficult and counter-productive: “The biggest losses tend to be in chasing reductions in waste. Unfortunately, what tends to happen is that retailers seek to reduce wastage by savagely cutting back on the amount of product they have on display – with the result that while wastage may drop, so do sales. Before you know it, you have lost more through lost sales than the wastage was costing!”The key to success on waste control, he says, is to ruthlessly monitor how individual products perform: keep close track of which products sell, when they sell (time of day and year) and what influences sales (from day of the week to weather pattern), then stock accordingly, maximising sales, minimising waste. However, in the fresh food retail business, 5% wastage is to be expected, he says.An independent report commissioned by environmentally friendly refrigeration supplier Gram, published in April, gives some further clues on why food businesses are still getting to grips with waste. The ’Green Paper’ looks at 688 foodservice operators – pubs, caterers and restaurants – and their position on green issues. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said making their business greener was a high priority. But barriers cited included issues with council waste collections, getting people involved and even laziness.Need for cohesive actionMany operators do blame patchy and piecemeal nationwide provision of recycling services by local councils. Pret A Manger admits it spent three years working out an in-store recycling policy due to lack of uniform recycling provision across the UK. A Starbucks spokeswoman says waste control is a high priority, but the company has not been able to find a waste contractor that can service its 500-plus outlets nationwide in a commercially viable fashion.Many businesses admit the commercial goalposts have moved, as cutting waste travels up national and EU agendas. Landfill tax had been rising £3/tonne a year, but started rising by £8/tonne each year from April this year, “to encourage recycling”, according to the announcement in the 2007 Budget. That came as the government suggested that EU landfill targets to 2020 were “challenging”.As the financial thumbscrews turn, the growing cost of waste looks set to stir even those who confess to being lazy about tackling this issue. Whether it is by turning leftover sponges into trifle or donating leftover sandwiches to homeless shelters, the economics of waste reduction are set to get ever more persuasive. Waste management is no longer just for the Wombles.Next issue: waste case studies—-=== Landfill tax ===The diversion of waste from landfill is a key objective under the EU Landfill Directive. By 2010, biodegradable waste going to landfill must be 75% of the amount disposed in 1995; by 2013 this must be reduced to 50%; and by 2020 to 35%.The standard rate of landfill tax in the UK is increasing by £8/tonne a year. This rate applies to active wastes (those that give off emissions such as rotting food). It went up from £24 to £32 in April and will continue to rise up to £48/tonne in 2010/11. A lower rate of £2.50/tonne currently applies to inactive wastes.—-=== How to tackle waste ===l Understand where waste is arising in the process, where it is coming from, and how much it is really costingl Calculate the true cost of waste, including raw material waste, energy, transport and labour costs. Finding that waste costs 10-20 times as much as waste disposal can move waste up the agenda, so it becomes a management issue, not just environmentall Segregate waste materials for recycling such as paper, plastics and cooking oill Work with suppliers to ensure the packaging received on raw materials is recyclable, returnable or reusablel Buying in bulk can reduce packaging and costs—-=== Where to get help ===l Envirowise: []l The Environment Agency: []l Scottish Energy Efficiency Office: []l Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service: []l SWAP: []l Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP): []l The Composting Association: []l Business Link: []—-=== Baking industry summit ===In no other industry is food baked daily, packed daily, distributed daily and sold or thrown away – daily! While consumer wastage far outweighs manufacturers’ waste, bakers are under pressure to examine their operations and become as sustainable as possible. On 27 November, British Baker will host a summit on how to incorporate socially responsible practices into your business. The conference will examine what government, consumers and the supermarkets are asking for. Speakers already confimed include TNS director Ed Garner and a keynote speaker is Huw Edwards, the commercial director for bakery and cafés at Asda.Who should attend?: plant, craft and wholesale bakeries, ingredients suppliers, supermarkets. equipment providers. []—-=== How to set up a waste reduction programme ===l Have commitment from senior managementl Have personnel who are dedicated to the introduction and development of the programmel Involve staff at all levels in the programmel Allocate resources to the programme to enable actions to be carried outl Accurately measure information to enable management of the programmel Identify prioritiesl Provide reliable, credible and timely reporting for feedback, monitoring and targeting purposesl Regularly review progress and set future prioritiesl Communicate the programme’s successes to interested parties, eg, staff, directors and customersSource: []last_img read more

Krispy Kreme into profit

first_imgDoughnut giant Krispy Kreme UK has reported a strong growth in revenue for the 12 months to 31 January 2008. The company’s total revenue has increased by 27% since the previous year, from £18.6 million to £23.6 million. Total profit for the year stood at £118,000.Krispy Kreme will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in the UK this October, after the its first store opened in Harrods in October 2003. It now has 35 stores, as well as 93 in-store units in selected Tesco stores, and plans to open stores in Leeds and Bristol in the coming year.last_img

Tipped for the top

first_imgIt was an evening to celebrate! Over 800 of the top bakers and confectioners, together with ingredients and equipment suppliers gathered to enjoy an evening of fun.It all began with a champagne reception, sponsored by Warbur-tons, then everyone was called to dinner in the glittering Great Room. After the welcome speeches by Wm Reed Business Media’s MD Charles Reed and British Baker’s editor Sylvia Macdonald, the celebrations kicked off with the Kluman & Balter prize balloon draw, with three lucky winners each receiving a £100 travel voucher.Following grace, said by Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers John Renshaw, at which the bread roll was customarily broken, guests began tucking into the rolls – a variety of seeded and wholegrain – provided by Bakels.After a meal of smoked salmon and fennel mousse tart, then confit of spiced duck with sesame of sticky rice cake and vegetables, followed by bitter chocolate truffle with banana brûlée and Oreo cookie ice cream, excitement mounted as TV celebrity Kate Thornton took to the stage to present the awards.All finalists and winners were called to the stage with the sponsors of their categories. Walk-up music fitted in with the Las Vegas theme of the evening.At the conclusion of the awards, it was announced that over £5,000 had been raised for the Bakers’ Benevolent Society in a drive sponsored by Bako, which had contributed the table centres for the evening, including magnums of Champagne. One lucky winner on each table, who found a star underneath their chair seat, was able to take the magnum home.Everyone was able to take their own pictures on the night, with cameras supplied by Kingsmill. As soon as the awards finished, Frank Sinatra burst onto the scene with a singing lookalike who, in keeping with the vibrant Las Vegas theme, was followed by Elvis Presley’s dramatic double.As the dance floor filled up, others headed in their droves to the Cereform casino. Cereform was offering a VIP weekend in London at a top-class hotel, with dinner at a gourmet restaurant, a helicopter trip, plus a visit to a casino with cash from Cereform! The casino tables filled fast.The famous Las Vegas Avenue, complete with gambling mach-ines, was sponsored by Finsbury Food Group, with many conten-ders also vying for a top-scoring helicopter ride over the sights of London. Carriages at 2am rounded off a fabulous evening that recognised true talent across the UK baking industry.l To order photos of the night go to []. Username is bia. Then follow the instructions.last_img read more

Get ready for action in Craft Bakers’ Week

first_imgNational Craft Bakers’ Week (NCBW) is almost upon us, so make sure you’ve got all your promotional materials at the ready and posters up in your shop windows to tempt the customers into your stores.The week runs from 8 – 13 June and has been designed to promote ’The Shop That Never Sleeps’ as an integral part of local communities. It has been promoted to 22,000 state and independent primary schools, many of which have shown interest in having local bakers come and visit. Thousands of people have visited our NCBW pages at to watch the video streaming of bakers at work and to download resources and POS material.The activity has been spearheaded by the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) and has been developed with a group of key industry companies: Bako, Bakels, Bake-Mark, BFP Wholesale, British Baker magazine, California Raisins, Macphie, Marriage’s, Puratos, The Reynard Group and The Scottish Association of Master Bakers.last_img read more

Cops cut to the chase

first_imgForget cops and robbers, cops and doughnuts are two words that have gone together since the dawn of time. And this is now the name of a new doughnut shop in Clare City, Michigan – owned, that’s right, by cops. Only in America.This joyous cohesion came about when the Clare City Bakery, around since 1896, came within weeks of closing down under its previous owners. So desperate was Clare City Police Department not to lose its favourite snacking spot, that all nine members clubbed together to save it.You can even buy merchandise at the shop, such as a mugs, badges and t-shirts with slogans including: ’You have the right to remain glazed’ and ’Fighting crime, one doughnut at a time’. If only that were true! Or perhaps the staff make extra large ones and use them to lasso criminals? We’re sure they’ll be naming their doughnuts after America’s Most Wanted next, and hopefully not after the cops who own it, who have nicknames such as Grasshopper, Beaver, Squirt and Dog Man.You can almost hear the delighted whoops of criminals across the city as, with all nine police officers in the area sure to be munching on a doughnut and sipping hot coffee, who’s going to be out on the beat?last_img read more

J2 develops EPoS first

first_imgJ2 Retail Systems, a manufacturer of PC-based touchscreen tills, has launched the first EPoS system to contain Solid State Drives (SSD) Storage as standard.Its new J2 615 integrated touchscreen computer was designed by the company’s in-house research and development team, and uses the new Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor and Intel chipset, which delivers faster performance and increased reliability, according to the firm.”An SSD works just like a hard disk drive,” explained Norm Campbell, J2 Retail Systems’ chief technology officer and creator of the J2 615. “Its big advantages are reliability, as there are no moving parts to wear out, and its speed of reading from and writing to disk.”J2 supplies EPoS tills to a number of bakery businesses, including Greggs, Bakers Oven, Simmons, Greenhalgh’s, Neil Martin and Thomas of York.last_img read more

Food Doctor branches out

first_imgThe Food Doctor is making a break from the health food aisles with a new range targeted at the mainstream sector. The new line-up features several bakery items including bread, bagels, pittas and wraps.The firm said its move into the mainstream aisles reflects the fact the health and well-being categories are no longer considered niche. To develop the new range, it teamed up with UK food suppliers, including Maple Leaf Bakery UK for the bagels and Rivermill for a number of its other bakery products.”This move is also designed to bring down the retail price of The Food Doctor range, to help make it more accessible to consumers, with each individual manufacturer acting as a licensee for the brand, being responsible for its distribution and sales,” said the firm.The new products will also feature the new Food Doctor livery, as well as a new strapline, ’Eat Better Forever’.By the end of February, around 20 new Food Doctor products will be available in major multiples, with around 50 of them expected to be on-shelf by the end of the year.last_img read more