Benbo Planetary Mixer

first_imgThe new Benbo Planetary Mixer from Nisbets (Avonmouth, Bristol) is suitable for bakers, hotels, restaurants and canteens looking for a durable, reliable and powerful machine, says the company.This 20-litre commercial bench model mixing machine is safe and easy to use, featuring a lever-operated bowl lift, safety stop when the bowl or safety guard is out of position and an emergency stop button, says Nisbets. It is fitted with a 0.5hp motor and three-speed gearbox, and comes complete with bowl, whisk, dough hook and beater.last_img

Rathbone Kear reveals new bakery plan

first_imgPlant bakery Rathbone Kear is looking at sites to build a new bakery in the next year, following a £1 million investment in its existing estate over the last 10 months.Chief executive Harry Kear said he would like to build the site from scratch if the supermarket Morrisions (the majority shareholder in the company) gives the go-ahead. He told British Baker: “We have the team here that can do it.” Mr Kear said the bakery would be expected to produce 6,000 loaves an hour, and is likely to be located in the south of the country. He commented: “It’s whether we can build another bakery that will give us long-term lower cost and consistent quality of product. There are plenty of opportunities. We are doing some appraisals, but we haven’t yet made a decision. Once we have agreed plans with Morrisons we will go ahead.”The three existing Rathbone Kear bakeries, in Wakefield, Wigan and Middlesbrough, are trading comfortably, Mr Kear said. Annualised turnover is now £35m.The sites were purchased from admininistrators of New Rathbones in May 2005, following New Rathbones’ collapse in April last year. Rathbone Kear spent over £1m in upgrading the sites and around 100 tertiary brands were discontinued in a focus on the Rathbones brand. There are no further plans for major capital spend in the existing bakeries. Mr Kear said: “I have increased specification, with higher grist to the flour, gone to one tin size and made sure all the bread contains soya and fat, which had previously been removed.”He said he decided against bidding for any parts of the Harvestime (2005) estate when the other former Rathbones bakeries went into administration this year. Harvestime’s trade depended on another major multiple, which might not have wished to continue with Rathbone Kear, Mr Kear said.last_img read more

Getting the l’eau down

first_imgMuch is made of ’greenwashing’ – the slightly sneery term levelled at businesses accused of hooking on to environmental schemes and painting themselves as tree- huggers. But for once, companies are being asked to take the term more literally and greenwash more. To do this, they need to be washing less.Confused? Put simply, manufacturers are being urged to take a more green approach to washing, effluent disposal and other uses of water. Food and drink production accounts for around 10% of all water used in UK industry and targets have been set to cut water usage by 20% by 2020, as part of The Federation House Commitment.It hardly needs pointing out that this cut, targeted by the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) with resource efficiency advisers Envirowise, would also mean 20% off the water bill. So how far down the line is the baking industry on water efficiency?a no-brainerForward-thinking businesses are already tackling it; to them the benefits are a no-brainer: water costs around 1% of a firm’s turnover, while advisory body Envirowise estimates that resource wastage can cost up to £1,000 per employee. “We have a number of projects under way to recycle water and reduce our usage. Such actions make sense for our business and the environment,” says Robert Schofield, CEO of Premier Foods, owner of RHM and British Bakeries.While bakers may not use as much water as, say, fruit and veg, usage, extraction, heating and pumping of water all have an environmental impact. David Fish, executive chairman of United Biscuits says: “As a company we are not heavy users of water, but this does not mean it is not important to reduce the amount we use.”So why commit to an industry-wide scheme? While most mana-gers are now aware of green business issues, their eyes are often too glued to sales spreadsheets to systematically tackle the issues. “The environment is a broad-reaching topic and you can become stuck in the discussion around the environment and less focused on the action you need to take,” says Fiona Dawson, MD of Mars Snackfood UK and chair of the FDF’s steering group on sustainability.This new scheme is supposed to offer a structured framework for companies to take action – an approach that has paid off for Scottish baker R Mathieson & Sons. It introduced a waste minimisation programme at its Falkirk bakery, appointing a “waste champion” to raise awareness and come up with initiatives. This reduced water consumption and effluent disposal costs, and all new employees at the 400-strong firm now undergo a waste minimi- sation training programme as part of the induction process.measure and manageThe trick is to treat water as if it were any other resource, much as Walkers Crisps now says it does. But far too many don’t even measure how much water they use. And if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. One of the first steps in the Commitment is to establish a baseline; the next is to measure site-specific water usage; action plans are then put in place against each site; and, finally, Envirowise will collate that data and publish it annually to show how much progress is being made.Savings in effluent and water costs of 20-30% can be made with almost no investment, claims Envirowise. Apart from using water meters and monitoring effluent at its commercial site, 40-shop Waterfields (Leigh) has installed a 3-cubic-metre box to collect the water off the office roof, which is then pumped through to clean the vans. “It might not be saving a huge amount but it’s a contribution,” says 2007 Baker of the Year John Waterfield. “It’s good practice to reduce it.”Greggs has also installed water meters in all of its bakeries, as well as taking water usage measurements on key pieces of equipment, such as tray washers. While the initial focus has been on tackling the bakeries, the next step will be rolling this out to its estate of shops.A spokesperson for Greggs says: “In all our newly-built bakeries we’re aiming to reuse water wherever possible. For example some of our grey water is used for washing our vehicle fleets. And we do have a small number of shops that are metered and that’s something that we’re looking to improve further in 2008.”More companies are investing in ’cleaning-in-place’ technologies – systems designed for automatic cleaning and disinfecting plant without major disassembly and assembly work – that need less water without compromising health and safety. Others are switching to non-water cooling technology, as Mars has done, bringing a 40% reduction in water used per tonne of product made.capital investmentSuch changes may need capital investment; Envirowise runs the Water Technology list for HM Revenue & Customs; this gives enhanced capital allowance for expenditure on the equipment featured on the list. So it helps with the payback time by improving the cashflow for companies that qualify.But it’s not just about plugging expensive gizmos into your plant. It is simpler – and cheaper – to change employees’ attitudes. Phil Annandale, Macphie’s environment manager, says equipment has been modified on-site and leaks fixed, but crucially, a water-saving culture is being promoted to achieve ongoing reductions.Water is not often seen as an expensive resource, and one which should be treated with great respect. “This Commitment shows attitudes are changing – but not in every company yet,” says Dr Stuart Ballinger, strategy director for Envirowise. Turning off taps, installing spray taps and water control devices all help.”The baking industry is no different to any other sector: you’ve got the ’washed and the unwashed’ – a proportion of businesses that are setting the standards and others that are further behind. But just through low-cost or no-cost initiatives, businesses can make savings. Measuring the successes and cele-brating that is very important to keep people improving.”invitation to take partThe FDF now wants to extend the initiative by inviting businesses, small and large, to take part in the scheme. Fiona Dawson of Mars says: “If this commitment were to be rolled out, not just to FDF members, we estimate that the savings could be up to the equivalent of 56 Olympic-sized swimming pools.”Paul Freeston, CEO of commitment signatories Apetito, parent company of pastry products manufacturer Waldens, adds that the environmental benefits of cutting water use go beyond the factory’s four walls: “It’s easy to take water for granted – but it’s a scarce and finite resource. It also requires energy and resources to collect, purify, distribute and clean up after we’ve used it.” n* To sign up to the Federation House Commitment visit: [http://www.fhc2020.co.uk]last_img read more

Crazy for cupcakes

first_imgWith National Cupcake Week now set for September 14-19, suppliers are already beginning to capitalise on the boom in cupcake sales, as the cupcake craze sweeps the nation. It’s a trend that’s set to continue, with market figures on the up.”As the demand for kitsch, retro treats continues to grow, the cupcake market is demonstrating a continual rise in sales figures year-on-year – a trend that is set to soar even further in 2009,” predicts Lisa Boswell, marketing manager at BakeMark UK. “Increased household penetration has meant that sales in the last two years have rocketed.”Boswell encourages bakers to try out the newly launched BakeMark Extra Moist Toffee Cake Mix, which joins the Plain and Chocolate Extra Moist Cake Mixes from Craigmillar, to broaden their cupcake range. “The distinct growth in the cupcake market means a key focus within new product development is on offering a greater variety of choice within the sector,” she says.Ingredients supplier Ingrams, which specialises in fudges, is offering Richmeadow and Madison Fudgices in chocolate and caramel, in addition to a wide range of flavours, such as strawberry and peppermint. The Fudgices can be warmed and flooded or beaten with or without buttercream, and piped to produce a high definition icing; it is also freeze-thaw stable. Ingrams also offers a dedicated cupcake icing for flooding, which is available in either ready-to-use or concentrated formats.The addition of Ingrams’ Choc Fudge Base allows the creation of American-style choc icings; simply add the base to buttercream or fondant to produce the icing, again freeze-thaw stable. It has also developed a new range of freeze-thaw stable dusting sugars, to enhance the texture and mouth feel of cupcakes.”Icing is so subjective,” says MD Mark Young. “Tesco is offering a firm set icing cupcake alongside a piped icing cupcake, so it’s about offering customers a choice. Cupcakes are embryonic in the market and the way it develops will depend on the baker’s flair.”Alternatively, if you’re after finished goods, Delice de France has launched a thaw-and-serve range called Loves Cupcakes, which are free from artificial additives and come in mixed boxes of three varieties for bakery retailers and cafés to display; they have a coffee shop-suited RRP of £1.49.”Anybody who serves any kind of snacking opportunity could sell these cupcakes,” says Ian Toal, MD of Delice de France. “They are significantly different to anything on the market right now, and we made sure, in these tough times, that they are an affordable treat.”There are three varieties to each of the three collections – Loves Chocolate Trio, Loves – Very Berry & Friends and Loves – Happy Days Collection, complemented by limited seasonal editions. Special recyclable boxes, which hold four cakes, have been designed to encourage consumers to buy and share. Operators are being encouraged to box up the products as gifts or for sharing in the office.”They’re larger than the average cupcake and they feel like a substantial eat,” says Toal. “I think cupcakes could become as big as flowerpot muffins – it is growing incredibly; the revolution from America is coming over and we wanted to be first to market with something that was available nationally.”—-=== Cupcakes: 13.6% year-on-year growth ===l In the last 12 months, sales of cupcakes in the UK grew by 13.6% to £33.5ml In total, over the last two years, £10m has been added to the value of the cupcake categoryl Volume also grew by 6% with 37.4m packs being purchased in the 12-month period ended 28 December 2008l The reason for this rapid growth is due to an increase in penetrationl The number of UK households that purchased cupcakes in the last year grew by 11.6%l A total of 32.6% of UK households now buy into this categorySource: BakeMark/TNS Data, 12 months ending 28 Dec 2008last_img read more

In Short

first_img== Cupcake extension ==London-based Hummingbird Bakery has announced it has signed the lease for its third cupcake branch, which is due to open on Wardour Street, Soho, in late November. The bakery currently has outlets on Old Brompton and Portobello Road in London and sells a range of cakes, cupcakes, pies and cookies.== Campden BRI head ==Dr Steven Walker has officially assumed the role of director-general of Campden BRI. He succeeds Colin Dennis who retired in June. Walker joined the business in 1986 and was appointed director of research in 1995. From 2005-2009, he was director of the cereals and cereals processing division.== Outsider opens outlet ==American-style bakery Outsider Tart has opened its first shop in Chiswick High Road, London. The firm, started by two Americans now living in London, already sells its products at various farmers markets across the city, selling a range of brownies, cupcakes, layer cakes, pies and tarts.== Farm shop school ==Daylesford Organic will launch a cookery school at its Gloucestershire farm shop in September that will also host classes in organic bread-making.== Sustainable packs ==The findings of a recent report published by Datamonitor has revealed that sustainable packaging is an increasing consumer issue, with more and more people coming to expect it from products. Around 40% of UK consumers in a survey conducted during the second half of 2008 said that packaging design had a medium or high level of influence over their choice of food and drink products.last_img read more

Dried fruit pricing

first_imgCoconut: It is generally thought there is potentially less of a price downside on coconuts than a larger upside. Demand is also thought to increase as prices, helped by the weaker dollar, have improved.Raisins: The new Californian crop will be about 10% less than last year. In Turkey, post-harvest suggests a total tonnage almost 20% lower than in 2008.Sultanas: Turkish sultanas have seen a recent surge in both pricing and demand. The first report pre-harvest suggested a total vine fruit crop of around 285-290,000 million tonnes (mt) with 20,000mt likely to be converted to raisins. However, this figure was then slashed to 250,000mts. Prices have shot up and look likely to remain firm for the short- to medium term.Currants: Greece reported a 1-2,000mt increase on its new crop. It will be interesting to see whether prices can be sustained at the present levels.Apricots: It appears to be another large crop, however it seems the strong Turkish Lira and weaker Dollar against the Euro and Sterling, has increased Turkish export pricing and European demand in equal measures. Short-term, there is little chance of major price weakness.l Based on information provided by ingredients supplier RM Curtislast_img read more

EAT secures new chilled distribution

first_imgSandwich retailer, EAT, which BB last August revealed had plans to double the number of outlets from 100 to 200 within three to five years, has revamped its chilled distributions to cope with worries over sudden failures in distribution of products to its stores.The move was in response to “the immediate risks threatening our distribution network,” says Guy Harvey, finance director for EAT. The chain, which operates its own central kitchen, distributes products overnight, to ensure maximum freshness, and serves sandwiches, salads, soup, pies and coffee through its retail outlets.Logistics consultancy Davies & Robson helped with the distribution tender to provide a system capable of ensuring a reliable chilled delivery service to stores. Davies & Robson worked with EAT to prepare a contingency plan that would allow the operation to continue uninterrupted in the event of the existing service being unexpectedly withdrawn.As a result, Gist was appointed to establish and operate a National Distribution Centre at its Hemel Hempstead facility. Pre-picked product is received from EAT’s central kitchen in Wembley and milk directly from a third-party supplier. Gist is responsible for sorting cages into vehicle routes and for picking the milk to cages against delivery outlet orders.Direct deliveries are made by Gist to EAT outlets in the south east while, for the remainder of the country, product is trunked to a national network with cross-docking facilities for onward delivery by local delivery vehicles. Deliveries to retail outlets are undertaken at night, using vehicles fitted with tail hoists to ensure the availability of fresh product when the stores open.last_img read more

In Short

first_imgFifteen backs learningTo mark National Apprenticeship Week (1-5 February), the head baker at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in London has teamed up with the Real Bread Campaign (RBC) to highlight the importance of bakery apprenticeships. Kenny Rankin shared his knowledge of artisan bakery with RBC’s project officer Chris Young. He learned about the art of baking bread using the same techniques and developing the same skills as Fifteen’s trainees.Monies returnedA major contract, landed by a Leicester company with bakery chain Greggs, has meant a £57,000 thank you for its 39 workers. Label Apeel a food label manufacturer put its staff on a four-day week last year and stopped contributing to workers’ pension pots, due to the recession. But now, boss Stuart Kellock has told staff that because of the Greggs contract, for an undisclosed amount, he will pay the £7,000 they lost out on with the short working week, and put £50,000 back into their pensions.Omega 3 claimsWhich? has revealed its concerns that manufacturers may be able to make “misleading health claims over foods containing Omega 3”, under new European legislation. According to Which? the new rules look set to allow products containing plant Omega 3 oils to bear the claim ’high in’ or ’a source of’ Omega 3s. However, it said evidence has shown that only oils from fish sources are benefical to people’s hearts.CorrectionIn the feature ’What we need for 2010’ in BB’s 15 January 2010 issue, we referred to Unifine Food & Drink Ingredients. This was incorrect. It should have read Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients.last_img read more

In my world

first_imgJo Fairley is co-owner of Judges organic bakery and grocery shop in Hastings and co-founded and sold Green & Black’s chocolate firm, with hubby Craig SamsWhatever your politics, there can hardly have been a small business in the land that didn’t give three cheers upon hearing that the new Con-Dem government plans to do away with a lot of the red tape we all have to endure at the moment. Quite how they’ll manage it, none of us is certain but I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that the form-filling and constant checks that need to be carried out in the course of an average day are dramatically reduced.I do agree, of course, that customer safety is of paramount importance. But red tape seems to have taken over where common sense left off. Let’s look at the checks we have to do, for instance, on our freezers and our chiller cabinets. Judges is also a one-stop shop selling everything from milk to lettuces via wine and cheese. So, in the shop, we have four fridges and two deep freezes. ’Backstage’, we have five freezers and six chiller cabinets our sourdoughs are space-hungry while they take their 24 hours to riseOur local Environmental Health Officer a very pleasant chap, as it happens, and a customer, too insists that we take a temperature measurement of every single one of these chillers. Not once a day, not twice, but three times, with the temperatures noted on a chart. This takes one of my staff around 20 minutes, morning, noon and early evening before we shut up shop. At £6 an hour, I’m paying £42 a week, or £2,184 a year for that task alone and that’s the tip of the (carefully temperature-monitored) iceberg.We have HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Path) analyses to do, with flow-charts to produce accordingly. We have fire alarm checks, health and safety inspections and whole ring binders full of record-keeping, not to mention a requirement to send everyone to retake a Food Hygiene exam every three years. That’s another day out of the business all so that someone who has been safely working with food day-in and day-out for 36 months can renew their piece of paper. Wouldn’t it make more sense and cost the government a lot less money if they could self-certify, after that three-year period?Of course I don’t want to poison anyone, or injure them. I never forget a chilling story a friend told me when I announced we were taking over the bakery an incident many years beforehand which had put her off shopping there. Upon getting a custard tart home from the shop, my friend found a paperclip in it. Returning it to the bakery, the sales assistant took one look and commented: “Well, it can’t have happened here. We don’t use paperclips.”Obviously there have been some strides made on customer service at Judges since then, not to mention a major tightening-up of what is and isn’t allowed in the bakery area no glass, no paperclips, no un-netted hair in order to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again.Actually, what annoys me is that a lot of the red tape we face at the ’front end’ in baking and retail is to make up for the bad practices that go on with meat production, for instance, or the dairy industry think listeria, salmonella, etc. We have to make sure that what we’re doing eliminates the risk of contaminated food harming the public, because we’re the final interface with the customer, even if those pathogens were introduced way back in the food chain. A lot of the rest of the red tape, however, is simply because we’ve had too many bureaucrats sitting around in Whitehall, apparently with nothing better to do than make it almost impossible for bakers and shopkeepers to cut through that tape and get on with what we’re good at: feeding the nation, not filling in endless forms and charts.Dave ’n’ Nick, we’re all ears.last_img read more

Essenta deal could ramp up pressure on sectors

first_imgThe proposed merger between Northern Foods and Greencore will heap pressure on rival producers in the sandwich market and could spark a round of consolidation in the cake and desserts markets, according to analysts.As reported in British Baker (19 November), Greencore and Northern Foods have agreed to join forces under the new name of Essenta Foods, which will have annual sales of £1.7bn and expects to make annual cost synergies of £40m. The deal, which is due to complete in the second quarter of next year, will make Essenta the largest player in the sandwich market, as well as strengthening its position in cakes and desserts.”This is a good fit in terms of product range and customer base,” said Chris Brockman, Mintel’s global food analyst. “It will create a dominant player in the sandwich market, with a strong presence in the multiples. This will put pressure on other operators in the sector, who could struggle to compete and will have to find distinct market niches. Smaller players will find growth opportunities in 2011 are taken up by Essenta, which will have the muscle to ramp up innovation and dominate the market.”He added: “The dessert and cake sectors are very fragmented and this could be the start of further mergers and acquisitions in 2011. Both sectors are ripe for consolidation, with rising ingredients costs and continued pressure from supermarkets on price.”Shore Capital head of research Clive Black said: “The merger gives the firm more scale and authority, but I think we will see an introverted process of reducing costs, rather than driving shares of other markets. Retailers will know there are opportunities for cost savings and will ask for contributions. It’s up to Essenta to get that balance right.”Essenta Foods will be headed up by Greencore’s CEO Patrick Coveney, with Northern Foods’ acting CEO Simon Herrick becoming finance chief. He has taken over from Northern Foods’ outgoing CEO Stefan Barden.>>Northern Foods and Greencore announce mergerlast_img read more