2006:THE YEAR AHEAD

first_imgThere is almost a merging of the FoB’s and the Flour Advisory Bureau’s public relations work under the Vitality Eating System. That is our response and initiative in terms of a promotion similar to ‘five-a-day’. We’re setting out how people can eat sensibly with a balanced diet that includes bread products. There is going to be more emphasis and work done in promoting this system in 2006.We want to see sensible proposals on salt in bread when the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues its revised targets. We would hope that the government and the FSA could look to the bigger issues of people’s health in general rather than just targeting the food industry all the time. So we would be looking for a slight change of emphasis on their part in 2006. We are also going to be entering into discussions with the FSA on folic acid in the New Year. It’s early days because only Tesco uses it at the moment, but its new breadbasket could be an advantage as an industry standard in years to come, but probably not in 2006. I don’t think the problems with Harvestime and New Rathbones will reduce availability or impact on the supermarkets’ supplies. You could have argued that maybe there was a bakery or two too many, so I don’t think it will have a negative impact on the market. I’m very optimistic for the coming year. I think plant bakers are continuing to innovate in all the different kinds of loaves and excellent premium products. The consumer gets fantastic choice and the bakeries do well out of them, as do the supermarkets. The FoB is also looking forward to a successful conference this year.last_img read more

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Macphie

first_imgMacphie of Glenbervie’s (Stonehaven, Kincardineshire) market research shows that, consumers are keen to try new flavours in hot cross buns, with apple and cinnamon, lemon and raisin and chocolate versions all making an appearance in the market last year, as well as mini versions for children, and hot cross bun loaves.Macphie’s Easter ingredients include Spiced Bun Concentrate, ready-to-use Crossing Paste and Macphie Sweet Glaze.last_img

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Keeping claims at bay

first_imgAccording to the Employ-ment Tribunal (ET) Service’s Annual Report 2005-06, 127,297 ET claims were received by employment tribunals in that year, whereas the number of claims presented in the previous year was 86,181.Given the statistics it is not surprising that, according to a recent survey by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, workplace conflict costs British industry £33 billion a year.The number of discrimination and equal pay claims continues to rise year-on-year. In 2005-06, 11% of all ET claims included complaints of discrimination alone. In spite of the increases, these claims are still dwarfed by the number of unfair dismissal claims that continue to be made to the employment tribunals. Unfair dismissal claims are still, all these years later, the most “popular” type of claim, accounting for 21% of all ET claims in 2005-06.The introduction of the compulsory dismissal and disciplinary procedure has caused difficulties to a number of employers, large and small, and has boosted the awards made to successful employees by up to 50%. Having got through the procedures unscathed, many employers then struggle to convince an employ-ment tribunal they acted fairly in all the circumstances.In terms of complying with the compulsory procedures it is not uncommon, for example, for an employer to get to the end of a redundancy exercise, having applied objective criteria, consul-ted meaningfully and considered alternative employment, only to find that its efforts have not protec-ted it from a claim of automatic unfair dismissal, because it forgot that a redundancy is a dismissal and did not apply the correct proce-dure. Fixed-term contracts cause similar problems.draw up a templateToo many of you are falling foul of the dismissal procedure by not making sure that well-drafted template letters contain all the required information and are used by managers.Forgetting to tell an employee of their right of appeal is a common breach of the procedure. The line between an investigatory meeting and a dismissal meeting can become blurred. Not sending an employee a ’statement of grounds for action’ letter before what turns into a dismissal meeting is often a problem.Here are some basic principles to protect your business:1. Apply the dismis-sal and disciplinary procedures whenever you are contemplating dismissing or disciplining an employee.2. Use template letters to comply with the procedures and make sure these are used by those who dismiss or discipline staff.3. Ensure that the dismissal is for a potentially fair reason.4. Get as much relevant informa-tion as is reasonably possible before you dismiss or discipline an employee.5. Give the employee a fair chance to argue against dismissal or a disciplinary penalty.6. Consider alternatives to dismis-sal or a disciplinary penalty.7. Before informing the employee of your decision, take a step back and consider whether what you are intending to do is something a reasonable employer of your size/resources might do and consistent with your normal practice.8. Keep written notes of meetings, as well as your investigations and enquiries.Ray Silverstein is partner head of the London employment team at Browne Jacobson LLPlast_img read more

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viewpoint

first_imgI am sorry to hear about the troubles afflicting Skeltons of Hull (pg 4). The family company has 43 shops and 670 employees. It is continuing to trade in administration and blames price increases and supermarket competition.Whatever the reasons, this has been a long time coming – six years in total. We can only wish Skeltons and its staff a successful outcome.We are about to find out if the Isle of Man’s Office of Fair Trading has any teeth (pg 6). It seems that virtually all the Isle’s mills and bakers are under threat from cut-price imported bread. The local agriculture minister, plant baker and miller are all uniting against the “flood of very cheap imports”. But that will not be enough. They must gather evidence, more evidence and lobby until there are no hours left in the day. They need to get national press coverage to support their cause and cash in on the ’local sourcing’ angle. They need to update local TV and news stations daily. They need to fight harder – NOW!I was really struck by a comment on the news last night by a young lady who lives in the Falkland Islands. She said: “We have no crime at all. We can leave the keys in our cars and our houses unlocked. We are one community.”You may remember such times, but while you cannot turn the clock back, you can at least start to look at the multitude of things that have gone wrong and lack of ’community’ is definitely one of them.Often, the only thing people belong to these days is ’gangs’. But we all want to belong – to families to companies, to communities. I suspect one reason the Sustainable Communities Bill meeting attracted a massive crowd of 1,000 is due to the way national government has taken over a large part of decision-making from councils (pg 16). In the rest of Europe, as I have stated before, local communities are responsible both for and to their local traders. As such, they would not dare annihilate them, stick yellow lines outside their businesses and impose excessive rates. And I am angered by the Hyder Report (pg 5) that says only 32% support local shops. I now have a tanning shop, print shop and solicitor in place of my baker, butcher and greengrocer. And NO, I don’t support them.last_img read more

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Italian coffee chain has designs on UK market

first_imgAn Italian coffee shop chain hopes to bring ’la dolce vita’ to the UK, with a plan to open its first store in London later this year.The 50-strong La bottega del Caffè is currently opening a new store every month across Italy and wants to replicate its success here, using a franchise model.Marketing and advertising director Flavia Morrone said it was confident UK consumers would welcome its stores, because all food and drink would be sourced from Italy, giving it a point of difference from Starbucks and Costa. “Competition is fierce in Italy and, as our format has worked so well there, we are certain it can succeed here too.La bottega del Caffè plans to offer filled croissants and doughnuts, pastries, paninis and sandwiches, as well as a wide variety of leaf teas, fresh coffees and slush drinks.”Our coffee recipes are original. We don’t do the typical cappuccinos or frappuccino you get here; we do 30 diffe- rent combinations.”The firm, which opened its first shop in 2000, is looking for UK franchise partners, as well as an overall manager to help with UK expansion plans.”We are not interested in setting targets,” said Morrone, “we just want to open as many stores as required and develop a long-term relationship with the store franchisees.”last_img read more

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Union to ballot staff at Maple Leaf for strike

first_imgStaff at the Maple Leaf bakery plant in Walsall are to be balloted on industrial action, following a breakdown in negotiations over pay rates.John Higgins, regional officer of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, said that balloting would begin on 22 June. He told British Baker: “Our members have been told to sign new contracts at lower rates. We have advised them to sign, but with a letter of protest. However, this has been rejected by management.” A company spokesman for Maple Leaf said: “We are in ongoing discussions with our staff and are hopeful of a settlement. So far we have received no notification from the union of their intention to ballot for a mandate to call a strike.”In a letter sent to workers at the Walsall unit, published in the Express & Star, plant manager Dave Martin said: “Our site is unprofitable and our products are uncompetitive. Altering the rates will provide both flexibility and competitiveness to our site, which, in turn, will improve our volume and revenue […]. “In the event that individuals refuse to agree to the rates, the company will need to consider terminating those individuals’ employment.”last_img read more

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In Short

first_imgCupcake Week on TVBritish Baker has secured Food Network as the official TV partner for National Cupcake Week. Established as the number one food channel in the US, it was launched in the UK in December 2009 and has become the fastest-growing food channel. Cupcake baker interviews and events surrounding our competition to find Britain’s cupcake champion will be broadcast during 13-19 September (Sky Channel 262).BSB Autumn eventThe British Society of Baking’s Autumn Conference will take place on 4-5 October at the Ardencote Manor Hotel, Warwick. Speakers include Ian Martin, bakery director at Asda; Ted Rich of Rich Products; Edward Garner of Kantar; Kevin Kingsland, occupational psychologist; CSM’s Roel Orsel; Archy Cunningham, of United Central Bakeries; and Tony Parsons. For a full programme send an email to: [email protected] Leaf ballotStaff at Maple Leaf Bakery’s site in Walsall were being balloted on a mandate for industrial action as BB went to press, following a breakdown in pay negotiations. A Maple Leaf spokesperson said the firm had met with the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union on 19 July, and that balloting of its members would begin on 27 July for a week.Food price havocBanks have come under fire for risky and secretive gambling on coffee, cocoa and wheat, which is playing havoc with prices. Anti-poverty campaigning group, the World Development Movement, said banks’ dangerous speculation were causing a massive rise in food prices; cocoa prices have reached their highest levels for 33 years rising by 150% over 18 months.last_img read more

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Reporting in The journey so far…

first_imgIan StoreyPresident, National Association of Master BakersIt’s already over three months since I became president of the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB). The one thing everybody kept telling me was how quickly my year would go and so it is proving.Following the installation at the NAMB conference in Blackpool, we had the fun night and what a great night it was. I now just have to think of a theme for next year any ideas anybody?The following weekend, I travelled up to the Scottish conference in Dunblane to the fabulous Hydro hotel, another great weekend. I had been told the Scottish conference would be one of the highlights of my year and so it proved. The people were so welcoming and there seemed to be a great bond between most of the Scottish bakers there. I would like to wish Alan Stuart the best of luck in his year of office as Scottish Bakers president.We had then had a couple of free weekends before the Alliance of Bakery Students and Trainees’ (ABST)conference at Alton Towers. It was good to see so many bakery students attending this event and it received great support from the baking industry. And with John Renshaw at the helm this year, the ABST couldn’t have a better guardian to ensure its success.The next event on the calender is the Baking Industry Awards, which my wife Rachel and I have been invited to attend as guests of British Baker. It is a night when we are really looking forward to celebrating all that is good about our industry. As you can see, being NAMB president is a really tough job, but someone has to do it!last_img read more

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Salt venture

first_imgFood manufacturer and ingredients supplier Jardox has collaborated with Cornish Sea Salt to produce two new Cornish pasty seasonings.Ulimate Cornish Sea Salt Pasty Seasoning and Classic Cornish Sea Salt Pasty Seasoning, are based on traditional seasoning recipes but use Cornish Sea Salt instead of regular table salt. As the salt is unrefined and contains more natural trace elements than regular salt, it means 30% less salt can be used in pasties, compared to normal salt, without any loss of flavour, according to the firm.”The depth of flavour delivered in the Cornish Sea Salt Pasty Seasoning is achieved through the use of ingredients such as caramelised onion, wild porcini mushroom powder, malt extract and premium grade black pepper,” said the firm.Darren Sutton, development director, Jardox, commented: “The pasty seasoning market is ready for a new offering that supports local producers, and we look forward to bringing a healthier, tastier product to Cornish pasty consumers.”last_img read more

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Wheat grower to benefit from Prince’s fund

first_imgTraditional wheat grower Heritage Harvest hopes a cash boost from Prince Charles will help spread the word about unusual varieties.The company has been awarded £25,000 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund – one of only six grants given to groups that help preserve crop biodiversity.The Oxford-based company grows hundreds of varieties of organic wheat across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, many of which have not been grown in the UK for hundreds of years.It will use the cash to set up a demonstration farm at Collings Hanger Farm, near Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, as well as an education centre.Eighty acres of trial plots will be sown with heritage wheat mixtures, and thatchers, organic farmers and traditional millers will be given the opportunity to attend on-site training sessions.Director John Letts said: “We want to get farmers to come out and see the older varieties of cereals and we have had massive interest. The traditional varieties, such as Red Lamma, Golden Drop and April Bearded, can survive very difficult growing conditions and bad weather.”He hopes to roll the concept out into other regions, where growers would be encouraged to work with millers and bakers to use these old varieties.last_img read more

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