Since its appointment as exclusive UK importer for Zucchelli Forni of Verona, IMA Food Equipment (St Albans, Hertfordshire) has installed a number of their rack and deck ovens in bakeries in the UK.The rack ovens can be supplied with a choice of turntable or top suspending rack. Good insulation means that they have a quick recovery time and turnaround and are economical to run, says the firm.
Forum Products (Redhill, Surrey) suggests using its Fruisana fruit sugar to make celebration cakes to cash in on the low-Glycaemic Index trend.Fruisana (made from fructose) is low-GI and is found naturally in most fruits and honey and is as stable as ordinary sugar. It is sweeter than normal cane sugar (sucrose) and so up to a third less can be used to achieve the same level of sweetness, says the company. The brand is also suitable for type II diabetics.By using Fruisana instead of conventional sugar, the flavours of the products are also enhanced, Forum says. Top chefs are using Fruisana in their desserts, according to the company. It “lifts” flavours – in particular fruits, chocolate, spices and patisserie. Fruisana Fruit Sugar is available in 25 kilogram sacks nationwide through Forum. It is also sold in 6 X 250g retail packs.
Ulma Packaging offers a range of flowrapping packaging equipment. For small to medium-sized bakery operations the recently updated Florida E flowrapper is suitable for a wide range of bakery applications. Dependent on product, it can operate at up to 150 packs per minute.Another Ulma machine, the Atlanta, has been used in bakeries with medium to high-volume production levels. This machine can easily incorporate a wide range of automatic and semi-automatic feeders and its three independent motors are synchronised by means of an electronic control.
The European Independent Purchasing Company (EIPC), owned by franchisees of sandwich chain Subway, says it is now one of the biggest independent purchasers of food and paper in Europe.The EIPC, which manages purchasing on behalf of some 2,000 Subway shops across the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain and Benelux, sources and supplies food, paper, equipment and utilities, and manages the supply chain for stores. Its total purchases for Subway franchisees across Europe is set to exceed £170m in 2007.Bryan Griffiths, MD of EIPC, said: “In the UK and Ireland, Subway opened its 1,000th store earlier this year and has reached the 500-store milestone in Germany.”
Kingsmill has become the first UK bread brand to include the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction label on-pack.It will be used on Kingsmill’s Great Everyday White, Tasty Wholemeal and 50/50 sub-brands from the end of June.A recent study by the Carbon Trust, looking at the manufac- turers’ best-selling sub-brands, revealed that Great Everyday White and Tasty Wholemeal have a carbon footprint of 1.3kg CO2e per loaf, and Kingsmill 50/50 has a footprint of 1.2kg CO2e.The study was conducted in accordance with PAS 2050 & Footprint Expert, with the three brands representing 80% of Kingsmill’s volume sales.The study identified several areas affecting carbon emissions for the three brands, from growing wheat to baking, packing and distribution. Kingsmill will be looking to reduce the emissions of these going forward.”We’re extremely committed to understanding the principles of carbon footprinting and identify areas we can improve upon to reduce the environmental impact of our bakery products,” said Kingsmill CEO Mark Fairweather. “Since the Kingsmill brand’s relaunch in 2007, we’ve been working to decentralise the bakery network, which has allowed us to increase our regional commercial focus and has resulted in a reduction in carbon emissions of 8,000 tonnes.”However, we are determined to do more and that is why we’ve been working closely with the Carbon Trust since November ’08 to quantify, reduce and communicate the carbon footprint for each of our three best-selling sub-brands,” he added.
Leicestershire-based Geary’s Bakeries is to relocate to a new site and double production of its loaves, following a £1m investment.Joint managing director Tony Marriott told British Baker that Geary’s hopes to be up and running at its new bakery, in Barrow upon Soar, by the end of March 2010. “The company is relocating from its original site – in Ratby – where it has been for 104 years,” he said.The move is due to the increasing logistical difficulties of, for example, getting supplies, such as flour silo deliveries to the bakery, which is currently located in the centre of a village. “It’s also now a very old building,” said Marriott.The move will enable the bakery to ramp up its production. “We currently produce around 700-800,000 speciality rolls a week and about 50,000 loaves a week – and we are expecting to be able to produce 100,000 loaves a week,” he said.The firm has been working on getting the new site ready since June last year, including extensions to the building. The new bakery, based in Hayhill Industrial Estate, is only 10 miles from the old site, but was not previously a bakery, so there has been a lot of work involved, explained Marriott. “Travelling ovens are being put in at the moment, and the provers are already in,” he added.Geary’s had been looking for a suitable site for about three years. Marriott said it had been important to find one close to the original bakery, so that the existing staff could easily move with the firm.The bakery employs around 70 staff at present, but Marriott said there are hopes to employ around 110 staff when the new site is fully up and running.Geary’s predominantly produces bread and rolls for major retailers and sandwich producers, including Samworth Brothers and Uniq.
Scottish bakery Mathiesons has been sold to newly-formed company Mathiesons Foods Limited, saving around 340 jobs.The sale of the business and its assets was announced by joint administrators John Reid and Brian Milne, of Deloitte LLP, just two months after the Larbert-based firm was placed in administration.The new company has been formed by David Kilshaw, Mark Bradford and Paul Allan. It will see Mathiesons merge with two other bakery businesses: James Allan Bakers, owned by Bradford and Murdoch Allan Bakers, run by Allan. Kilshaw is a former chief executive of Food Partners – one of the UK’s largest sandwich businesses.The three businesses will have a combined total of 51 outlets and will employ over 560 people. The directors are currently finalising a detailed strategic review to identify how best to merge the interests of all three businesses.“The acquisition of Mathiesons means we have the opportunity to create a significant business, with the potential to grow and become one of Scotland’s largest independent bakery companies,” said Bradford, retail director of Mathiesons Foods.“We believe strongly that the merged business is capable of delivering the economies of scale required to compete effectively in today’s marketplace.”Manufacturing director Allan commented: “For me, it is exciting that each of the three companies brings different, specialist product knowledge and capabilities to the table, so that in future we can offer the best of both worlds, a local presence with the support and back-up of a major national player.”The deal is supported by Lloyds Banking Group.In March, BB reported that Mathiesons Bakeries, which was established in 1872, had struggled during the recession, despite selling off a controlling stake to private equity firm Symphony Investment Fund last summer.It had 22 shops and six cafés around central Scotland and Edinburgh. It also supplied major wholesalers and national retailers.
An aphrodisiac pie may sound like a contradiction in terms, but that’s what Accrington-based Holland’s Pies has devised for Valentine’s Day. The so-called Aphro-piety, created by chef Tom Bridge along with Holland’s, contains chicken thigh, perry cider, asparagus in a lemon-infused cream sauce, topped with smoked oysters and decorated with a gold heart lid and a sprinkling of saffron. It will be available in chippies in the north west. “Oysters have chemical compounds that release hormones such as testosterone and oestrogen,” said Holland’s. “The saffron affects the neurotransmitters in the brain’s pleasure centres, to get eaters in the mood for love.”Couple Lynda Fielding and Brian Belcher, who run Belfields fish and chip shop in Burnley, have been trialling the pies. Lynda said: “We’ve had our fish and chip shop for 22 years and, at the end of the day, we’re often too tired to think of anything other than going to sleep. But this has changed a little while we’ve been testing the pie if you know what I mean!” (Nope, you got us there!)
Almost three-quarters (73%) of small businesses have been paid late in the last 12 months, according to new research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).The survey showed that 43% of FSB members are currently waiting for payments of up to £4,999 and, in the past year, 56% have written-off invoices worth up to £9,999 because of non-payment.Because small firms do not have the same cash-flow buffers as larger businesses, being paid late causes a vicious circle, said the FSB, with 38% of respondents who are paid late then paying their suppliers late.The government’s commitment to pay all invoices to small firms within 10 days has improved payment times, it added, but the survey showed that 18% of respondents were still being paid late by the public sector. Over 50% of small business owners said they spend between one and six hours per week chasing late payments.John Walker, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “In the current economic climate, every penny counts and, for small businesses, a late invoice can mean not being able to pay their staff. We need to see all businesses ensuring they make payments on time if the private sector is to get on with the job in hand of strengthening the recovery.”
Free-from has hit the big time, according to speakers at a recent Food and Drink Innovation Network (FDIN) seminar, held last week.Speaking at the ‘FreeFrom Allergy and Intolerance’ event, held at the Staverton Park Conference Centre on 22 September, David Jago from market research firm Mintel said UK retail sales of free-from food were set to hit £519m by 2016, and were still growing at nearly 10% year-on-year.He added that, despite appearances, the dairy-free market has actually been growing faster than the gluten-free market.The seminar, chaired by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, whose Foodsmatter websites are a major resource for food allergy/intolerance and free-from food, were the third on this subject to be organised by the FDIN.Berriedale-Johnson said the underlying health problems and concerns which gave birth to the free-from sector in the 1990s had not lessened and, if anything, had become more acute. She said if the sector continued on its current trajectory, there was no reason why it should not become totally mainstream. Berriedale-Johnson added that she felt there were huge opportunities for free-from manufacturers to supply the foodservice sector.Other speakers included: Jeremy Woods, MD of Mrs Crimble’s; Lesley Cutts, a founder of the UK’s largest free-from online store Goodness Direct; and Julia Horlov of research and marketing insight consultancy McCallum Layton, who presented qualitative research on consumers’ attitudes to free-from.Horlov said that awareness of free-from was now very high among the average high street shopper, and that the quality and availability of these types of foods had greatly improved over the past few years. However, she added that it was still hard and time-consuming to buy free-from if you had a serious allergy.