AN employment agency has warned that a labour shortage in bakery factories is looming with new gangmasters legislation coming into effect on 1 October. From that date it will become an imprisonable offence to supply labour to the food industry unless the labour provider holds a licence from the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA). With less than three months until this deadline, only around a third of labour providers who fall under the remit of the GLA have been granted licences. That’s the warning from agency Vital Recruitment, which supplies labour to the fresh produce, engineering and construction industries. Bakery production sites will also be hit, particularly those which rely on temporary staff in the run up to Christmas, it said.The GLA was formed on 1 April, 2005, in the wake of the Morecambe Bay disaster, in which 23 Chinese cocklers died. It aims to allow everyone in the food supply chain to be able to distinguish the reputable labour providers from the illegal ones, preventing the exploitation of workers in industries such as agriculture, shellfish gathering and factory labour.Any company caught using the services of an unlicensed labour provider after this deadline could face up to 51 weeks in prison and a fine.Vital Recruitment was one of the first employment agencies in the UK to be awarded the GLA licence.
Two “professional burglars” who repeatedly targeted bakery chain Oddies’ shops in East Lancashire could be facing jail terms.Burnley Magistrates heard how Paul Ludlam, 34, of Ardwick Street, Burnley, and Keith Kavanagh, 40, of Fleet Street, Nelson, were partners in crime at five separate raids at the 15-shop chain.Ludlam admitted eight burglaries and asked for 21 to be considered. Co-defendant Kavanagh pleaded guilty to four allegations.The pair were committed to Burnley Crown Court for sentencing on 1 June, after the bench said its powers of punishment were not sufficient.Oddies’ sales manager Ian Dempsey told British Baker that the pair had managed to break into five different shops by remo-ving slates and climbing through the roofs.They were eventually caught inside a shop after neighbours heard a disturbance.Dempsey commented: “They got a bit of money from the first shop, but we don’t really keep money in the shops. The problem now lies in repairing the damage they have caused.”
New York is widely acknowledged as the epicentre of food-to-go trends. But here’s one we’re hoping won’t catch on in the UK: apple-smoked bacon, half-coated lengthwise by a layer of chocolate.This is the brainchild of Michelle Garcia, co-owner of the Bleeding Heart Bakery, which has struggled to keep up with demand since launching this artery buster for Valentine’s Day. It is shifting over 20lb of choccy rashers every week. The bakery also makes bacon scones and truffles. “My wife has an obsession with bacon,” said husband Vinny.Shockingly, Amy Carter, of the International Culinary School at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota, said bacon is now even being added to chocolate chip cookies: “We’re starting to see bacon more and more in the mainstream than we ever have. I absolutely think it has transcended all the borders of what we think is normal.”
Rombouts Coffee’s Pure Origins coffee range is now available for coffee shops and cafés. The range, which was exclusively available to retail consumers through Selfridges stores, is available in two formats – ground coffee in black caddies for cafetières, and coffee pods for the Rombouts’ 1,2,3 Spresso system.Coffee varieties include Pur Colombie, Pur Kenya, La Grande Reserve, Moka D’Ethiopia and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. The 7g pods are individually vacuum-sealed and packed in cases of 6×12 or 16×12.The caddies are available in cases of 4x250g.Price: Pods – cases of 6×12 – £18.48 or 16×12 – £49.28[http://www.rombouts.co.uk]
== Greggs’ sales rise ==Greggs’ like-for-like group sales rose 5.3% over the Christmas period, according to its latest trading update. Sales growth for the four weeks to 3 January 2009 were higher than in previous months. In the 28 weeks to 27 December 2008, the bakery chain’s like-for-like sales increased 3.9%, with a total sales increase of 6.6%.== Cargill’s Oz move ==Cargill is opening two new texturising sales and customer service offices in Australia to serve its Australian and New Zealand markets. From January, it will be able to offer its range of texturising solutions direct to customers located there, rather than through distributors.== Tea-time at Starbucks ==Starbucks is to focus more on its tea offerings with Tazo Full-Leaf Tea Lattes and Tea Infusions to be launched in the US and Canada this month. However a Starbucks spokesperson said that, at present, the coffee chain has no plans for these items to become available in the UK.== Fine for Foodcorp ==South African company Foodcorp, has agreed to pay R45.4m (£3m) after it admitted Sunbake Bakeries (operated by Foodcorp) fixed the price of bread it sold to consumers. The Pretoria-based Competition Commission said that the fine represented 6.7% of Foodcorp’s sales from its bakery operations in fiscal 2006.== Ocean Spray target ==Ocean Spray aims to grow its functional fruit ingredients in Europe by widening the remit of its European agent Boesch Boden Spies. Fruit and nut ingredient agency Boesch will represent Ocean Spray’s ingredients portfolio in Spain, Portugal, France, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Eastern European territories.
Leicester-based Samworth Brothers has won a £4m order to make loaf cakes and cupcakes for Marks & Spencer.The order is a manufacturing breakthrough for Samworth, as it is the first time it will produce products stored at room temperature, instead of refri- gerated goods. Four flavours of loaf cakes will be supplied by May, when M&S will also start stocking 11 different flavours of cupcakes.Brian Stein, chief executive of Samworth – a company best known for its pork pies and sausages – said that eating habits had changed dramatically in the past six months. “People have gone back to comfort foods, but are trading down,” he said.The loaf and cupcakes will be made at Samworth’s new factory at Leicester Forest East and the order represents the second major deal with M&S in the past 12 months. Last year, it won a contract to supply all cheesecakes, known as Blueberry Foods, sold by the chain – the order that led to its new 30,000sq ft £15m Leicester factory being built and opened in August 2008.The company – which employs 4,000 people at seven Leicester-shire factories and is the county’s largest employer – has been hit by falls in demand for other products, but is confident that sales will be up this year.A spokesman for the Food and Drink Forum, which represents food firms across the East Midlands, said: “This is an excellent example of the need to continually adapt to develop.”
Sports and energy drink brand Lucozade has repackaged its latest offering, Lucozade Alert, into cans to bring it more in line with consumers’ perceptions of mental stimulation drinks.The move to a 250ml slim can is designed to show how it differs from the rest of the Lucozade range. Lucozade Alert is the first dedicated mental stimulation drink from the makers of Lucozade and is designed to provide mental as opposed to physical stimulation. It contains caffeine to sharpen mental performance and stimulate the mind. The Lucozade Alert 250ml cans are available in cases of 12.The company is also offering a promotion on its Lucozade Energy brand, which will give consumers the chance to win £1,000 every day for three months. The on-pack promotion will be supported by an £8m media campaign. www.gsk.com
The Worshipful Company of Bakers has announced the winners of its awards, who will all get the chance to attend a course at the Richemont School in Lucerne, Switzerland.The Joseph Travelling award was won by Teresa Grant of BakeMark; the Piero Scacco award was given to John Breach of Reeves the Baker and Gabrielle Baxter from Tameside college; and the ABIM accolade went to Trevor Spinks of Dunns Bakery, Crouch End.Accolades were also given to the following students: Harry Clegg – Tameside College; Susina Maiden – University College Birmingham; and Holly Blackman, Nathan Giles and Mark O’Neill – The National Bakery School, London Southbank University.Blackman was crowned the top student at The National Bakery School 2009 and will be presented with the Freedom of The Worshipful Company of Bakers at the October court meeting.* There are also places available on a two-day bread and confectionery course at The Richemont School in October 2009. For further details please contact [email protected] or [email protected], or call Christopher Freeman on 07776 480 032.
Irish bakers could suffer as a result of a move by Revenue to significantly hike up the price of bagels, croissants and garlic bread.It has decided that these type of bakery products could increase in price by as much as 13.5%, because they were not sufficiently bread-like to be exempt from VAT.Michael Noonan, Ireland’s Finance Minister, met with representatives of the Irish baking industry to discuss the move and explained that nothing would change for at least a week until further consultations.Bakers, suppliers and retailers are thought to be angered by the decision as they felt they had not been properly informed about the new VAT rules, as well as the products that fall into this category, which could heavily affect their businesses. One supplier told The Irish Times that they had received no formal notification from Revenue and had only come across the information on its website by accident.
Ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer, Starbucks UK is investing £8m to renovate its stores within the capital.The international coffee chain is redesigning a selection of London stores within just a few months, including six more high-profile renovations and 70 refurbishments. The company has said it will offer customers a store more unique to each individual neighbourhood.Thom Breslin, director of Design Starbucks UK and Ireland, said: “More and more customers are looking for added value – and a great cup of coffee, delivered with a smile and enjoyed in a welcoming environment that embraces its local surroundings, offers just that.”The Vigo Street outlet, close to Savile Row, has been selected to undergo a high-profile redesign, including the restoration of a hand-carved mahogany and mother-of-pearl ceiling, originating from a Damascus coffee house or bath house from around 1903. Other features include a new soft-seating area, a large community table and a fish tank-style food case.In addition, Starbucks’ Brushfield Street store near Spitalfields will extend from two to three floors within its Georgian-listed building location. Its ground floor will become the serving area, while its first floor will include community tables suited for groups and laptop users, and the second floor will be designed for business customers and smaller groups intending to stay longer.