Warburtons is to launch its first ever national TV advertising campaign as part of a £20m marketing investment in 2007.The ad campaign will build the brand in areas where it is already established, as well as attracting more consumers in areas that are new to Warburtons, it said.The new advertising will focus on the fact that Warburtons’ is a family-run business and sees the return of the strap line ’Bakers Born & Bred’. The advert will launch on 1 January and will run throughout the year.The campaign will be screened on terrestrial and satellite TV and in the cinema and will be supported with press advertising.Sarah Miskell, category marketing controller, said: “The brand will receive a £20m investment in 2007 which, along with national distribution, will have a big impact on the category. We are delighted with the campaign as it will increase awareness helping us to build on our success.”
Our company, based in Fife on the east coast of Scotland, will this year celebrate 150 years of trading, with a Stuart still at the helm.Founded by my great-great grandfather James Stuart, we began trading in 1857 and today have 16 bakery shops and three butcher’s shops, all located within a tight radius of 15 miles. We barely touch wholesale and turn over around £3m.So how come we’ve survived so long? A major obstacle we’ve overcome has been in passing on the legacy to successive generations. I once visited a famous family firm and was introduced to young Mr So and So, well into his 60s. His 83-year-old father still came in every day and was completely unable, or unwilling, to hand over the reins. It’s the Prince Charles syndrome: pushing 60 and forlornly waiting for Mummy to shuffle off this mortal coil.The second generation son is heavily influenced by the driven father and, in all probability, works even harder than him. He may feel trapped, especially if the business is all he’s ever known. The ability of the senior generation to heap on feelings of guilt often tears the relationship apart and this can pass down the generational ladder.With Stuarts well into our sixth generation, we’ve managed to create a sound culture and understanding among all family members of how the business works. We’ve always referred to “the golden goose”; if you don’t nurture the goose, she soon stops laying eggs. Staying small means we can react quickly to changing situations. When new laws or diktats emerge, I either choose to ignore them or I act on them immediately.As to modern management methods? Phooey! My fondest business memory was of my father attending a high-powered three-day seminar, surrounded by whizz kids from the major retailers. Peter Drucker, an economics guru in the ’70s, gave out a stream of tactics that shafted the small boys, with no concern for business ethics.My father let rip, calling him a crook, a cheat and a charlatan. Mr Drucker asked if my father had been in business long. “120 years,” he replied. “Well,” said Drucker, “what a pleasure this is. I have never met a dinosaur before. I predict a similar fate for your business.” Yah boo sucks, the dinosaurs are still going strong.Staying small hasn’t meant standing still. From a couple of shops and a new bakery at the turn of last century, we now operate from a 22,000sq ft site, designed to enable our sixth, seventh and eighth generations to celebrate 200 years and more.But won’t the leviathans of the supermarket world or Greggs, with its projected £1bn mega-baker empire, eventually grind us into the dust? I believe not. Just think about the birds in your garden.At the top of the chain, we have the big birds – the crows and the seagulls – who muscle their way round, scaring the smaller birds and picking up the biggest chunks of food.Next we have the pigeons and starlings – scared of the crows and gulls and making do with their leftovers. Then we come to the smaller birds, such as finches, sparrows and wrens, nipping around the garden to pick up crumbs that the clumsy big birds have left behind. But it’s the smaller birds’ songs that give me the most delight.So do I think they’ll survive? There’s not a doubt in my mind.
A fatal accident enquiry into the death of a bakery forklift driver started last week. Glasgow’s Sheriff’s Court will investigate the causes behind the death of agency driver Graham Meldrum in 2005. He was killed by a truck’s tail-lift as he unloaded bread at the Allied Bakeries factory in Balmore industrial estate, Lambhill.Last November, Allied was fined £19,500, after admitting three health and safety breaches. TNT Logistics, which supplied the vehicle, was fined £14,000 after admitting a single breach. Meldrum’s family and colleagues then campaigned for a full enquiry, which was granted last year. Family and friends held a vigil outside the courthouse as the enquiry got under way.
Continued poor weather is prompting fears of a shortage of bread-making wheat, a decline in quality because of falling protein levels and rising bread prices, as only half the harvest has been completed in some areas.Gary Sharkey, head of wheat procurement at Rank Hovis, told British Baker that between 55% and 60% had been harvested by Tuesday (2 September), when normally it would have been completed in all areas by now, except the Borders and Scotland. “Most worrying are the south and south west, where 40-50% remains in the field. These crops were ripe three weeks ago and are starting to spoil. We are seeing the quality deteriorate and the premium on best bread-making wheat jump from £35 to £55 per tonne almost overnight,” he added.Wheat cut earlier in the harvest was being sent into “deficit quality areas”, incurring additional and rising fuel costs. Some wheat, which was not fit to be used for breadmaking, would end up as animal feed, forcing millers to make up shortages by importing “more expensive” supplies from abroad, said Sharkey, who chairs the National Association of British and Irish Millers’ (nabim) wheat committee.Warning that this year’s harvest “may be as bad as 2004”, he said the 1% fall in protein levels would mean “higher usage of gluten”. He added that flour mills can only take wheat at a moisture level of 15%, but farmers are having to combine when it is around 20%, incurring further drying costs.Mike Mendelsohn, senior economist at the Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), said the possible shortage of wheat for milling was “a worry although not yet confirmed”.Growers who had already agreed forward sales may not be able to meet the orders and millers may have to consider higher imports, he added.—-=== In Short ===== HGCA conference ==The HGCA’s 12th annual Grain Outlook Conference is taking place on Thursday, 16 October at The Congress Centre, London. Titled ’Preparing for Uncertainty’, the event will give a clear picture of the market outlook for 2008/2009, including opportunities and threats in the global market and the management of price risk. For more information visit [http://www.hgca.com].== Monster Munch back ==Walkers is to bring back retro-snack Monster Munch. Originally launched in 1977, the snack will be relaunched as a bigger, crunchier version of the former corn snack. A larger pack size will be available and will feature a retro design. It will be available in Roast Beef, Picked Onion and Flamin’ Hot flavours in 40g packs.== Greenhalgh’s comes to the rescue ==Customers of craft baker Greenhalgh’s have been helping to raise money for The Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team, by buying hundreds of fruit flapjacks. For every flapjack sold to its Chorley customers, 5p will be given as a donation in support of the bakery’s Local Hero Campaign. Around £700 has been raised so far.== NCC slams fatty foods promotions ==The National Consumer Council has accused major supermarkets of dramatically increasing the number of in-store promotions featuring cheap sugary and fatty foods. Its report, ’Cut-price, What Cost?’, claimed Morrisons was the worst “offender” with 63% of its promotions featuring sugary or fatty foods.A spokeswoman for Morrisons rejected the report, said it was out of date and contained “a number of inaccuracies”.
Consumers continue to see health and wellness as an important issue, according to new research by Tate & Lyle. The findings also revealed that consumers will pay more for foods that display health benefits on their labels. The research, conducted in July this year, forms part of Tate & Lyle’s ongoing research into European consumers’ attitudes towards labelling, ingredients and shopping habits.A total of 1,565 consumers were surveyed across five countries: Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Italy. An increasing awareness of and sophistication in attitudes to diet and perceptions of food labelling were evident from the research. Fifty-three per cent of consumers often check nutritional information on-pack and 57% check the ingredients list.Looking at what’s important to consumers at least half of the respondents see less fat and sugar as important issues. Interestingly, around 80% said they would be prepared to pay more for products that boasted specific claims such as ’improving cardiovascular health’ and ’helps to control cholesterol’. A fifth of the people asked also said they would be prepared to compromise on taste if the product was healthy. In addition, the survey found that consumers specifically young people feel their diet is lacking in fibre.
Cupcake Camp London31 October 2010, 2pm – 5pmProud Galleries, CamdenEmail: [email protected] inaugural event for London, Cupcake Camp 2010 is described as a gathering of cupcake lovers to raise money for a good cause in this case the North London Hospice.Bakers can get involved in different ways baking a minimum of 12 cupcakes and donating them to Cupcake Camp, helping out as a volunteer at the event itself, becoming an event sponsor or simply turning up to eat cupcakes and donate money to the charity.Registration to take part by baking cupcakes closes on 29 October 2010.Cupcakes will need to be delivered on the morning of the event to the venue in Camden.The event itself will include live bands, a frosting bar and competitions.
Lancing, West SussexHow did you get into the baking industry?I was expelled from school and don’t have any qualifications; I had three children and did voluntary work and had part-time jobs as a cleaner and worked in a nursery while I looked after them. People loved my chocolate brownies so much, that they said I should sell them, so I took the plunge and gave them out at the school gate. When I got lots of positive feedback, I took samples to a local tea shop. They placed an order and we became a business overnight!How has the business grown?I bought a bigger oven and was baking from 5am until 12 midnight as we grew capacity. Then my husband, Paul, was made redundant, which gave us the kick we needed to concentrate on the company. We wanted to expand and, luckily, our key worker from Sussex Enterprise put us in touch with a local baker who was struggling, and he kindly let us rent his bakery by the day and use the equipment. After he sadly went bankrupt, we took over the lease of the unit. Now we have 40-50 customers, mainly in Sussex and London, including Waitrose in Sussex and Budgens in London.What does your job involve?We start baking at 6am and, after we’ve finished making the brownies, I also do the packing, paperwork, and try and find ingredients at a better price. I also get involved in designing packaging, while Paul is good at selling, and we have a part-time worker who helps clean up.What motivates you?We give 10% of our profits to two charities for neglected and abused children, and being able to do that was actually the reason I decided to try and make money from the business.We don’t make a big thing of it, but there is a line on our packaging, informing customers. Winning the Sussex Food Producer of the Year award twice in three years has also been great recognition.What does the future hold?We’d like to take on someone to do a lot of the baking, so I could do a bit more of the creative stuff.We’re speaking to Virgin Atlantic and are hopeful that something will happen with them next year, while our website is being developed so we can do some e-commerce. It means we would be able to give more money to charity.
Soaring inflation, massive bankers’ bonuses, Tory government… 2011 is turning out to be so gloriously ’80s-retro that an egg scare was, perhaps, an inevitability. What is more surprising is that it could even happen in 2011, given that manufacturing bakers have more traceability systems in place than you could shake a quiche at.Despite the infinitesimal levels of dioxin believed to have made it into two bakeries’ supermarket products, following a recent contamination in one German egg supplier, one of those affected Finsbury Foods is having to battle its insurers to recover the costs of pulling products from shelves.It serves as a timely reminder to revisit your food safety procedures. “The message of the dioxin scare is that knowing the origin of eggs is really important, making sure that testing is taking place at an appropriate place in the supply chain, and making sure liquid egg is coming in certificated, and their animal feed suppliers are accredited,” said Liz Paterson, marketing director of Eurofins, which specialises in dioxin testing of foods.Battery cage lawsThe dioxin scare timely reminder though it may be is perhaps the least of the bad eggy whiffs the baking industry will have to worry about in 2011. Battery cages for laying hens are set to be outlawed across the EU from January next year. While the UK is up to speed, it is estimated that 30% of eggs produced in Europe will fail to meet new welfare standards. Nearly a third of the 3bn eggs consumed in the UK each year are imported, with 80% of these being egg products used in manufacturing, and this has sparked fears of a spike in prices and concerns over availability.In the UK, battery cages are being replaced with larger, enriched ’colony cages’ that have around 50% more room per bird, along with a nest, more height, perching space and a scratching area, with room to move about the colony. The UK has made huge strides in converting from battery to enriched, from 9% of the 32 million laying hens in 2009 to 43% by the end of this year (as an aside, free range is set to hit 50% of all eggs by the end of the year, driven purely by market demand).”We will be ready,” stated Mark Williams, chief executive of the British Egg Industry Council. “We believe our intelligence to be accurate, based on talks with member states and government: out of an EU laying flock of 354 million laying hens, 62% were still be sitting in a conventional cage by the end of 2009. Not a lot has happened in Europe since. We believe 29% of all the laying hens in Europe will be illegal on 1 January 2012, which is a staggering figure.”That equates to 83 million eggs a day. So what happens if the member states enforce this ban on battery cages, as they should? Firstly, there would be an egg shortage and, due to strict rules on salmonella, few countries are authorised to export eggs to the UK to meet the shortfall; prices could increase sharply.If the member states don’t enforce the legislation and history shows this has been the case in certain states there will be hens sitting in battery cages producing eggs. “Those eggs will enter the market and cause total market disruption that will affect producers, the viability of their business and the pricing in all sectors including free-range and organic,” warned Williams.”Our current coalition government is in total support of an intra-EU trade ban to be put in place for the beginning of next year if member states are not enforcing this ban on conventional cages properly. If eggs are still being produced out of illegal cages, we do not want to see them crossing the English Channel.”The reality is that the EU is likely to extend the time it gives for member states to comply, as happened with the ban on stalls and tethers in pig farming, which the UK complied with, but on which some states lagged behind, said National Farmers Union president Peter Kendall. “Consumers across the whole of Europe expressed the desire to have a higher welfare level for laying hens,” he said. “The EU legislated for that and, fair enough, we have to live with it. British farmers have stepped up to the plate and probably 99% have done this. In Europe, that is just not the case. We’ve seen this happen to agricultural markets in the past; the key protagonists failing to move forward are Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain. Poland is non-compliant too. We know that, in this economic climate, every penny counts, but we need manufacturers to get behind the UK’s egg producers, who have invested in high welfare standards.”Kensey Foods, one of the two bakeries affected by the dioxin scare, said that during peak periods of production, it was not always possible to source from the UK, despite best intentions. Egg producers say more demand would stimulate increased production. But few bakeries are aware of the legislative change.Missed messageIn a qualitative survey of 24 egg buyers in manufacturing and foodservice, 46% had no idea about the new law (British Lion Eggs, November 2010). “Clearly the message has not got through,” said Ian Jones, vice-chairman of British Lion Egg Processors. “When it comes to egg products, they are seen as a hidden ingredient and are forgotten about. When you talk about cake, you don’t instantly think about egg products. Only a minority of egg products sold in this country are specified to be British Lion Eggs.” While 95% of eggs sold in retail are now British Lion Eggs-certified, which has rigorous standards over and above the EU, the dioxin scare could finally prod reluctant manufacturers the same way.
Barnsley-based Fosters Bakery has teamed up with regional food group Deliciouslyorkshire to launch a new online staff training campaign.Byte online – a training service for catering, hospitality, manufacturing and food retailers – has helped the company reduce costs while increasing the number of staff being put through specific training courses. The online system, which is one of the first to offer accredited ‘Pay As You Go’ Chartered Institute of Environmental Health courses, allows employers to tailor training programmes to their specific work environment.Tom Allot, trainer at Fosters Bakery, said: “We now have 360 users online, which is amazing as we would never usually be able to train such a vast volume of our staff at the same time. We’ve customised the programme as we needed, and currently have courses running on food hygiene, manual handling, health and safety and even gluten-free.”Employees can do the course at home using their own computer. Added Allot: “We are planning on extending our courses very soon and are even looking to set up the training programme in different languages.”>>Fosters issues challenge to would-be apprentices
“Someone on the Barclays equity floor is stealing the tops off muffins in the trader café. Someone noticed the muffins this morning and mentioned it to the woman working the register. She is apparently frustrated by it as well, because she doesn’t know how she doesn’t see it happening since they are right in her line of sight”a mole at Barclays lifts the lid on more underhand goings-on in the banking sector, as posted by a supergrass on trading blog Dealbreaker”If somebody wants to open a small bakery to make cheap bread, he goes to the National Democratic Party, pays a bribe and gets a bakery licence. Then he gets a quota of government-subsidised flour and sells it. It’s easy if you have the connections”- Emad Barsoum, a former member of Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party, reveals how simple it is to open a bakery in Egypt