Allied Bakeries feels pinch in latest results

first_imgAssociated British Foods said performance of its Allied Bakeries division was unsatisfactory as it posted its interim results this week.While the group’s sales rose by 10% to £2,887 million, adjusted pre-tax profits fell by 2% to £225m in the 24 weeks to March 4, 2006 compared to the same period in 2005. Kingsmill and own-label revenues both declined and profits had fallen, it said. A recovery in profitability is not likely until the second half, despite steps to recover lost volumes and reduce costs.In its ingredients division, AB Mauri performed well, contributing strongly to an increase in revenue of 35% to £343m, and profits growth of 32% to £33m for the period. In its British Sugar division, transition to the new EU sugar regime will continue to impact on profits through to 2007, it said. However it was confident British Sugar would be satisfactorily profitable when the transition was complete. “As expected, British Sugar has experienced price pressures, but it is well- positioned for the medium term and we remain confident about its prospects,” said ABF chief executive George Watson.ABF said costs would “continue to be adversely affected” by conditions in the UK sugar business, its bakery operations and energy costs.last_img read more

Controversial code

first_imgT he Competition Commission’s (CC’s) two-year-long investigation into the grocery market inched towards a final conclusion last week, with the publication of its long-awaited final remedies statement. On the surface, bakery suppliers should be happier with the recommendations than high street bakers, who face the daunting prospect of even more supermarkets springing up around them.The document outlined some of the changes that are now up for consultation and are likely to be recommended in the CC’s final report, due in May. Chief among these was the idea of an ombudsman who would supervise the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers, and would have powers to fine retailers for practices such as aggressive price cutting and ’pay to stay’ fees for keeping products on shelves.In addition, the current planning ’needs test’, which limits the number of supermarkets built in a particular area based on population numbers, would be scrapped, as would planning guidance designed to limit the building of edge- and out-of-town supermarkets. Instead, a ’competition test’ could be brought in, based on how many outlets a retailer already has in a particular area. This would potentially stop the domination of areas by one retailer, but would give the green light to rivals to build more supermarkets.In theory, a grocery ombudsman could offer some form of redress to those bakery suppliers that feel they are being unfairly treated by the supermarkets. The new code would prohibit retrospective changes to agreed terms of supply and also “require retailers to make further improvements to their dealings with suppliers through the appointment of an in-house code compliance officer, keeping better records of contracts with suppliers and automatic notification to suppliers of contractual terms and their right to complain and seek arbitration of disputes,” states the report.But Dave Brooks, CEO of cake company Finsbury Food, has little faith in the proposal. “It’s a complete irrelevance and waste of time,” he said. “First of all, who is going to pay for an ombudsman? If funds are raised from the retailers, they are likely to pass the costs on to us anyway and then there’s the question of how independent the ombudsman would actually be.”Brooks, who has participated in several consultation meetings with the CC in recent months, also believed the proposal would not improve on the current Supermarkets Code of Practice. “If a supplier is too afraid to use the code or speak directly with its customers, I don’t see what difference an ombudsman would make. There is no way a supplier will be able to keep its anonymity if it makes a complaint,” he said. “Suppliers need to take responsibility for themselves.”== unfair power ==However, another bakery manufacturer told British Baker that he felt retailer power was out of hand. “Some of the demands they make over things such as payment terms and back payments are simply not fair. They regularly refuse to accept price increases despite rocketing ingredients costs,” he said. “An ombudsman is a good idea, but he has to be able to take decisions quickly. If he takes six to eight months, the problem will have gone away or the company will have gone bust.”An even better way of monitoring the relationship between suppliers and retailers would be to audit a random selection of companies each year, he adds. “Just like with PAYE or VAT, an audit team could go through a sup- pliers’ correspondence and contact reports to see whether a business is being put over a barrel. In that way, the manufacturer couldn’t be accused of being a whistleblower by the retailer.”Andrew Simms, policy director at the New Economic Foundation, an economic think-tank that has long criticised the power of the supermarkets, is equally sceptical about appointing an ombudsman. “Changing the monitoring of the Supermarkets Code of Practice by introducing an independent ombudsman is a good idea, but only if he has the tools to do the job. Coupled with the Commission’s other proposals, expecting an ombudsman to control the market- distorting power of the supermarkets is like sending someone to build sea defences with a feather duster. It would be messy, ineffective and potentially dangerous.”Meanwhile, Tesco executive director for corporate and legal affairs, Lucy Neville-Rolfe said that introducing a new ombudsman could be bureaucratic and an unnecessary cog in a supply chain. “More red tape is likely to stifle innovation and investment and reduce the ability of retailers and suppliers to work together flexibly to deliver the best deals for customers,” she said.== bleak outlook ==The CC’s report will do nothing to alleviate the bleak view of the British high street painted by Verdict Research’s retail analyst Nick Gladding, who said that, in 2007, high street bakers such as Greggs and independent chains, accoun-ted for just 1.3% of the estimated £118bn grocery market, with supermarkets generally estimated to account for over 75% of sales.For the baker on the high street, the news that supermarkets may be allowed to build even more sites is worrying. As Peter Williams, director of Hatfield, Herts-based high street chain Simmons says: “We offer something the supermarkets don’t – fresh food and coffee, made to order. But we certainly don’t want to see new supermarkets being encouraged. Shops like Tesco Extra have had an impact and many of the supermarkets now have cafés, which is a concern.”However, one ray of hope for high street bakers is that the CC recommendations on planning are not guaranteed to be implemented by government. “The CC is looking at this from a free market position, but the government is aware there are concerns about the future of the high street. For that reason, the government may reject the planning proposals,” added Gladding.At the British Shops and Stores Association, director Bob Jarrett called for issues such as small business rate relief to be addressed to really help high street retailers, but these were outside the CC remit.While the supermarkets – bar Tesco on the planning issue – broadly welcomed the bulk of the proposals, Simon Briault at the Federation of Small Businesses hopes the government chooses to ignore the CC proposals on planning. “The idea that improving competition means building more supermarkets is fundamentally wrong. The CC needs to look at the whole market, not just competition between supermarkets. For independent retailers such as bakers, the market is fundamentally unfair. Supermarkets can force down prices with their suppliers, who then look to regain their losses with smaller customers – it’s the waterbed effect.” n—-=== The CC’s key recommendations ===? A ’competition test’ in planning decisions on large grocery stores and measures to prevent exclusivity arrangements and restrictive covenants being used by retailers to restrict entry by competitors; new stores of 1,000 sq m or more must not command more than 60% local market coverage? The creation of a new strengthened and extended Groceries Supply Code of Practice, extended to include all grocery retailers with a UK turnover greater than £1 billion (covering Waitrose and M&S, previously exempt)? A recommendation to establish an independent ombudsman to oversee and enforce the Codelast_img read more

Food in the News

first_imgThe Guardian featured a letter that challenged the notion that rising grain costs has contributed greatly to soaring prices on the shelves. It said: “According to the EU directorate for agriculture, the grain cost within ’bread, cereals and respective products’ fell from 19% in 1970/71 to 4% by 2002/03. It suggests that food prices are more sensitive to cost increases in the other 96% of the retail cost of bread. The non-cereal cost components include energy-intensive food processing, packaging and transport.”A study by the Reserve Bank of Kansas City suggested that the price of oil – predicted to rise to $150-200 by some analysts – has 10 times the impact on food prices than the cost of cereals. Prices for oil have nearly doubled since last year, hitting a new high in May when traders paid US$135.09 a barrel, reported Reuters.Retailers in the 15 euro-zone nations saw year-on-year sales in April drop sharply, according to the EU’s Statistics Agency. The soaring cost of transport, heating, dairy products and bread pushed euro-zone inflation to a record high in May. Significantly less food and drink was sold than a year ago ? with sales down 3.4%. Bread prices went up by more than a tenth.last_img read more

Last chance for BIA places

first_imgIt’s your last chance to get tic-kets for the Baking Industry Awards 2008, to be held at London’s Grosvenor House hotel on 15 September.A prime opportunity to rub shoulders with the most influential people in the industry, this year’s event will be hosted by TV personality Kate Thornton and includes a drinks reception, three-course meal and entertainment. Contact Elizabeth Ellis on 01293 846593, email [email protected], or visit [].last_img

Richemont Club of Great Britain Fifth Annual Competition 2008

first_img== Winners and runners-up ==Class 1 – Three Sausage Rolls1. Rob Simms – P & A Davies2. Rob Taylor – Chatwins3. Chris Erskine – P & A DaviesClass 2 – Three Meat Pasties1. Paul Mooney – Chatwins2. Chris Rose – J W Rose3. Ian Martin – MartinsClass 3 – One Vegetarian Product1. Graeme Ashworth – Slattery’s2. Peter Tombs – Peter Herd3. Chris Rose – J W RoseClass 4 – One Quiche Lorraine1. Paul Mooney – Chatwins2. Anne Barnes – Slattery’s3. Graeme Ashworth – Slattery’sClass 5 – One Brown Tin Loaf1. Stephen Barnes – Slattery’s2. Kelvin Davies – P & A Davies3. Anne Barnes – Slattery’sClass 6 – One Multigrain Cob1. Rob Simms – P & A Davies2. Chris Erskine – P & A Davies3. Kelvin Davies – P & A DaviesClass 7 – One Plaited Loaf1. Nigel Attwell – Chatwins2. Anne Barnes – Slattery’s3. Rob Simms – P & A DaviesClass 8 – Four Fresh Creams1. Jeanette Ramsden – Slattery’s2. Ian Martin – Martins3. Rob Simms – P & A DaviesClass 9 – Four Danish Pastries1. Christopher Rose – J W Rose2. Michael Wilde – Slattery’s3. Simon Hazlett – P & A DaviesClass 10 – Four Christmas Fancies1. Jeanette Lyons – Slattery’s2. Jeanette Ramsden – Slattery’s3. Dawn Dunn – ChatwinsClass 11 – Four Puff Pastries1. Simon Hazlett – P & A Davies2. Paul Mooney – Chatwins3. Eric Cran – Eric CranClass 12 – Novelty Celebration Cake1. Karen Bowden – Slattery’s2. Ann Caterall – Slattery’s3. Gay Fisher – P & A DaviesClass 13 – Sugar Paste Model1. Melanie Hughes – Slattery’s2. David Wilson – Slattery’s3. Gay Fisher – P & A DaviesClass 14 – Character Biscuit1. Mark Butler – Slattery’s2. Rob Simms – P & A Davies3. Jeanette Ramsden – Slattery’sClass 15 – Almond Products1. Christopher Rose – J W Rose2. Paul Bates – Chatwins3. Michael Wilde – Slattery’sClass 16 – Christmas Cake1. Jeanette Lyons – Slattery’s2. Mark Butler – Slattery’s3. Linda Davies – P & A DaviesClass 17 – Christmas Pudding1. Christopher Rose – J W Rose2. Rob Simms – P & A Davies3. Anne Barnes – Slattery’sClass 18 – Chocolate Log1. Eric Cran – Eric Cran2. Wendy Hilton Casey – Slattery’s3. Helen Murell – ChatwinsClass 19 – Four Fruit Scones1. Kimberly Price – Tameside College2. Craig Wright – Chatwins3. Jamie Humphrey – ChatwinsClass 20 – Oven Bottom Loaf1. Craig Wright – Chatwins2. Holly Jones – P & A Davies3. Jamie Humphrey – ChatwinsClass 21 – Round Pizza1. Holly Jones – P & A Davies2. Philip Scase – Tameside College3. Terri Gardner – Tameside CollegeMilling & Baking Trophy – Arthur ChatwinRank Hovis Trophy – P & A DaviesBakeMark Trophy – Slattery Patissier & ChocolatierRenshaw Trophy – Slattery Patissier & ChocolatierChristmas Trophy – Slattery Patissier & ChocolatierBritish Baker Trophy – Craig Wright – Arthur ChatwinPresident’s Challenge Cup – Dave Wilson & Melanie Hughes – Slattery Patissier & ChocolatierBest in Show – Paul Mooney – Arthur ChatwinRichemont Trophy – Slattery Patissier & Chocolatierlast_img read more

Are you ready for National Craft Bakers’ Week?

first_imgIt’s not long now till National Craft Bakers’ Week, so make sure you get involved and promote your business. Running from 8-13 June, the aim of the week is to raise the profile of independent craft bakers – ‘The Shop That Never Sleeps’ – and, in doing so, capture increased spend from consumers. Craft bakeries of all sizes and location are encouraged to take part in the week, which promotes the important commercial and social role that craft bakers have in their local communities.‘The Shop That Never Sleeps’, which also be promoted to 19,000 primary schools, with ‘live’ streaming of bakers at work to appear on the website. The message to schools will be to go and visit their own local craft baker and see them in action.The activity is spearheaded by the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB) and has been developed with a group of key industry players: Bako, Bakels, BakeMark, BFP Wholesale, British Baker magazine, California Raisins, Macphie, Marriage’s, Puratos, The Reynard Group and The Scottish Association of Master Bakers.For more information, as well as downloadable point-of-sale material, visit read more

In Short

first_imgBig Pie NightBristol-based pie-maker Pieminister is to launch ’Big Pie Night’ a pie menu solution that it said can help pubs and bars achieve a gross profit of over 60%. The launch will coincide with British Pie Week (1-7 March 2010), and the firm will be giving away free pies, gravy, mash and peas to participating pubs. It will also provide point-of-sale and online promotional material.CBeebies licenceCake and dessert supplier Elisabeth the Chef has won a licensing deal to create celebration cakes for the CBeebies pre-school television show Big and Small. The firm will launch the cakes from late 2010. Part of French-company Groupe Senoble, Elisabeth the Chef produces a number of other licensed celebration cakes, from Noddy to Premier League football clubs.Burton’s palm pledgeBurton’s Foods claims it is thefirst UK sweet biscuit manufacturer to acquire Green Palm certificates for100% of its palm oil and palm kernel oil usage. The company plans to move to segregated sustainable material by 2013.Finsbury financeFinsbury Food has appointed Stephen Boyd as its new group finance director, with immediate effect. Boyd has previously held key positions at WT Foods, Noon Products and Golden Wonder. He replaces Lisa Morgan.Malt messageTwo-thirds of consumers view malt as a healthy ingredient, according to research commissioned by Muntons. The survey, carried out by Cognet Research, involved 100 interviews with consumers, of which nearly two-thirds (64%) said they felt malt increased the nutritional value of food.last_img read more

The British Baker Open Letter

first_imgThis is a thank you letter to ’The Baking Industry’. I am one of a group of students from the National Bakery School, and something amazing happened to us at the Alliance for Bakery Students & Trainees’ conference in June this year. We were studying a degree in baking, but were having difficulty gaining the practical learning on which our future careers depend. At the conference we were introduced to Jean Grieves and Sara Autton, two truly inspirational ladies in the world of baking, to whom we are indebted to for their generosity of spirit, and their commitment to the next generation of bakers coming into the industry.On hearing of our plight to fill some of the gaps in our practical learning, they managed to get other giants within the baking industry on board. Fermex, supplier of yeasts and improvers for the UK, sponsored us to visit Lesaffre in Lille, France, for a three-day baking course. Jean Grieves, from The Bakery School, an online practical education in bakery, gifted us free membership to her course. The British Society of Baking paid for our train fares to visit three bakeries in Manchester: Slattery’s, Weinholts and Peter Herd of Wilmslow. We were invited for a day’s workshop at Heygates Flour Mill, in Northamptonshire too.The generosity of the industry towards our learning was immense. We were amazed, inspired, and educated. We felt so humbled, so joyful, and so appreciative. This is what it is like within our industry, and we cannot wait to make our mark and, maybe in the future, some of us will go on to give something back to the students coming into our industry.I really hope you can share this letter with the readers of British Baker, as I know they will want to hear about how supported we all are, now and in the future.Jenny Connor, on behalf of the students of The National Bakery Schoollast_img read more

I&M warns customers of scammers pretending to demand immediate payments

first_img Twitter (“power lines” by Christine, CC BY-SA 2.0) Another I&M scam is being reported in Northern Indiana.The utility is warning the public after customers are reporting calls from scammers falsely identifying themselves as I&M employees.The caller claims the customer is late paying their bill and face immediate disconnection if the bill isn’t paid at once. In some cases the scammers are able to show up on caller ID as an official-looking I&M number.I&M reminds customers that they never make calls demanding immediate payment, and have suspended disconnects for non-payment during the pandemic. They also offer assistance to customers who are having trouble making payments.From I&M:During the pandemic, I&M has suspended disconnects for non-payment. We remind customers that they are still responsible for their bills and it is important that they continue paying for their usage.For assistance on paying their bill, Indiana customers can contact us at 800-311-4634; Michigan customers should call 800-311-6424. We also encourage customers to follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@IN_MI_Power) and can speak directly with customer service specialists on those platforms.Regardless of the situation, I&M employees NEVER call customers demanding immediate payment. Nor does I&M disconnect service without prior written warning. Anyone receiving such calls should hang up and call I&M’s Customer Operations Center at 800-311-4634 to report the scam. WhatsApp Google+ Google+ Twitter Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp I&M warns customers of scammers pretending to demand immediate payments By Tommie Lee – March 31, 2020 0 278 Previous articleNotre Dame Ph.D student removed from program over racist postsNext articleMichigan’s online unemployment system struggles under pressure Tommie Lee Pinterest Facebook CoronavirusIndianaLocalMichiganNewsSouth Bend Marketlast_img read more

Elkhart Police search for suspect in Monday shooting

first_img Google+ Elkhart Police search for suspect in Monday shooting A man is injured after a shooting in Elkhart Monday night.Police were called to the 700 block of Taylor St. at 6 p.m. on reports of a shooting.When they arrived, they found a 25-year-old man with gunshot wounds to his neck and chest. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.There’s no suspect information available at this time, and police are asking anyone with information regarding the shooting to call the Elkhart Police Department at (574) 295-7070 or email [email protected] WhatsApp Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest TAGSElkhartgunshotIndianaMondayshootingsuspectTaylor Streetwounds Facebookcenter_img Pinterest Facebook By Brooklyne Beatty – May 19, 2020 0 468 IndianaLocalNews Twitter Previous articleNotre Dame Basilica reopens for Mass on May 24thNext articlePolice warn of phone scam involving Elkhart Police Department Brooklyne Beatty Twitterlast_img read more