Chevler has announced it is to introduce a new production planning system, in order to cope with soaring demand for its baking cases and muffin wraps.

Costa Coffee has revealed its plans to open another 130 stores in the UK during 2010/2011, although its main focus will be on expanding its international business.

The UK chain, which revealed an operating profit increase of almost 60% for the full year to 4 March, 2010, opened 312 net new shops over the year, 188 of which were in the UK, increasing its total network by 24%.

The coffee chain also gained 88 Coffeeheaven stores in Central Europe with the acquisition of the Coffeeheaven, which was completed in the final quarter of 2009/2010.

Its international focus will be in the key markets of China, India, Russia, the Middle East and Central Europe, according to parent company Whitbread.

Sales at Costa increased by 23.4%, with like-for-like sales up 5.5%.

The firm said one of the key drivers behind the growth was independent research that showed seven out of 10 coffee lovers preferred Costa’s cappuccino, which Costa subsequently used as a key message in its advertising.

Its flat white coffee has also performed well, with over one million sales since its launch in January this year.

The firm said its UK growth will come from new high street locations, additional stores in established retail outlets, such as its partnership with Tesco and through bringing the Costa experience to hospitals and universities.

Costa currently has 1,600 outlets worldwide.

US machine supplier United Bakery Equipment (UBE) is on a mission to crack the UK market. The automated slicing and packaging equipment specialist plans to raise its profile after installing its first high-performance UBE band slicer at a leading UK plant baker.

Peter Wallin, director of UK partner Habwood Technical Solutions, admitted that a previous version of the machine had struggled to cut softer British bread, but said this had been rectified. “Build design has changed and it now cuts really efficiently,” he said.

The firm will embark on a tour of the major bakers in Britain and Ireland in a bid to convert bakers. “We’re very confident that it will prove successful, as the two people who have trialled the machine, have bought it. UBE fully recognises the importance of the UK market and is determined to make further inroads.”

UBE’s 90-75 band slicer provides smooth, even slicing and is ideal for the British market, according to Wallin.
“Slices are smooth and uniform because the 90-75 moves loaves through the blades at a slower penetration rate. A major benefit is that blades will last between three and four weeks rather than a typical 24 hours.”

The machine sells for between $220,000 (£144,336) and $300,000 (£196,815) depending on the options.

Costa Coffee has revealed its plans to open another 130 stores in the UK during 2010/2011, although its main focus will be on expanding its international business.

Sonneveld takeover

28 April, 2010

Dutch firm Sonneveld, which produces bread improvers, mixes and release agents, is to become part of Orkla Food Ingredients (OFI) in Norway.

Make sure you get your entries in for the Baking Industry Awards before the May 7 deadline. The Awards, now in their 23rd year, celebrate the very best of the British baking industry, and are attended by key players from across the industry.

If you've ever wondered 'is there life after bakery?' then the answer on last week's evidence is 'yes' if you're BB's favourite bakery-boss-turned-sports-impresario and a 'no' if you're the uppety fox who's stepped into his crosshairs.

Mouthing off

23 April, 2010

"In the four weeks of the World Cup, blokes tend to get a bit obsessed with football to the extent that they don't look after their partners. The idea is that in the week before the World Cup, we're saying 'ladies, make sure you get your oats'. What we mean innocently by that is you get to eat oat bread during the course of that week..."

Probably few more preposterous excuses have ever been given than that which was raised at the Birkenhead Police Court this week, where a baker was charged with having stolen a large Genoa cake, the property of his employers.

Political blunder

23 April, 2010

The moment the starter gun was fired on the general election, Stop the Week dusted off its binoculars to commentate on an eagerly anticipated political race of the campaign: the first politician to claim a bakery-related gaffe.

Machinery: Abacus digital water batching system

Machinery: Schubert TLM (Top Loading Machine)

Jacksons Bakery Hull

23 April, 2010

Machinery: Vantage System

Juicy news

23 April, 2010

It seems smoothies have had their heyday and other premium drinks categories, such as pure juice, have also taken a knock in the recession. So what have consumers been drinking instead? From much of the data that has been floating around at the moment, it appears that many consumers have been trading down from pure juice to juice drinks.

Creeping up on craft

23 April, 2010

Known for predominantly supplying the industrial baking sector, Cereform is taking a step out of its comfort zone and targeting the craft industry with a number of new products.

Gifted performance

23 April, 2010

Ashers of Nairn has always been recognised first and foremost as a retail baker, with its shops accounting today for some 80% of total sales. However, the other 20% of its turnover drawn notably from wholesale and the gift sector has provided welcome insulation against seasonal or recession-related swings in retail returns.

Lion roars for bakers

23 April, 2010

This year's celebration of craft bakers is shaping up nicely, with merchandise now available and ambassadors appointed to big-up the baker.National Craft Bakers Week

Let the show begin

23 April, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen! Roll-up, roll-up for the 2010 Baking Industry Awards, which scour the country in search of the baking industry's high fliers and success stories. This issue we welcome two new sponsors: Bakels, sponsoring Speciality Bread Product of the Year; and Dawn Foods, sponsoring In-Store Bakery of the Year (see pgs 18-19). As you might have already guessed, the awards, now in their 23rd year, will take the circus as its theme this year, with the presentation evening on 8 September guaranteed to provide all the excitement associated with Big Top entertainment.

Don Williams, CEO of brand and design consultancy Pi Global advises staying in touch with the real world when it comes to innovation

The Scots are very good at baking and shortbread is one of their best recipes. It is made using three parts flour, two parts butter and one part sugar.

An unusual fruit from a native African tree, the baobab, is now available for use in bakery products such as cereal bars, muffins and cakes.

Nortech Foods has joined up with New Britain Oils Limited (NBOL) to offer fully certified sustainable palm oil in a packaged format to food manufacturers.

Fox's revamp

23 April, 2010

Fox's has re-launched its Cookie Bars with no artificial colours or flavours. Available this month, the new bars will be targeted at "family chocolate biscuit bar buyers", said the firm.

Cookies by design

23 April, 2010

CSM United Kingdom has launched a new Craigmillar Cookie Mix, designed to give bakers flexibility and add variety to their cookie menu.

Party lines

23 April, 2010

What policies are you proposing to assist SMEs and those starting up businesses with accessing credit and business support?

Gordon Polson

In Short

23 April, 2010

The bakery option on a new advanced diploma in Artisan Food Production is over-subscribed as people look to retrain and set up their own businesses.

The low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, which encourages followers to virtually give up eating bread, has been relaunched, with a new book outlining a revised version of the diet and a £200,000 campaign in national newspapers promoting Atkins food products.

In Short

23 April, 2010

Tromp sales office

ABST hosts Cup rounds

23 April, 2010

The qualifying and selection rounds for the 2011 UK SIGEP Bread Cup Team will take place at the Alliance for Bakery Students and Trainees (ABST) annual conference on 12 June.

Hard-earned dough

23 April, 2010

Two former Dublin bank wor-kers, Graham Clarke and Sophie Morris, who started their own company Kooky Dough, are now supplying 20 stores across Ireland, including four branches of the Superquinn supermarket.

Organic bakery producers have come forward with stories of sales growth in response to the Organic Market Report, which revealed that sales of organic bread and bakery items had plummeted during the recession.

Make sure you get your entries in for the Baking Industry Awards. The Awards, now in their 23rd year, celebrate the best of the British baking industry, and are attended by key players from across the industry.

Scottish firm Tunnocks has invested £4m in new machinery to improve efficiency at its Uddingston site, which produces caramel wafers and teacakes.

Oaty breads are set to become the new battleground in the bread fixture, after Hovis revealed an ambitious £30m 12-month sales target for its Hearty Oats loaf.

In Short

23 April, 2010

NAMB conference

Exports of sweet and savoury biscuits and cakes rose in 2009, according to new report on UK Food & Drink Export Perfor-mance, published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Scots update identity

23 April, 2010

The Scottish Association of Master Bakers has assumed the new corporate identity of Scottish Bakers, as part of a revamp of the organisation's operations. "As part of this, we wanted to create a fresh public image," explained chief executive Kirk Hunter. "We felt it wasn't obvious to the public what the SAMB was all about."

Supermarket sales of speciality bread have bounced back from the recession as shoppers opt to save money by cooking at home rather than dining out.

The Scottish Association of Master Bakers has assumed the new corporate identity of Scottish Bakers, as part of a revamp of the organisation’s operations.

The Scottish Association of Master Bakers has assumed the new corporate identity of Scottish Bakers, as part of a revamp of the organisation’s operations.

“As part of this, we wanted to create a fresh public image,” explained chief executive Kirk Hunter. “We felt it wasn’t obvious to the public what the SAMB was all about.”

Hunter added that the association wanted a new name to better convey what the SAMB does as an organisation. Its new public image will be extended to its publications and website.

All members are now encouraged to actively promote the fact that they are part of Scottish Bakers, although the limited company, SAMB, will still remain intact, as will its traditional logo.

The bakery option on a new advanced diploma in Artisan Food Production is over-subscribed as people look to retrain and set up their own businesses.

The School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire is now accepting applications for the two-year full-time advanced diploma, which begins in September, with students able to specialise in baking cheese-making, butchery or brewing.

“We can take a maximum of 25 students each year and we already have nine people who have chosen to specialise in baking. We’re looking at reworking the timetable to provide a few extra places,” said marketing and admissions officer Joe Piliero.

“The feedback we’re getting from applicants is that they want to set up their own deli or café, making fresh bread each day, or their own artisan bakery.”

The bakery side of the course will be headed by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, currently bakery director at Judges Bakery in Hastings, with practical classes looking at production techniques, as well as fundamental bakery science and microbiology.

Students will also take classes in history, anthropology and the social and political context of today’s food landscape, alongside classes in artisan food business and management.

Based at the Welbeck Estate, which is also home to the Welbeck Bakehouse, a farm shop and Stichelton Dairy, the School of Artisan Food was set up last year offering a range of food production courses.

Scottish-firm Tunnocks has invested £4 million in new machinery to improve efficiency at its Uddingston site, which produces its Caramel Wafers and Teacakes.

The firm spent £2m on new machinery earlier this year, including two foiling machines, two flow packs and a robotic case packer earlier this year. MD Boyd Tunnock told British Baker, the firm then spent another £2m on a state-of-the-art robotics system from Schubert to pack its teacakes, which it is “just bedding in” at the moment. It will be used to pack either six or 10 teacakes to a box, or 12 to a tray.

“We already had four wrapping machines, but Schubert supplied the feeding systems to these wrapping machines as well as the robotic packer,” explained Boyd. He said that the bakery’s previous line had been running for 10 years and was inefficient. “Efficiency has now gone up by 20-25%. We’re using less labour and also getting a bigger throughput,” he added.

Boyd told us that main change has been to teacake production, with five less people needed on the floor per shift. However he said the firm has not made any redundancies and is looking to move from a double shift per day, to three shifts, five days a week.

He said the new machinery is about “long term payback”. “But as a family business we can afford to do that, and we’re willing to do that as we’ll be getting a better end product.” He added that the new machinery gives the firm the ability to increase production, but importantly it will allow it to maintain its current prices.

The firm employs 550 staff, and turned over approximately £35m last year. It exports to over 30 countries worldwide, including Canada, the Canary Isles and Japan.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is in the process of carrying out a review of its high workplace temperatures policy, with a view to drawing up sector-specific guidance for bakery workers, and is looking for craft bakers to voice their views.

The HSE has already had input from a number of large industrial bakeries, but would like to hear from craft bakers on, for example, whether they are aware of the risks that heat can cause in the workplace, and if they have effective systems in place to manage process-generated heat?

“It really is important to us that our guidance is effective and worthwhile and it is vital that any recommendations we might make are not overly burdensome to smaller independent bakers,” said policy advisor Helen Rowlands.

If you would like to find out more about how your input can help, please contact Helen Rowlands on 0151 951 4517 or helen.rowlands@hse.gsi.gov.uk.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is in the process of carrying out a review of its high workplace temperatures policy, with a view to drawing up sector-specific guidance for bakery workers, and is looking for craft bakers to voice their views.

Scottish-firm Tunnocks has invested £4m in new machinery to improve efficiency at its Uddingston site, which produces caramel wafers and teacakes.

Make sure you get your entries in for the Baking Industry Awards before the 7 May deadline. The Awards, now in their 23rd year, celebrate the very best of the British baking industry, and are attended by key players from across the industry.

Devon-based Pipers Farm has signed a deal potentially worth £20,000 to supply a range of bespoke pies to Lord’s Cricket Ground.

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