Pret A Manger has posted group revenue of £377.3m for the full year to 29 December 2011, up 15% on 2010.

Samworth Brothers’ director Mark Samworth has handed over £100,000 to the Conservative Party, at the same time the now-scrapped ‘pasty tax’ was announced.

Caroline Harris of Costa Coffee has been shortlisted for the Women’s 1st Shine Awards 2012.

Starbucks has been named the second most prolific brand on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Global ingredients firm Tate & Lyle has reported a 14% growth in sales to almost £3.1bn in its full-year results.

Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas of Primrose Bakery are writing a third book based on catering for a variety of occasions.

Gluten Free Foods has struck up a new deal with online food retailer Ocado to stock its range of savoury pastry products and festive cupcakes.

Greggs’ share price saw a 6% year-on-year rise yesterday following the government's decision to make a U-turn over the pasty tax.

Scottish bakery Mathiesons has been sold to Prestige Bakeries in a pre-pack deal, which has seen more than 240 jobs saved.

The number of retailers going out of business has risen by 38% in the first quarter of 2012, according to accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy.

Border Biscuits has scooped the top award of Business of the Year at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards 2012.

British Baker has compiled the key dates in the pasty-tax campaign over the past two months, which have shaped the government's decision to scrap its proposal for 20% VAT to be added to all hot takeaway bakery products.

Wellingborough-based Speciality Desserts has been sold to French manufacturer Européenne des Desserts (EDD).

Eric Lanlard, star of Channel 4 TV series Baking Mad, has developed a twist on the traditional Victoria sponge recipe for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The latest research on prescription gluten-free bakery goods has revealed more than £100m is being spent on unneccessary delivery and admin charges.

The 2012 National Cupcake Championships has seen a record number of entries, with organiser British Baker receiving twice as many as last year.

Protestors have been prevented by police from entering a research site in Hertfordshire where a trial of genetically modified (GM) wheat is taking place.

The government has performed a dramatic u-turn on its tax for hot pies and pasties.

The move comes after weeks of sustained campaigning by the baking industry, including British Baker's own e-petition, a campaign by Greggs, the largest retail baker in the country, and a demonstration by the industry at Westminster which saw a petition of half a million signatures handed in at Number 10.

Greggs has given its backing to web-based certification SOFHTe, from The Society of Food Hygiene Technology (SOFHT).

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has revealed that UK food and drink manufacturers are on target to meet their pledge to double the number of apprenticeships to 3,400 by the end of 2012.

The baking industry is keen to promote its alternative 20% tax solution to the government, saying it understands the government’s desire to reduce anomalies and raise revenue.

Starbucks UK has confirmed less profitable outlets in central London locations have contributed to its five-year run of losses.

A commemorative cake has been presented to the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee at the military Parare & Muster at Windsor Castle.

Tesco chief executive officer Phillip Clarke has declined his annual bonus, as UK employees share more than £110m.

MPs question pasty tax

24 May, 2012

A group of MPs has again questioned the decision to put 20% VAT on hot baked goods.

The discussion in parliament yesterday came after the influential International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on the UK government to actually lower VAT to stimulate the economy.

Whitbread's chief executive Andy Harrison has turned down a 1.5% increase on his annual salary of £717,500.

Scottish bakers have launched a campaign to gain European Union Protected Food Name status for the Dundee cake.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has reported a 12.6% decrease in the number of town centre shoppers in the three months to April – the worst drop in footfall since November 2009.

The level of own-label food and drink NPD has risen above branded for the first time, according to new research by Mintel.

Businesses could benefit from potential temporary tax cut measures and the latest levels of inflation dropping to their lowest in more than two years.

Greencore took the top award of the night at the Sammies last week – the British Sandwich Industry Awards – for its Food to Go range.

An intruder has broken into the Rothamsted Research Centre in Hertfordshire, where the UK’s first GM wheat trial is taking place.

M&S takes profit hit

22 May, 2012

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has seen profit before tax down £122.6m on last year, despite strong like-for-like food sales.

Greencore has reported a 49.9% growth in revenue to £567.7m in its first half-year results for 2012 due to the acquisition of Uniq.

Supermarket chain Morrisons is revamping its in-store bakeries at the end of May with new product lines, packaging and baking methods.

A new lunchtime trend – ‘the glamwich’ – has been emerging as more and more Brits are making their own packed lunches at home.

British Baker's associate editor, Georgi Gyton, travelled to China earlier this month on a bakery study tour, hosted by Rich Products. Check out our exclusive gallery of pictures, from the trade show in Shanghai to business visits in Beijing and the Great Wall of China.

Caramelised biscuit manufacturer Lotus Bakeries is targeting the UK ingredients sector for the first time with a new crumb-based product.

Morrisons has launched a year-long consultation as it looks to close its Rathbones bakery site in Wigan.

Today is the deadline for entries to the National Cupcake Championships, so make sure you’ve got yours in.

An investigation by Which? magazine has highlighted the need for clearer front-of-pack nutrition labelling including ‘traffic light’ colour-coding, which not every retailer supports.

The baking industry will today outline its opposition to the proposed 20% hike to VAT on hot savouries.

A call by medics to introduce a 20% fat tax on unhealthy food has been met with criticism from the food industry and lambasted as “irresponsible”.

A world record attempt will take place this Friday at a Derbyshire bakery to celebrate this year’s National Doughnut Week.

Staff from Allied Bakeries have helped to arrange a touch rugby tournament to raise cash for Caravan, the National Grocers’ Benevolent Fund.

The government will conduct a UK-wide consultation with food manufacturers, supermarkets and health experts on how best to label nutritional content in food.

Kerry Food and Ingredients has become the latest full-time member of The Federation of Bakers.

The soft drinks industry grew in value during 2011 by 5.1% to more than £14.5bn, according to the latest statistics.

Costa Coffee has announced it has signed a deal with O2 to provide free Wi-Fi internet access across its UK sites

Roisin Currie, group people director at Greggs, will join a panel of keynote speakers in a debate over the future of retail outside London.

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