Credible appeal

25 May, 2007
The organiser of the Great Taste Awards - set up to showcase the best of the UK's fine foods including bread and cakes - has taken the bold step of going toe-to-toe with supermarkets over premium labels, such as Tesco Finest and Sainsbury's Taste the Difference, which he claims may not always reflect top-end food quality for consumers.
I am in the first year of a bakery course in Castle College. The course is very hands-on, which is great, as we get to test theories learned in class and transfer these skills in a practical way.

The folic debate

25 May, 2007
Calls to fortify flour or bread with folic acid to prevent pre-natal malformations of foetuses have been echoing for over a decade. Now, following prevarication, procrastination and consultation, there is finally an end in sight.
Getting older has few compensations; bits and pieces you never knew you had start to ache and a great deal of time is spent between the doctor's surgery and the chemist, getting prescriptions for ailments that I'm sure they had never even invented when I was young.

Cruel to be kind

25 May, 2007
Despite wails of protest from the bakery trade over the past few months, it is now clear that van mileage is being taxed in a dramatic new way.

Sugar shock?

25 May, 2007
W holemeal bread took a spanking in The Sunday Times recently for having nearly double the level of sugar it did 30 years ago. Shock! Naughty plant bakers are contributing to the obesity epidemic by loading our bread with cheap sugar to make it more palatable and to compensate for salt reductions, it reported. Horror!

Commodities tracker

25 May, 2007
Pricing has been affected over the last month by significant weakening of the dollar, according to the RM Curtis Edible Nuts & Dried Fruit Market Report, March-April 2007.
Confectionery manufacturer Lees Foods, owner of Lees of Scotland and The Waverley Bakery, has announced favourable year-end results, despite cost increases.
A public row has broken out between cake supplier Inter Link and suitor and rival cake company McCambridge.
The recent closure of a sandwich business, due to listeria, highlights for us all the added risks chilled food operations all have to contend with these days, over and above the complexities of running any business.
Sir Digby Jones, former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, has given his support to Northern Foods' £450,000 initiative to sponsor undergraduates on food science courses.
Craft chain Waterfields was named Bakery Sandwich Shop of the Year at the 12th British Sandwich Industry accolades (the 'Sammies') held in London last week.

Consumer watch

25 May, 2007
I'm not sure of my opinion on whether folic acid should be made a mandatory ingredient in bread.
The detail of how folic acid will be added to baked goods remains unclear despite the Food Standards Agency (FSA) board's decision last week to recommend mandatory fortification to health ministers.
Scottish firm Aulds has opened its new £7m factory in Renfrewshire. Employing over 170 people, the new 35,000 sq ft factory and office complex at Inchinnan replaces a previous facility destroyed by fire in September 2005.
More than 700 bakers and businesses took part in the recent National Doughnut Week, sponsored by BakeMark UK. Money is still being collected, but it is hoped to raise up to £40,000 in total.
The latest exhibitors confirmed for next year's Baking Industry Exhibition include ingredients company Orchard Valley Foods, bakery products supplier Dawn Foods and catering equipment firm Reynards.
Food Standards Agency (FSA) chair Dame Deidre Hutton told last week's Federation of Bakers conference that the agency wants to be "porous" and "as open as possible to external views" on key issues.

Briefs

25 May, 2007
n A man has denied murdering a fellow bakery worker in the car park at Fine Lady Bakeries, Banbury. Shahid Rehman, 29, of Grimsbury Green, Banbury, is accused of the murder of Imran Shah, 23. Mr Shah died from multiple wounds on Monday, 27 November, 2006. Rehman's trial will begin at Oxford Crown Court on September 24.

Restructure at Allied

25 May, 2007
Allied Bakeries is restructuring its UK mainland business into eight regional business units to improve service levels and efficiency.

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