October

Conference cancelled

Improve has cancelled the conference due to take place today, Tuesday, October 30 at the Bakers Hall in London. It will be rescheduled to take place during the Baking Industry Exhibition in April 6-9 at Birmingham NEC. Further details will be announced when the new date and time is confirmed.

O'Briens hails store revamps

Sandwich chain O'Briens says sales have risen by 14% across 50 stores, which have been redesigned in the past two months.

Competition hots up in Scotch pie contest

Bakers and butchers across Britain are gearing up for this year's World Scotch Pie Championships, taking place at Lauder College, Dunfermline, on 7 November.

Bright ideas

As costs continue to rise, bakers are increasingly keen to find ways of cutting utilities bills.

The Carbon Trust adds loan boost

New research by The Carbon Trust has revealed that lack of time and expertise to measure and reduce their carbon emissions is preventing the UK's small and medium businesses from achieving business energy savings.

Energy impact analysed

While competing claims and methodologies are being bandied about, one research team has been toiling away to nail down the carbon impact of products specific to bakers by developing a supply chain framework for measuring CO2 emissions from plough to plate. The results suggest that the bakery chain can operate at extremely high levels of efficiency, whether using animal or vegetable products and whether the products are organically-produced or not. But there is scope to improve energy efficiency in all parts of the food supply chain.

Finishing touches

Bakery retailers are increasingly turning to thaw-and-serve and bake-off goods to complement their own baked-from-scratch goods. This adds value with more upmarket offerings, helps diversification and enables bakers to accommodate an ever-more-discerning population hell-bent on premium novelties. Or as Arnaud Rannou of Traiteur de Paris succinctly puts it: "Bakers receive our products frozen and repack them in posh boxes."

Understanding is all

Knowledge is power was the message from Tesco's in-store bakery category manager at the autumn British Society of Baking (BSB) conference. Neil Franklin, who probably has more of both these commodities at his fingertips than many others in the baking industry, said suppliers are not employing supermarket sales data enough.

The Richemont Club at the Bakers' Fair

Chester-based P&A Davies was named best craft bakery chain, scooping the Richemont Club 2007 Trophy at the Club's annual competition, held at Bakers' Fair North West in Bolton Arena.

Bakers' Fair hits Bolton

More than 400 bakers and food-to-go retailers from all over the country travelled from as far afield as Devon to the Bakers' Fair North West on October 14.

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