October

Export opportunities for NI

Invest Northern Ireland has pledged business development and marketing support to bakeries that explore export opportunities in confectionery goods, such as cakes, biscuits and buns.

Greggs' prices rising 4.5% as costs bite

Retail baker Greggs said this week that its prices were increasing 4.5% a year on an ongoing basis as ingredients' costs mounted.

Warburtons extends reach in Scotland

Warburtons is expanding its Scottish operation with the creation of a new 20,000 sq ft distribution depot at Eurocentral Business Park, near Glasgow.

Training in focus

Improve and William Reed, publisher of British Baker, are joining forces to hold a training conference on 30 October.

Northern bakery sales rise

A return to sales growth for its bakery division was one of the highlights for Northern Foods as it reported a 2.6% increase in group revenue for the half-year ended 29 September. Sandwiches and salads also did well, despite slower year-on-year growth due to the unseasonably poor summer weather.

Younger shoppers key to high street bakers' future

High street bakers need to target young consumers, adapting range and approach, to ensure long-term survival, according to new independent research supplied exclusively to British Baker.

Briefs

n Greencore has appointed Jonathan Hodgson as commercial director of its cakes and desserts division. The previous commercial director, Paul Rhodes was appointed as MD of Greencore Cakes & Desserts in 2006. Hodgson joins from Young's Seafoods where he was account group director managing a team looking after the major multiples.

A day in the life of...

6.30am

Head-hunting made happy

Despite stories of an increasing number of businesses recognising the value of grey hair - aka 'wisdom' - the mean age in this country's boardrooms is constantly falling. At this rate, the Justin Kings [CEO, Sainsbury's] of this world will soon be the norm rather than the exception.

Improve's skills plan takes shape

"Everybody should stop moaning about bakery skills shortages and learn to love the new skills framework." This is not what Improve's CEO Jack Matthews said of the new 'employer-led' qualifications, but he might have done in a more private moment than speaking at last week's launch of the new framework.

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