23 Mar, 1934

Most London bakers are becoming seriously perturbed about the position of flour prices in relation to the official Food Council scale for bread prices.


...of all deaths every year are caused by poor diet, amounting to 69,400, according to a report commissioned by Gordon Brown from the Strategy Unit

On greenhouse gases

The godfather of Allinson’s bread was a mine of wisdom – and it wasn’t all bread-related. A century on, his moral insights help us cast light on the problems of our own age.

Heavenly ambition

"If we had to put one cake forward to the devil, I think the brownies would save our lives," says Nigel Green, co-owner of the ironically named Heavenly Cakes - presumably the world's first Satanist bakery.

Warings' facelift

Warings celebrated its 75th birthday at the tail end of 2007. And this Reading-based bakery went one better than a 75-candle cake - it treated itself to a birthday gift by splashing out nearly £75k on overhauling one of its five shops.

Speak up or lose out on training

Much has been written and spoken about a crisis in bakery education as witnessed by the decline in the number of colleges offering courses in baking. This is linked to a shortage of skilled bakers and often doomsday predictions about the future of our industry.

Costs fuel prices

British bread prices have risen by between 15 to 20% in the past year as commo-dity and fuel costs bite, but a loaf of bread is still cheaper here than in most of the rest of the world.

The state of the nation

I am at last eligible for a government grant. After all, if illegal immigrants are being given a free flight home and £4,000 to start up a business, I think I must be eligible, as I will explain. And I do not intend leaving the country, so I will not even cost the government the airfare.

ABF registers rise in revenues

Associated British Foods, which owns Allied Bakeries and British Sugar, has reported a 13% rise in group revenue over the corresponding period last year, despite a 12% fall in sugar revenues, according to the company's interim management statement.

Midlands bakers enjoy a merry little Christmas

It was a bumper Christmas for two Midlands-based bakeries, which enjoyed record sales.

CSR watch

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is to extend its collaboration with corporate giants. It will help them assess greenhouse gas emissions and create a single standardised approach for climate change information throughout their supply chains.

Carr's contest

Carr's Milling Industries is to sponsor the World Marmalade Festival, held in February. This will mark Paddington Bear's 50th birthday and is designed to give "the traditional marmalade sandwich a make-over", said Caroline Dale of Carrs Breadmaker.


Stories of recession loom large in this week's media. The government's national debt is massive - as it tells us not to spend beyond our means, it is not so good at taking its own advice.

Village turns out in support of bakery

More than 200 people attended a public meeting in a Suffolk village last week to support their bakery, which is locked in a bitter dispute with the local parish council over access.

Salt appraisal

Bakery bread from supermarkets, tested for salt content by the consumer magazine Which?, fell within the 'amber' range - neither high nor low - under the Food Standards Agency's traffic-light system for food labelling.

Geoff Dossetter, external affairs director, Freight Transport Association

The UK economy is in dire need of the construction of purpose-built, efficient and adequate roads to improve bakery delivery and cut the awful cost of congestion. UK transport needs more than a sticking plaster; it needs a major operation.

Charity week gets under way

BakeMark UK will be staging National Doughnut Week from 10 to 17 May, giving craft bakers the chance to increase sales and publicity while raising money for charity.

UK Bakeries saved as Kirtons steps forward

A total of 41 jobs have been saved after Kirtons Bakery stepped in to buy the business and assets of UK Bakeries in Leicester.

Health watch

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched new TV adverts to encourage shoppers to opt for healthy eating by using traffic light labels. They come as an international study names the UK as the number one fast food nation.

Dark days for Sunshine

With fresh fears of floods looming, a family bakery faces a possible 20% hike in insurance premiums, after being submerged in July.

EU duty ban holds little sway

The European Union's suspension of import duties on cereals will not have a significant impact on prices, because most of the imported wheat used in flour is of high quality and duty is already set at zero, Alex Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers told British Baker last week.

Redundancies expected as Park consolidates

Management at the Park Cake Bakery in Bolton, Lancashire, have begun talks with the workforce over plans to cut 40 jobs.

Tesco to tailor ISB range in drive for customer focus

Tesco said it would have to make "customer-led decisions" this year, following plans to slim down its product range and launch fewer products than in 2007, in a bid to drive availa- bility and quality.


n UK retailer Waitrose is set to expand overseas, after signing a licensing deal with Dubai-based Spinneys. The first store is to open in Dubai in April, with an agreement to open more than 20 sites in the United Arab Emirates by 2010.

Jan 11

“The 12 months ahead promise to offer significant competition across the

Green light for baking soda

A company in the US is taking waste carbon dioxide from power station chimneys and mixing it with sodium hydroxide to make baking soda. Waste CO2, it is claimed, can be captured in baking soda, ultimately reducing the greenhouse effect, according to Joe David Jones, head of the company Skyonic, which got the idea from an old college textbook. With the current craze for marketing provenance, will we soon be seeing ‘power station provenance’ such as ‘Traditional Drax Dumplings’ or ‘Authentic Sizewell Simnel Cake’?

On ‘Binge Britain’

Those good people at Allinson’s have sent us the writings of their founder, the 19th century physician and wholemeal bread-fixated Dr Thomas Allinson, and they make eye-opening reading. It dawned on us that each seasoned insight might help us solve a problem of our modern age.


Ever been asked, “What would you like to drink?” and replied, “Anything” or “Whatever”? Then Singapore drinks company Out of the Box has the perfect brands for you: Anything and Whatever. Anything comes in six carbonated varieties – Cola with Lemon, Apple, Fizz Up, Cloudy Lemon and Root Beer – while Whatever is still in Ice Lemon Tea, Peach Tea, Jasmine Green Tea, White Grape Tea, Apple Tea and Chrysanthemum Tea variants. The twist is you don’t know which you’re getting until you taste it!

Top toasters: Bread on the terraces

Tinone has developed a device that brands your toast with your football team’s initials or national flag. At Ipswich Football Club, they sold out within two days – at a crisp £45 a pop!

It's show time for BIE

The all-new Baking Industry Exhibition is just three months away. Following massive investment in visitor attractions, the show will take over from Food & Bake and build on past events to make this the best UK bakery trade show ever!

Monty's Moment

Since winning a Baking Industry Award in September last year, you'd expect potential new customers to be making a beeline for Kent-based Monty's Bakehouse, banging on the bakery's doors. Except there is no Bakehouse as such; the firm outsources its manufacturing to a third party. Anyone setting their Sat Nav for the bakery would likely find themselves in Cornwall.

Filling the gap

Never did I believe I would promote the use of crab sticks as a sandwich filling, but this mixture is so popular as a salad outside the UK, I had to try it.

Raising the bar

What have fishermen got that bakers don't - apart from whiffy hands and a taste for horrible mints? A national centre for skills, that's what. Meanwhile baking, possibly the oldest profession (behind the illegal one that also involves fishnets), has had to put up with businesses, skills providers and government all pulling in different directions.

Practical stance

In December 2007, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) concluded that mandatory restrictions on trans fats should not be imposed.


Michele Young

Northern has a merry Christmas

Strong demand during the Christmas period helped Northern Food's bakery division to a third quarter increase in underlying revenue of 4.2%, according to an interim management statement.

Finsbury posts impressive growth despite challenges

Finsbury Food Group has experienced strong growth across its businesses "broadly in line with expectations and despite challenging market conditions", chief executive Dave Brooks said following the company's latest update on trading.

International activity

In its latest bakery report, research company Mintel found that sales in the US cookie and biscuit market grew 14% during 2002-07. The market was worth $5.9bn in 2007.


"The biggest challenge in 2007 by far, was prices." Not my words but those of Peter Williams, bakery director of that excellent business Simmons of Hatfield (pg 13). And they are words that continue to be echoed across this issue and the whole industry.

Mill reshuffle

London flour miller GR Wright & Sons has appointed Julian Woodgate to its board.

Gundula Azeez, policy manager for the Soil Association

We breathed a sigh of relief at the Chief Medical Officer's recent intervention to stall the Food Standards Agency's (FSA's) proposal to fortify bread with folic acid.

Bread battle

The food exhibition SIGEP will take place at Rimini Fiera in Italy from 26-30 January 2008.

Burton's eyes premium market after takeover

Duke Street Capital, private equity owners of confectionery manufacturer Burton's Foods, has acquired Gateshead-based Northumbrian Fine Foods for an undisclosed sum.

Training focus for Double D

Double D Food Engineering is to provide training to its customers, helping them to get the best from its range of ovens, provers and retarder provers.

Cakes and bread drive sales at Premier Foods

Premier Foods said it expected to hit its 2008 profit targets despite a decline in branded sales in the second half of 2007.

Legislation watch

The Pensions Bill 2007, which reached its second reading in Parliament last week, could hit the baking industry hard if it becomes law. That's the view of pensions consultancy Aon, which said the Bill will cost UK companies an extra £4bn, if it is passed.

Strike at Warburtons averted

Warburtons and the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) have reached a pay agreement following the threat of strike action.

Road closure hits sales

A North Hampshire baker is planning to seek compensation from Thames Water because the closure of the main road through his village is costing his business £400 a day.

Organic sales rocket, but wheat shortages loom

bakery market was worth £42m in the year to November 2007, representing a small proportion of the total organic food market in the UK, which stands at £2bn.

World bread prices: soaring costs push UK loaf up table

Spiralling flour and fuel costs have helped propel the UK up the global ranking for bread prices, but the country remains one of the cheapest places to buy bread in the world.

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