Despite widespread press coverage about rocketing wheat prices, day-to-day pricing has been much more volatile, says Savage, who is not surprised by the Homegrown Cereals Authority's latest statistics.

Gaza bakers suffer under Israeli restrictions

Bakers in Gaza went on strike last week after the ruling Hamas organisation refused to let them put up bread prices to cope with a shortage of goods, resulting from restrictions imposed by Israel. A 3kg bag of pitta bread sells for $2.30 and bakeries want to increase it to $2.50. The price in the West Bank is as high as $4.20. Osama al-Duleimi, a partner in a Gaza bakery, told Business Week that he had lost $15,000 of his own money trying to stop the business going bust.

Consumer tracking

Heinz Foodservice is targeting four key categories of consumers after identifying massive untapped potential in the breakfast market, with research showing that 52% of people had not eaten breakfast out-of-home in the last three months.

Reporting in

As part of the British Sandwich Association's annual industry awards, I have had the dubious honour of sampling some 45 new sandwiches and 40 new ingredients that have been launched into the market over the last 12 months.

Northern Foods shows good signs of recovery

Northern Foods' bakery division showed "encouraging signs of recovery", with fourth quarter underlying revenue up 1.1%, according to the company's latest trading update.

In Short

== Compass points to positive cost control ==

Uniq turns profit in UK but suffers overall loss

Uniq, the European convenience foods group, returned to profitability in the UK, according to preliminary company results for 2007. However, the group's overall pre-tax losses stood at £44.1 million after significant items, including restructuring costs.

In Short

== Support for charity ==

Warburtons graduate plans future in baking

Susina Maiden, 17, is already mapping out her career path to launch her own bakery business in Solihull, after graduating from Warburtons Young Bakers Aca-demy. After completing a three- month course at the academy at the University College of Bir-mingham, she has now embarked on an NVQ Level One in baking skills. She said: "I love baking and really enjoyed the practical side of the course. To be able to continue to learn more about the business side of baking is really interesting. I am now studying cake decoration, confectionery, and bread production, all of which will help me reach my goal to own my own bakery business in Solihull."

Sussex firm launches text ordering

A Sussex bakery has launched a new 'Text your lunch' service. Customers text the bakery, which then calls them back and takes their lunch order by phone, so that it can be prepared for collection.

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