Mey makes play for May Day Carbon Label

Food brand Mey Selections has become the first Scottish consumer goods company to put carbon labels on its products. Its Luxury Shortbread and two honey products will carry the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label in stores from 1 May, and the company’s ultimate aim is to have the label on its entire range.

Northern Foods’ bakery sales remain strong

Northern Foods’ Bakery division put in a strong performance in its fourth quarter with underlying revenue up 10.4%. The firm said bakery had performed well over the Christmas trading period, with its Fox’s brand continuing to drive growth within the division.

In the BB archives

We have had the usual newspaper correspondence regarding the hardships entailed by the journeyman bakers in making Hot Cross Buns, and we have even had a number of employers declaring publicly that it does not pay to make them, and that when the additional cost for overtime and the general upsetting of the business are taken into account, they would prefer to see Hot Cross Buns entirely abolished. In a town in Hampshire, which contains six master bakers, they entered into an agreement not to make Hot Cross Buns at all, as the amount of overtime involved compelled all hands to work incessantly for 24 hours. Yet the argument appears to us to be a little inconsequential. A custom can scarcely be considered to be dying out if it involves overtime to the extent of 24 hours. We have no sympathy at all with the cry, either inside or outside the trade, for the abolition of the Hot Cross Bun.

Mouthing off

"Fruit was flown in from Paris daily, meat had to come all the way from Yorkes Butchers in Dundee, while the incorrect choice of biscuits for the executives' afternoon tea was a disciplinary offence. The mistaken inclusion of pink wafers on one occasion led to a stern memo headlined 'Rogue Biscuits'"

Super Nintoaster

Stop the Week is happy to say that it has a proud history of tracking advances in toaster-based technology, culminating in last year's top-10 series of toasters, which ranged from waterproof toasters to toaster printers.

Resignation cake

Step forward a certain Neil Berrett from San Francisco, who is the genius behind this job resignation letter, printed on a cake. The cake, posted on image-sharing website Flickr, reads: "Dear Mr Bowers, During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim. However, I have decided to spend more time with my family and attend to health issues that have recently arisen... Please accept this cake as notification that I am leaving my position with NWT on March 27. Sincerely, W Neil Berrett."

Cupcake Week hits Facebook

With preparations for National Cupcake Week (NCW) now under way, why not get involved by linking to our official NCW Facebook page? You're welcome to post pictures of your outlandishly impressive cupcake creations, recipe suggestions, cupcake-themed shop fronts or messages of support. National Cupcake Week is set to take place 14-19 September, 2009. Find the page at:

Combi options

A combi-oven can hardly be accused of being a one-trick pony, unless said pony is capable of carrying out an array of different cooking tasks. For bakery retailers wanting to offer a range of different products, from bake-off pasties to pizzas and quiches, a combi oven is certainly capable of doing the job.

The soft touch

Walk into your average bakery outlet and, nine times out of 10, you're confronted with a fridge full of familiar soft drinks courtesy of a well-known-manufacturer. And while these established products are often viewed as the prudent choice, it might be time to reassess your range. Not only can your drink extras create extra sales, they can also help enhance your brand identity and assure customers of your discernment.

Winning ways

The clock is ticking on the 2009 Baking Industry Awards and the search is on again to find the baking industry's high fliers and success stories. The awards, now in their 22nd year, recognise the hard work and passion of the people and companies that make the British baking industry one of the most exciting and innovative in the world.

Showgirl glitz

Designing somebody's birthday cake and creating sugarpaste figures to go on it is all in a day's work for cake decorator Leanne Tang, but this doesn't mean it all comes easily. The winner of Renshaw-sponsored Celebration Cake Maker of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards 2008, says one of the most challenging parts of the competition was trying to keep her showgirls' heads on with spaghetti.

Seasonal seller

Sweet mild peppers, sometimes referred to as bell peppers or capsicums, are related to chillies.

National Doughnut Week: a chance for charity

With National Doughnut Week (NDW) not far off (9-16 May) sponsor BakeMark UK is urging craft bakers to get a head start and make the most of the charitable week with a great giveaway.

Book Review

In my world

Sorting through my grandmother's bakery file with my pop, we came across a folder containing old documents and newspaper clippings. One item from the year dot was my great grandmother's birth certificate, dated 1887, and the rank/profession of father is recorded as baker. That confirmed my heritage as being at least a fifth-generation baker and gives my son, Milo, the opportunity of being the sixth (no pressure - but we're already seven years into an 18-year training programme).

Jus-Rol takes new shapes

Jus-Rol is expanding its frozen pastry shapes range with the launch of a new shortcrust oval. The company is promoting the new shape as a convenient way to top pies, but it can also be used as an individual pie base.

Yazoo shake-up

Milkshake brand Yazoo has unveiled a new £3.5m television and outdoor advertising campaign, which forms part of the brand's ongoing mission to drive growth in the UK flavoured milk category.

PFM uses Pro2Pac for integrated launch

Italian manufacturer PFM Packaging Machinery launched a new integrated multihead weigher and bagging machine at the Pro2Pac exhibition at the ExCeL centre in London this month.

Mecaplastic seals deal

Mecaplastic offers a range of sandwich filling and sealing machines, enabling businesses to select the right capacity for their requirements.

Mono stages display day

Swansea-based machinery firm Mono Equipment hosted an open day at Miller's Vanguard's Training facility in Bury earlier this month, to display the latest machinery, designed to increase efficiency, productivity and profit.

Dibas decks out its offer

Dibas is promoting its deck oven for establishments that bake-off snacks and pastries, but which also want to serve pizzas as part of their offering. The EBO Deck Oven, manufactured by Dibas, is distributed in the UK by CBES Food Systems. It allows up to three baking chambers to be stacked on top of each other, but each has its own individual controls, enabling bakers to bake a range of different products at the same time.

Sollich keeps an even temper

Sollich is promoting the Minitemper 100 FD to add real chocolate to your product, for bakers aiming to enhance sales appeal and profitability. Sollich said it was important to use real chocolate, despite the fact the cocoa butter present makes it more challenging to handle compared to compound chocolate.

Supported by...


Join the drive for craft bakers

In recent years, the independent craft bakery sector has sometimes struggled to promote itself to customers and potential employees. Now, the time has come to banish the 'humble baker' persona and start shouting about yourselves!

Strength in numbers

How do you grow in a recession? That was one of the interesting topics discussed at the recent British Confectioners' Association meeting in Gloucester.


Imports of macadamia nuts are experiencing year-on-year growth, according to the latest figures published, with the baking industry also seeing increased use of the nut. In 2008, macadamia nut imports rose by 45%, from 500 to 737 tonnes. However, consumption of these nuts is thought to be much higher, as the figures do not include the quantity of the nut imported as part of fruit and nut mixes.

Seeds pricing

Pine nuts: Prices have remained firm since our last report and are now trading some 15% higher than in December. Apart from the volatile currency, availability from China this season seems very sporadic, with a reduced supply to China from Russia and Siberia.

Allied workers concerned by contract loss

Workers at Allied Bakeries' plant in Netherton are fearing for their jobs after Tesco reduced its business with the firm, which employs 150 staff at the site.

Shop planning refusal could cost Costa

Costa Coffee could be forced to close one of its shops, following a planning appeal in Beverley. The coffee chain opened a store in the Yorkshire market town last year, without permission to change the use of a former shoe shop - a Grade 2 Listed Building in the town's conservation area.

Supermarkets manage to pull in the apprentices

Supermarket chains are attrac-ting record numbers of young bakers to their apprenticeship schemes.

In Short

== Kingsmill links with Wallace & Gromit ==

Morrisons to extend local flour scheme

Morrisons plans to extend a regional scheme, selling bread made from flour milled in the local area.

McCambridge site faces an uncertain future

The future of McCambridge's Bradford bakery is in doubt as bosses consider a proposal to close the cake manufacturing site at Thornton Road.

Ireland holds off on folic acid

Ireland's food safety body has advised against the mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid.

Brakes aims for top slot in bakery foodservice

Wholesale giant Brakes has set its sights on becoming the num-ber one UK bakery foodservice wholesaler, following the launch of its new bakery division next week, which will target the coffee shop and catering sectors.

Finsbury sees investments hit profit line

Finsbury Foods' profit has taken a severe hit, with adjusted pre-tax profit down 45% to £1.8m for the six months to 31 December 2008. Pre-tax profit stood at £0.2m compared to £1.6m in 2008, despite increasing sales in its bread and free-from divisions.

Canada Bread drops inquiry

Canada Bread Company, owner of UK bagel supplier Maple Leaf Bakery, will take no further action after an internal investigation into allegations that an employee at its UK bakery operations may have sought to influence the pricing of a competitor.

Bookings open for BIA

This week we open for table bookings to the Baking Industry Awards, which take place on Tuesday 8 September at a new venue, the prestigious Park Lane Hilton.

In Short

== Cupcakes sponsor ==

Craft poll reveals positive attitude to training

Most craft bakers would be happy to spend time and money on staff training, a poll by British Baker on behalf of the National Skills Academy (NSA) has revealed.

Finsbury's profit is hit hard

Finsbury Foods’ profit has taken a severe hit, with adjusted pre-tax profit down 45% to £1.8m for the six months to 31 December 2008. Pre-tax profit stood at £0.2m compared to £1.6m in 2008, despite increasing sales in its bread and free-from divisions.

Ireland holds off on folic acid fortification

Ireland’s food safety body has advised against the mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid.
The implementation group on folic acid fortification said there would be no benefit to public health, because food manufacturers were now adding it to dairy spreads, fruit juices, milk, yoghurts, soups and cereal bars.

England’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) now has the results of two studies looking at the effect of folic acid on cancer and heart disease, and is likely to make its recommendation following a committee meeting in June. It had previously agreed flour should be fortified, before being encouraged by the chief medical officer to consider more studies.

Market Insight

British Lion Egg Products Supplement
The stamp of assurance

The Lion Code of Practice sets higher standards of hygiene and food safety than required by law and stringent rules govern every stage of egg production, from breeding farms and hatcheries, to packing stations and finished product.  Learn more.

Click here to download the pdf

Canada Bread drops inquiry

Canada Bread Company, the parent company of the UK’s biggest bagel supplier Maple Leaf Bakery, will take no further action following an internal investigation into allegations that an employee at its UK bakery operations may have sought to influence the pricing of a competitor.

Elisabeth the Chef cuts cartoon cake licence deal

Cake and dessert supplier Elisabeth the Chef has added a number of new cartoon character licences to its portfolio. Batman – in a new bright cartoon format - joins the line-up in a bid to capitalise on a new light-hearted animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which hits TV screens at the end of March.

In the BB archives

It is difficult to account for the determined hostility of certain interests to bread-eating. In the broadcast given recently by our foremost dietician Sir John Orr, he stressed the importance of fruit, dairy products and eggs; his remarks as to the value of bread, however, fell short of doing justice to the great energy-imparting virtue of this famous foundation for the ideal diet. Hollywood diets have attained an unusual publicity. So it is of interest to note that Beatrice De Sylva, "Special Beauty Advisor to Famous Stars", is constantly, she states, disabusing the minds of people who have the idea that self-starvation is an essential to beauty. In her opinion any slendering diet must include bread as one of its most important ingredients. Semi-starvation is a very dangerous proceeding, leading to nervous and mental disorders, and, to keep fit in mind and body, a generous diet is a necessity, with bread as an essential groundwork.

Fresh twist for rugby man

What do you do if you're an England international rugby player who has just been banned for two years after being busted for cocaine abuse? Suddenly finding himself with a lot of free time on his hands, South African born 26-year-old prop Matt Stevens is said to be planning on opening a coffee shop in Bath called Jika Jika, which translates as twist or turn in Zulu.

Regular or grande cup size?

If St Anselm's thought a boozy bakery was bad, heaven knows how they might have reacted had Grand View Topless Coffee Shop - which has opened in the US town of Maine - opened next door. The name captures the essence of what this café has to offer without the need of further elaboration from Stop the Week.

Mouthing off

"In my profession, my taste buds and sensory skills are crucial. My 18 years of experience enable me to distinguish between thousands of flavours. My taste buds also allow me to distinguish any defects"

Church ire over bakery

Bread and wine have long been seen as a pretty decent pairing - not least since this coupling was cemented when it was put to good use at a certain dinner table some 2,000 years ago.

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