November

World Scotch Pie Championship winner announced

A butcher has pipped a baker to the World Scotch Pie Championship post, as Murdoch Brothers Butchers was announced the winner of the 11th annual contest.

Highest-placed baker in the Scotch Pie category was Airdrie-based Bon Bon Cake Shop, which achieved Gold 2nd Runner-Up.

World Scotch Pie Championship winner announced

A butcher has pipped a baker to the World Scotch Pie Championship post, as Murdoch Brothers Butchers was announced the winner of the 11th annual contest.

Highest-placed baker in the Scotch Pie category was Airdrie-based Bon Bon Cake Shop, which achieved Gold 2nd Runner-Up.

A record entry of 85 butchers and bakers – 84 of them from Scotland – were represented in the secret judging, which was held at Carnegie College earlier this month. Alongside the Scotch Pie competition, there were seven other categories to enter.

The winning bakery businesses included Nicoll’s Rosebank Bakery in Dundee, which won the Diamond award in the Bridies category. Nevis Bakery in Corpach won the Savouries Vegetarian category for its vegetarian haggis, neeps (turnips) & tattie pie.

Kassy’s Kitchen in Cowdenbeath claimed the Diamond award for the Savouries Hot category with its roast lamb & mint sauce pie. The Diamond award for hand-held steak pies went to Stuarts of Buckhaven; and Charmers Bakery in Bucksburn won the Savouries Cold category with its black pudding & apple pie.

Winning butcheries were Fraserburgh-based Bruce of the Broch, which came top in the Savouries Fish category with its Smoked Haddock Pie; and T Johnston in Dunfermline took the title for the top Sausage Roll.

“The objective is to raise standards in the industry and we believe we have achieved that,” commented event organiser Alan Stuart of bakery and butchery business Stuarts of Buckhaven. “We are also encouraged to see a number of new entrants, 15 in total.”

US Subway stores to serve Starbucks coffee

Starbucks has announced plans to put its Seattle’s Best Coffee brand into more than 9,000 Subway stores in the US.

The freshly brewed coffee will be served in the sandwich chain’s outlets by the end of 2009, with Subway planning more store openings in 2010.

A deal has also been signed which will see the Seattle’s Best brand in 800 Canadian Subway outlets by the end of the year.

“Today, consumers are looking for and expect a high-quality premium coffee experience wherever they are,” commented Michelle Gass, president of Seattle’s Best Coffee.

Established in 1970, Seattle’s Best Coffee has more than 550 specialty coffee cafes, kiosks and other concepts in the US. It is also available nationwide in supermarkets and at more than 6,000 foodservice locations.

Finsbury sees declining cake sales

Finsbury Foods has announced that falling sales in its cake business have resulted in a 2% drop in revenue for the 17 weeks to the end of October.

The firm, which manufactures cake, bread and morning goods, revealed that group revenue was 2% less than the comparable period last year, and 4% behind on a like-for-like basis, excluding the recently acquired Goswell business.

Pidy plans to double UK sales growth

Belgium-based pastry manufacturer Pidy has announced plans to increase its presence in the UK, with a particular focus on the bakery and café sectors.

US Subway stores to serve Starbucks coffee

Starbucks has announced plans to put its Seattle’s Best Coffee brand into more than 9,000 Subway stores in the US.

Seed pricing

Pine nuts: These have had one of the worst seasons on record. The reduced Chinese crop, together with the failure of supplemental Russian and Siberian material to make it across the border into China, combined to create a massive shortage in a season that saw exponential growth in the development of pine nuts. China reports another poor crop, although the key to the total supply into 2010 remains on the additional supply from Russia predominantly, which will or won't make up another shortfall. Pakistani pine nuts have made a greater appearance over the past season and although they offer a price saving, it has been suggested that the quality, appearance and sizing are inferior to China.
Pumpkin seeds: After a dramatic season of under-supply and increased demand, China appears to be continuing its policy of further plantations of better-yielding oil seed crops, which, per acre, deliver a better return, albeit at lower pricing per kilo, than the excessively priced, but poor-yielding pumpkins. This has been further exacerbated by a poor crop reported this season in Austria. Prices look to be firm overall into 2010.
Sunflower seeds: Compared to pine nuts and pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds present a substantial cost saving. This will almost certainly stimulate greater demand for sunflower in its own right and as an ingredient in bakery, manufacturing and seed mixes alike.

Report

The improved quality of UK harvested wheat and barley crops this year could have implications for UK supply and demand balance with potentially less availability for millers, according to the HGCA's latest cereals report. However, this compares to a poor season in 2008 and the results should also be placed in the context of large carry-over stocks of unclear quality, totalling around three million tonnes, it said.
Michael Archer, HGCA senior cereals and oilseeds analyst, explained: "Although quality has improved it must be remembered that this is in comparison to a very poor season in 2008." He told British Baker that the implications around supply and demand will mainly surround the availability of wheat and barley to millers, maltsters and exporters.
"We are potentially looking at a higher proportion of the crop meeting the quality requirements of millers," said Archer. "But even though it is a higher-quality crop, there is less of it."
The final results for wheat have shown a lower moisture content, higher Hagberg Falling Number, higher specific weight and higher protein compared to 2008. The barley results revealed a lower moisture content, higher nitrogen content and higher specific weight.
The survey was based on 61,000 samples of wheat and 30,000 samples of barley from laboratories around Britain.

Next issue 4 December

lFats & Oils
With bakers under pressure to reduce sat fats and use sustainable oils, what are the options?
lFree-from
We look at why sales of gluten-free breadshave gone through the roof
lThe Big Interview
The resurgence of Hovis' market share has been the big story in wrapped bread. We ask brand boss Jon Goldstone how they did it

In the BB archives

A baker who had a better idea of the value of empty flour sacks than he had of the ethics of stealing was sentenced to three months' imprisonment at Darlaston. He went to the bakehouse of a neighbour and wanted to buy 21 flour sacks, the value of which was seven shillings. The owner did not wish to sell them, and the prisoner went away, but afterwards, he was seen carrying the sacks from the premises. He was followed to a public house and, when charged with taking them, he expressed surprise that he should be charged with stealing, as the constable had recovered them. His plea, which did not obviate his imprisonment, was that he had been drinking and he did not know what he was doing.

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