Italians get set for a 'show-stopping' event

UK bakers are invited to attend Italy's premier bakery show for machinery, combining demonstrations and 'show-stopping' equipment. AB Tech Expo takes place on October 23-27 at Milan's Fieramilano showground, easily accessible from the city.

New company offers bakers support

A new complete project management company is offering bakers a support package to boost their business.

BSC succumbs to financial woes

The Baked Snacks Company (BSC) has gone into administration after facing financial difficulties and staff disputes.

Basic biscuits losing out to premium varieties

Consumers are spurning basic biscuits for premium varieties, according to new research.

Industry veteran sets up consultancy

Brian Clarke, who has over 30 years of industrial and instore bakery experience including international consultancy work in Europe and Australia, is now heading up a consultancy: European Food Consultants.

British Baker to stop selling in newsagents

British Baker will no longer be sold at newsagents from the end of September.

Cadbury Cocoa House seeks London bread firm

Cadbury Cocoa House is gearing up for the launch of the first of 50 planned outlets and is currently looking to work with a London-based specialist bread supplier.

Raise a smile

The Village Bakery, Melmerby, is hoping to spread some happiness with a new campaign, which involves consumers suggesting how they would use £250 to make someone smile.

Jobs to go as Brace's cuts back on distribution

Brace's Bakery is to scale back its logistics operation, with the potential loss of 37 jobs.

Wheat genome code has been cracked

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have succeeded in decoding the genome of wheat in a breakthrough which could help crop breeders increase the yield of British wheat varieties.

Top tweets

ThePhoenixBaker: Ooo there is a little man out there I really don't like! If I could erase u from my past u would be gone! U know who u r!

Next issue: 10 September

lAlcohol in bakery

Caught in the web

1 A new baking movement called 'Blokes who bake' emerges in New Zealand, "so blokes can get recipes, share recipes and bake their arses off, safe in the knowledge that other blokes are baking too" (we didn't know New Zealand men were so insecure about their sexuality)

Britain's Most Bog-standard Bakery Show

2010 was shaping up to be a golden year for baking on TV, as commissioners finally cottoned on to baking's rise in popularity. Alas, following the disastrous showing for bakers in Mary Queen of Shops, The Great British Bake-Off, currently showing on BBC2, looks like another damp squib. "There was a moment three-quarters of the way through, when you expected the picture to topple forward and hit the floor as the cameraman finally gave up the will to live," wrote The Telegraph's underwhelmed Iain Hollingshead.

United Sats of America

With all the talk of food prices rising, we need to bulk up while we can to sustain us through the tough times. We thought the deep-fried Eccles cake couldn't be topped until the US strutted back on court and casually slam-dunked the winner in the sat fat wars. Last year Stop the Week reported on the aptly-named Heart Attack Café The Harlem Globe Trotters of sat-fatuousness which was peddling deep-fried Coke balls. It has upped the ante with the closest food equivalent to cyanide yet to be developed: deep-fried butter balls (see

Cost-conscious coffee

While having trained baristas is no doubt a sexy addition to a high street set-up, it's not every operator's cup of tea. For those that can't afford the time to drill their staff in distinguishing their single estate Guatemalan roast from their Kopi Luwak coffee bean (that's the ultra-premium semi-digested bean that comes from cat poo worth knowing), let alone cost in the training, there are a range of entry-level and mid-market options available.

Festive focus

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference dessert line for Christmas features 14 new or improved-recipe products, including a Belgian Chocolate Brownie Torte and a Toffee Pecan Roulade. It is also launching several Taste the Difference chocolate desserts, including: Gift Cake a square sponge base topped with a rich mousse, laced with brandy, glazed with a ganache-style topping and adorned with a handmade white chocolate ribbon; a Triple Layer Cake three layers of Belgian chocolate cake; and an all-butter vanilla cake sandwich, together with a chocolate buttercream filling and topped with chocolate icing and flakes. All its Christmas cakes, including a Taste The Difference Holly Leaf version, are new, says a spokesperson.

Christmas baking

Don't worry if you haven't thought about Christmas yet, you won't be alone. But the months can whizz by so fast that, before you know it, it's January and you're regretting not doing enough preparation. Time to put things right and make it the most successful month ever.

Can we query a fit note with GP?

Q Can we ask the GP if a fit note is real? You recently advised that employees can purchase fake (yet convincing) fit notes over the internet. If we doubt the legitimacy of one, can we ask the GP to confirm they issued it, or do data protection laws prevent us from doing so?

Mix business and pleasure at the annual get-together


CRC and you

The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), a new carbon emissions trading scheme that will affect large organisations in the UK, started in April 2010. It is primarily aimed at commercial and public sector organisations and is intended to sit alongside Climate Change Agreements (CCAs).

Equality Bill - some late changes

1. Pregnant women: pregnancy becomes a protected characteristic in its own right (similar to age, disability etc) instead of being lumped in with sex. If the Bill is passed, it will be directly discriminatory to treat a woman unfavourably because of her pregnancy, pregnancy-related illness or absence on maternity leave during the "protected period". This period starts when the pregnancy begins and ends either when she returns to work at the end of her maternity leave period or two weeks after giving birth.

How to test the fire alarm

Many businesses get fire alarm testing wrong. Some assume it is too specialist to do in-house and spend money unnecessarily, while others delegate the job, without giving proper instructions. Although it is quite an easy job for staff to undertake, it needs to be done correctly, as making mistakes could create serious fire risks. What's more, if staff make errors which lead to unnecessary building evacuation or fire service attendance, the costs can be significant.

Help on making salt savings

l Update on the progress of the joint Food Standards Agency (FSA)/National Association of Master Bakers' (NAMB) project on reducing salt in bread.

A job for life

Years ago, it was newspaper printers and dockers who had a job for life. But from October 2011, it will be everyone.

Seasoned thinking

The Food Standards Agency (FSA)/National Association of Master Bakers' project specifically looked at reducing salt levels in tin loaves and bloomers, as well as considering no-time dough, sponge-and-dough and long fermentation processes using a variety of flour types, improver types, dough temperatures and rest times.

Just desserts

Launceston-based Kensey Foods feels that the combination of its culture, facilities and the quality of its products helped it win the Bakery Food Manufacturer of the Year category, sponsored by ADM Milling, at the Baking Industry Awards last year. Part of the Samworth Brothers empire, the Cornish firm produces own-label premium chilled desserts and quiches, predominantly for Tesco, as well as a growing range of Cadbury desserts under licence, and is currently the biggest sponge pudding manufacturer in the UK, according to MD Des Kingsley.

New York state of mind

What happens when you take one Marks & Spencers cake buyer, one product developer and three suppliers and send them to New York to look at and taste cakes for 10 days?

Christmas Pudding Cake Pops

Recipe by The Tiny Cake Company

Traditionals with a twist GINGERBREAD by Fiona Burrell

There are many recipes for gingerbread, varying from decorated biscuits that are made into shapes, as in gingerbread men, to pale dry-ish cakes, which need a good thick spreading of butter or dark, moist sticky cakes, which last well and do not need any help in the way of icing or butter.

Brand Clinic

Don Williams, CEO of brand and design consultancy Pi Global discusses the influence of the boutique on the mainstream

In my world

David Powell, Deputy Master of the Worshipful Company of Bakers

Easier mix

Dawn Foods has added a range of add water-only mixes to its Baker's Select line.

Merit seen in despatch

Merit Technology has launched new software, which it hopes will transform the despatch-packing process for bakeries.

Premium muffins add profit

Country Choice has added a number of premium muffins to its product porfolio.

Bagged bites

CSM (UK) is offering a ReadiBake Mini-Bite Grab Bag, which can be filled with its range of mini-bite options, including Rocky Road chocolate treats, brownies, shortbread and flapjacks.

Halloween web woven

Maison Blanc has launched a whole host of new products, including some Halloween treats. In-store now is a Provençale Tart, made with flaky pastry, Emmental cheese, sliced tomatoes, Dijon mustard and aromatic Provençale herbs, as well as a Quiche Lorraine.

What's in the shoppers' minds?

By Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic business accelerator specialising in the bakery, foodservice and convenience retail sectors

Bonzer ideas for cups

The new range of Bonzer Cup Dispensers from Mitchell & Cooper can help remove clutter from the service counter, while preventing wastage and improving hygiene.

Jacob's take on flatbreads

Jacob's Flatbreads, a new range of savoury biscuits designed to make flatbreads more appealing, has been launched by United Biscuits. The product comes in Salt & Cracked Black Pepper and Mixed Seeds varieties in 150g packs with an RSP of £1.42. The flatbreads contain no artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives. Packs feature Jacob's orange packaging, while the product can be seen through a large window on the front.

Add a sparkle

Bakers can make their products shine by using a new decorating material from Azelis Food & Health/S Black. Candurin Gold Sparkle, developed by Merck KGaA, can give chocolates, pastries, ice cream, toppings and beverages a sparkle.

Steady as she goes

British Baker launched its league table of the UK's bakery, café and takeaway outlets in 2007. Since then, the big question on everyone's lips has been how long can Greggs, at number one, keep Subway at bay?

Food in the news

According to The Independent, an increasing number of retailers are introducing 'apps' designed to give customers personalised offers. Sainsbury's launched its app for the iPad and iPhone earlier this month. As well as offers, it allows users to collect Nectar points to use in-store. Other retailers reportedly using apps include Ocado, Waitrose and French chain Carrefour.


production stays low

Reporting In Don't neglect the training

Matthew May

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Greggs adds 18 outlets to extend BB75 lead

Greggs has extended its lead over rival bakery, café and takeaway outlets in the BB75 league table.

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