Dried fruit pricing

Coconut: The pricing situation has changed little, with strong coconut oil prices, buyers seemingly prepared to pay historically high prices to cope with demand, very light stocks in the UK and across Europe, and a long lead from origin to destination all of which looks set to continue for some time.

Next issue: 29 july


Lightweight thievery

According to the BBC, a Sussex man was due to face charges in Hastings Magistrates Court this week in connection with the theft of three cakes from Earls Bakery in St Leonards on 30 June. And the twist in the tale? The cakes were fake displays made from polystyrene decorated with icing. So, you can steal your cakes and eat them, but risk choking to death in the process.

Caught in the Web

"Base, base, base, base, buttery biscuit base"... Over a million people view Masterchef host Gregg Wallace becoming a dance superstar... bit.ly/qSrrwQ

Gore to the fore again

Just to prove that the gore cake phenomenon is not a "London thing", Gillian Bell of Fife, Scotland, is the latest cake designer to test the limits of taste, with a human skin cake (above left) inspired by the film Silence of the Lambs if you recall, the hunted serial killer Buffalo Bill skinned his victims to wear them as a suit. The 31-year-old has launched her own firm, Deadbright, on the back of the attention.

Friendly focaccia

Self-styled 'Global Baker' Dean Brettschneider, the New Zealand baker currently working with bakery products supplier Bakehouse, shows how to make delicious, versatile bread that's a great accompaniment to barbecue food. And since there's no yeast in this recipe, it is really fast to prepare too.

Positive outlook

There are a lot of bakers out there who see a light at the end of the tunnel and then go and switch it off," says Robin Jones, who was named Baker of the Year, sponsored by Vandemoortele, at the Baking Industry Awards in 2010.

Reporting in

What a busy first month in office I have had, starting with the very successful NAMB conference at Blackpool. A lot of people have said how much they enjoyed the weekend, and many thanks to all those who offered me their best wishes and support for my year in office.

Cost-cutting helps UBUK's profits

United Biscuits UK saw profits rise by 10.4% to £218.5m last year, on sales of £1.06bn only 1% up on the previous year.

Border Biscuits invests £2.5m to grow business

Lanarkshire-based Border Bis-cuits hopes to boost business by 50% with a £2.5m investment.

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