Roberts Bakery raises funds for cancer charity

Roberts Bakery hosted its first charity ball on Saturday (24 September), in aid of The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal, and raised more than £21,000 for the cause.


Scones voted signature UK treat

Scones with cream and jam have been crowned the UK’s signature treat, according to results of a recent survey by Dawn Foods.

Get your World Scotch Pie entries in

Entries are now open for this year’s World Scotch Pie Championships, which sees bakers and butchers vying against each other for the top spot.

Bakers warned on fridge gases

Bakers are being urged to get to grips with new legislation for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment or risk being fined.

BIA winner to star in TV show

Bakery Industry Award winner Amelia Nutting is to star in a BBC3 TV series, which will be broadcast in January.

Lees posts sales boost, warns on costs

Lees Foods this morning predicted its full year pre-tax profit will be ahead of expectations – despite the rising cost of raw materials.

Free-from becoming mainstream?

Free-from has hit the big time, according to speakers at a recent Food and Drink Innovation Network (FDIN) seminar, held last week.

Finsbury CEO outlines growth

The export of branded cakes has helped Finsbury Food Group to a 12.1% increase in sales in its cake division, as the exchange rate has benefited its Lightbody Europe (LBE) business.

Shoppers turn to brands

Shoppers are turning to brands – despite the weakened consumer confidence, according to research.

Starbucks eyes acquisitions and new markets

Starbucks, the global coffee chain, will look at acquisition opportunities, introducing healthier options and opening its first stores in India and Vietnam in the next 24 months.

Aryzta announces sales boost

Speciality bakery company Aryzta has announced a 54% increase in revenues to €2.85bn for the year ended 31 July.

Finsbury maintains growth in cake sales

Finsbury Food Group has posted a 12.6% increase in group revenue in its preliminary results for the year to 2 July 2011, aided by the return to growth of its cake division.

M&S tries out new ISB concept

Sixteen Marks & Spencer (M&S) stores are to benefit from new-style in-store bakeries (ISBs), as part of a £600m plan by chief executive Mark Bolland to revamp its stores, as the retailer aims to “catch up” with its competition.

Kudos invests in agent to reduce sodium content

Raising agent manufacturer and supplier Kudos Blends has invested £750,000 to expand its milling and blending facility.

Blaa producer urges other bakers to seek PGI status

An Irish baker who is applying for EU protected status for one of his products has urged bakers across the UK and Ireland to follow suit.

Union calls for maximum temperature in bakeries

Bakeries are under pressure to do more to reduce workplace temperatures after the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) launched a campaign to get a maximum working temperature enshrined in UK legislation.

Bakery union makes claims against Park Cakes

The Bakers Food and Workers Union (BFAWU) has claimed that Park Cake Bakeries is attempting to bypass new legislation covering agency workers and has asked local MPs for their support.

Warning over Olympic logo

Bakers who use the Olympic ‘five rings’ or 2012 logos on products without permission risk being taken to court.

Next issue: 7 October

lBakers' Fair Review

Caught in the Web

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mamma Mia! musical and its status as the 10th-longest running show on Broadway, Magnolia Bakery is offering an official Mamma Mia! cupcake in vanilla or chocolate, topped with blue sparkling icing

Now that really does take the biscuit

Auctioneers at Christie's are expecting a biscuit to earn up to $2,500 at auction. The 104-year-old biscuit is a survivor from explorer Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod expedition to the South Pole in 1907. Made by Huntley & Palmers, the biscuit, which was found in the hut at Cape Royds, Shackleton's base of operations during the expedition, was designed to provide energy and protein. If past experience is anything to go by, then the biscuit could achieve far more than a modest $2,500; a handful of crumbs from Shackleton's more famous Endurance expedition sold for $11,000 back in 2001.

Pimping mixers

National Cupcake Week also allowed us to discover a man with an unusual bakery-related passion for pimping Hobart mixers.

Mouthing off

"She's so glamorous with so much presence and she made a wonderfully clever speech I was in awe of her. No wonder people follow her she's a powerhouse." Then a quiet, near inaudible aside: "There's quite a lot of her, though."

Cupcake challenge

The bonanza that was National Cupcake Week saw all kinds of wacky behaviour come to light. On Twitter, two Cupcake Week followers @ksaxoninternet and @SEOMalc battled it out to see who could eat the most cupcakes in one week. By the end of the week @ksaxoninternet had conceded defeat on around 30 cupcakes, while @SEOMalc was actually starting to make his own cupcakes. He wrote: "In a surprising twist of fate, we are making cupcakes. After 50, my body is craving more." Having reached the grand total of his 50th cupcake, he filmed himself eating the last one We don't envy his sugar levels

Tunnel vision

Energy efficiency, hygiene and safe and easy access are among features winning bakers over to tunnel ovens, while bespoke solutions and versatility to alter baking programmes are closing the deal.

Functional flour

H ere's the idea. Launch a new premium speciality flour, maybe a gluten-free mix made with the ancient grain amaranth, milled under a full moon to the sound of harpsichord. Make a fat margin. Invest in your business. Never look back.

Start-ups: Time to get active online

By Mellissa Morgan, aka Ms Cupcake.

A modern take on... Chocolate Mini Meringues with ganache and pistachio

When making meringues, it is very important that all your equipment (bowls, mixers, spatulas, spoons) are completely clean, since the slightest trace of grease can ruin the outcome. Rub equipment with lemon juice, then rinse and dry completely to remove all traces of fat.

Online firm offers artisan flour range

Online supplier has launched an extensive new range of artisan stoneground flours, as part of its aim to expand its offering of hard-to-find ingredients sought by independent and domestic artisan bakers.

NZ company mixes it for UK market

New Zealand-based manufacturer ECS Engineering, has launched a range of high-speed Chorleywood Bread Process (CBP) mixers in the UK market.

Banette concept hits the UK

An iconic French artisan bakery concept, 'Banette', is now available to the UK for the first time, exclusively through FWP Matthews. Banette Flour is milled by FWP in the Cotswolds under licence from Banette International. "Using the unique registered process 'Banette Fermentation Primeur', an original artisan baguette can be created," said the miller.

Wire cake slicer devised

Following increasing demand from customers for pre-portioned cakes, baker Noreen Salador devised CakePortioner, a wire portioner now in production with worldwide patents pending.

Bolton awaits bakers' visit

B olton arena will play host to the 5th annual Bakers' Fair this autumn, which takes place on Sunday 2 October. The free-to-attend event, sponsored by Norbake, will be coupled with Butchers' Fair as it was at the spring fair in April, giving great opportunities to those companies that work across both sectors.

Seed pricing

Pine nuts: Prices have eased then risen again over the past few months, for the following reasons: there are positive expectations for Russian, Chinese and South Korean new crops, following successive years of availability issues, resulting in prices falling from the highs of the past two years. This has put pressure on Pakistan, which will now return to playing second fiddle to the origins. Also, because importers were expecting continued price weakness, increasing numbers were importing progressively fewer containers in order to avoid potentially selling out later at a loss in a falling market. This has caused prices to bounce back, as availability has now become extremely tight.

Reporting in

Lewis Maclean

EU sugar quota abolition could push prices down

Bakers could benefit from falling sugar prices if the EU's widely leaked plan to abolish sugar quotas is successful.

Arden creates exclusive item for Waitrose

Continental bakery distributor Arden Fine Foods has developed a new Italian brand exclusively for Waitrose, with four new biscuit lines hitting the retailer's shelves this month.

Kerry to expand via SuCrest buy

The Kerry Group is to expand its sweet ingredients and flavours business in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), with the proposed acquisition of SuCrest.

In Short

Retail bakery plans

In Short

Dr Schär cuts a deal

Welsh bakery goes to MBI

The management team of Berwyn Bakery has formed a new company, The Cake Crew, to purchase the assets of the bakery, saving around 70 jobs, after it was placed into administration earlier this month.

Scottish firm rebrands as Poundbakehouse

Kelso-based J L Bakery is fighting against the effects of the recession with a rebrand of its retail estate. So far, three of its eight shops Galashiels, Jedburgh and Innerleithen have been rebranded as Poundbakehouse as the firm looks to counteract the 35% drop in sales it has suffered over the past three years.

In Short

Bakers' Fair nears

Case Study

Employees do not need a year's service in order to bring an unfair dismissal claim if they reasonably believe even if wrongly that they are in serious and imminent danger and, as a result, take reasonable steps to prevent harm to themselves and others.

Case Study

Here is a reminder to act reasonably in health dismissals.

where do you stand?

From day one of employment, all employees have the statutory right to take dependant's leave, providing, of course, that they inform you of their requirement as soon as is reasonably practicable. Its purpose is so they can deal with unexpected emergency situations involving: a spouse; a partner; a child; a parent; a person who lives with them as part of their family; or a person who reasonably relies on them for assistance. Dependants do not include tenants or lodgers living in their family home.

Won't do the job

Sometimes an employee may fail to carry out additional tasks they have been given. This may take the form of an outright verbal refusal or behaviour that quickly stacks up to be task avoidance. So if you are ever faced with this type of situation, how should you deal with it? Will it come under your capability procedure, or is it a misconduct issue?

Dealing with the fall-out from the riots

The nationwide riots that erupted in August took everyone except, of course, those who planned them by surprise. They forced thousands of businesses across the country to shut and, due to the losses and damage sustained, many were unable to re-open for a significant period. Sadly, some remain closed or will be unlikely to trade again, mainly as a result of fire damage.

The National Minimum Wage rates will rise again on 1st October 2011

£6.08 per hour aged 21+

National Insurance numbers - the end of the plastic card

Be aware that, when checking the details of a new employee, many more will now provide you with a letter showing their NI number, rather than a plastic card, as these are being gradually phased out in a move that is expected to save up to £1m each year.

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