Northern Foods’ bakery division has seen solid seasonal demand over Christmas, according to its interim statement for the 13 weeks ended 27 December 2008. Underlying revenue was up 1.9%, with average prices increasing by 2%. The food firm also noted a good performance for its own-label and Matthew Walker puddings.

== Northern highlights ==

== SAMB to look at fats ==

The Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) is to organise a series of workshops with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), looking at the technical aspects of lowering fats in bakery products. Details of the workshops will be revealed soon. The SAMB had recently aired concern to FSA officials regarding the effect its anti-saturated fats campaign may have on bakery products.

== Food sales hold firm ==

Food sales grew marginally in the Christmas trading period, despite total UK retail sales values falling 3.3% on a like-for-like basis, according to the British Retail Consortium. The December figures were the worst since data was first collected 14 years ago.

== Inbake redundancies ==

Supermarket in-store bakery (ISB) company Inbake has made around 80 people redundant in the past year, after its main customer, the Co-operative Group, decided to bring its ISB operation in-house. Eight ISBs and 10 satellite units at Co-op stores have closed.

== Scores on the Doors ==

The FSA has approved a six-tier Scores on the Doors hygiene rating scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Retail bakeries and foodservice operators are encouraged to voluntarily display the scores on the premises. Scotland is to continue its two-tier system of ’pass’ or ’improvement required’.