Rise for Allied
A strong performance by Allied Bakeries in the year to 12 September 2009, helped increase sales at Associated British Foods’ grocery division by 13% to £3,188m. Profit declined by 2% to £191m, mainly due to first-half problems with its ACH subsidiary in the US and a highly competitive UK retail sugar market for Silver Spoon, said the company.

Improve-d learning
Skills organisation Improve has developed new work-based and vocational qualifications for the food and drink industry, to give employers more control over training. The Improve Proficiency Qualifications (IPQs) and Improve Vocational Qualifications (IVQs) will offer complementary learning and assessment for people already employed in the industry and those looking to get into it.

Student stars
Bakery students at Barking College have played a starring role in an educational video commissioned by Morrisons, capturing what it takes to train bakers of the future. It aims to inspire and inform young people about the quality of the training and development opportunities for a career in grocery retailing.

Bacterium research
Campden BRI is bringing together bakery manufacturers and retailers to fund research into whether the bacterium Clostridium botulinum can grow in products such as white and wholemeal bread, naans and muffins.

Price inflation
The price of a loaf of bread could rise to £6.50 by 2030, according to figures published by Friends of the Earth. The charity has claimed the changing climate will put "extra stress" on land and resources, negatively affecting the yield of crops such as wheat.