Don’t miss the Fair

Bakers’ Fair is just around the corner, so make sure you have registered to attend the event at Bolton Arena on 3 October. Pre-registrations are more than double the total from this time last year, so the day looks set to be a hive of activity. Now in its fourth year, it is the UK’s only autumn exhibition for professional independent bakery companies, cafés and coffee shops. Visit for more information or to register for free.

Maple Leaf offer vote

As British Baker went to press, staff at the Maple Leaf bakery plant in Walsall were voting on whether to accept an improved offer on pay and conditions. Threatened industrial action by 125 union members was withdrawn pending the outcome of the vote, which was called when the company put a new offer on the table. It follows weeks of talks between bosses and the Bakers Food and Allied Workers’ Union.

Dunbar development

Dunbar Community Bakery is set to sign a lease on a property in the town’s high street, which will move it a step closer towards opening a community baker’s shop. However, planning red tape means that a pre-Christmas opening date is likely to be moved back to next spring. It has already raised thousands of pounds from local shareholders and hopes to generate an extra £80,000 in grants.

Costa stays strong

Costa Coffee has delivered another excellent performance, according to parent company Whitbread, with total sales up 28% for the 24 weeks to 19 August 2010. Like-for-like sales for the period increased by 8.3%, "with product innovation in both drinks and food driving strong transaction growth", said the firm.