– INGREDIENTS supplier Zeelandia has added a “walk-in” freezer and a blast freezer at its technical centre in Billericay, Essex, so that it can do more research and development in the UK. In the short term, the freezers allow the Netherlands-based company to research pastry glazes and frozen products.- BRITISH Sandwich Week is to take place between May 14 and 20 this year. The week celebrates the £3.5 billion British sandwich industry.
The Real Good Food Company announced at its annual general meeting last week, that it has had an “encouraging start to the year”.However, for the first four months of 2007, year-on-year sales for its bakery ingredients division, Renshaw, were down. This was “principally due to the discontinued nut sales made in early 2006,” said chairman Pieter Totte, “but it was also due to a slow start to the year with our bakery customers.”Renshaw continues to manufacture marzipans, ready-to-roll icings, baking chocolate and jam.The Hayden’s Bakeries division, makers of chilled and ambient dessert products, on the other hand, has made a “steady start” to the year with sales ahead of last year, in line with expectations.Napier Brown Foods, the company’s sugar division, has seen volume ahead of last year, “reflecting wins in retail and industrial sectors, but margins slightly down,” added Totte.
Gail LindsayRich ProductsPremium frozen and ambient bakery products supplier Rich Products has appointed Gail Lindsay to the role of UK marketing manager. Lindsay, who previously worked as consumer and business to business marketing manager for Ordnance Survey, will be based at the company’s headquarters in Fareham. She will drive the UK marketing strategy for the company and work with the technical development team to bring new products to the market.Joanne Devlin, David Kelly, Dr Gary ClarkeIrwin’s BakeryPortadown-based Irwin’s Bakery has made three new appointments. Joanne Devlin has been appointed costing assistant, having previously worked for O & S Windows and Armatile. She is responsible for reviewing, updating and the maintenance of bill materials and all associated costing duties.David Kelly becomes quality co-ordinator at the company, joining from Moy Park. He is responsible for ensuring that Irwin’s products are safe, legal and of a high standard.Meanwhile, Dr Gary Clarke is the new demand planner for the company, joining from the Institute for Animal Health. He will co-ordinate the forecasting process.Malcolm Caldwell, Dave WalkdenSunfresh BakersMalcolm Caldwell has joined Ashton-under-Lyne-based Sunfresh as engineering manager, taking responsibility for the engineering team. He joins the firm from Hampsons Bakery and has 12 years’ experience in the food sector.Dave Walkden also joins the firm as senior operations manager, with responsibility for the day-to-day running of the 24/7 production team. Walkden has previously worked for Warburtons and Allied Bakeries and has previous experience of process development and the implementation of continuous improvement techniques. He will be responsible for building on the bakery operation and developing and implementing strategies.Mike O’RiordanNational Starch Food InnovationFunctional and nutritional ingredients supplier National Starch Food Innovation has promoted Mike O’Riordan to customer solutions and product innovation director, Europe. O’Riordan previously led the company’s European key accounts team, but in his new role will drive product innovation, enabling the company to deliver bespoke solutions for customers. He also becomes a member of the firm’s European cross-functional business leadership team.Alwen HillGreencore GroupConvenience foods and ingredients manufacturer Greencore has appointed Alwen Hill to a new role in the company – group purchasing and supply chain director. While she retains responsibility for the group’s purchasing managers and their teams, she will now also be responsible for the achievement of lean practices in the in-bound supply chain, warehousing and HGV distribution.
Just over a year after a major fire at its Bathgate facility at the end of October last year, Scottish firm United Central Bakeries (UCB) has ambitious plans.Rather than give up on the business or aim simply to rebuild, the management team decided on restructuring its production operations, in a bid to become “bigger and better”, duly dispensing with some of its “commodity” products and turning to increased automation to boost its output of popular niche lines.The firm’s renaissance was completed by July this year and turnover is already approaching pre-fire levels of around £9.5m per annum.UCB managing director Archy Cunningham reckons that figure could be trebled within the next three years, because of the growth potential now designed into the facility. He says the company could achieve this through a combination of expanding the output of current product lines and developing completely new areas of activity – including the production of specialist breads.aftermath and responseLast year’s blaze, which was attended by some 50 firefighters and a dozen engines, completely destroyed one of UCB’s three 30,000sq ft production bays and brought down the roof of another. At first, Cunningham thought the entire facility would succumb to the flames, but the third bay – an area dedicated to gluten-free products, which had been opened only six months earlier – suffered only smoke damage and loss of power and returned to full output some six weeks later.In the immediate aftermath of the fire, which started on the naan bread production line, the company installed generators and new telephone lines, and contacted customers and local suppliers who could help out. With two bays out of action, production of many of the company’s key lines was transferred to other firms – including fellow members of parent company the Finsbury Food Group. Cunningham says that many of UCB’s 140 staff were asked to relocate over this period, but demonstrated tremendous loyalty and flexibility – and not a single person has been made redundant. “The staff were incredible,” he says. “We bussed them backwards and forwards, but there were no complaints from anyone.”risen FROM THE ASHESWith the support of suppliers and customers, as well as the third-party manufacturers who provided essential back-up, Cunningham and his management team found time to look to the future. Within two weeks of the fire, UCB’s insurers had confirmed acceptance of full liability for the cost of replacing the lost assets, as well as compensation for the costs associated with the interruption to business. So, from a very early stage, the focus was on rebuilding the facility and improving what had gone before.”We designed it as we went along,” says Cunningham. “It wasn’t all plain sailing, but any problem we hit, we managed to overcome. It was problem-solving on the hoof.”The key decision, he says, was to discontinue production of low-margin “commodities”, such as Scottish cakes and rolls, in order to concentrate on boosting the production of more profitable lines through increased automation.To help achieve this, the company has invested around £3m in what Cunningham described as “a United Nations” of new equipment. A new unit from BVT Bakery Services of the Netherlands has raised UCB’s production capacity for twisted doughnut Yum Yums from 4,000 to 12,000 per hour for the mini versions and from 2,500 to 6,000 per hour for the larger product. The Yum Yum line also features a fryer from Moline of the USA and a spiral freezer from Dantech of Denmark, which was manufactured in Singapore.”Although we still hand-twist the Yum Yums, we now have totally automatic proving, frying, enrobing (with sugar glaze) and cooling,” says Cunningham. At present, he adds, the company is exploring the possibility of developing a filled Yum Yum product containing, for example, jam or chocolate. If research and development goes well, he envisages a launch date in late summer 2008.Before the fire, UCB was able to produce up to 5,000 potato scones per hour, but capacity has been massively increased through the installation of a BVT line and a hot plate from British firm Sugden, both of which can handle 12,000 pieces per hour. Mixers from Italian firm San Cassiano round out the array of international equipment in the Yum Yum/potato scone production bay.While this kit was being sourced and installed, UCB spent a further £2m on the building and related services, including rewiring work and new flooring, gas mains and water supply. The entire project, including pre-commissioning of the equipment, was completed within eight months of the potentially business-breaking blaze. “We now have world-class production and efficiencies – we have already achieved 89% efficiency on Yum Yums and 85% on our potato scones,” says Cunningham.With the new Yum Yum and potato scone lines both fitting within the same bay, UCB has been left with a further 30,000sq ft of fully-wired and air-conditioned production area, but the company already has plans to make use of this space – big plans, as Cunningham explains.bringing home the doughTrends in the bread market beckon for UCB. “We are aiming to spend £2-£3m on kit to produce artisan and speciality breads, such as focaccia, ciabatta and seeded rolls,” says Cunningham. “We want to be in niche markets at the premium end.”A proposal will be presented shortly to owner Finsbury Food Group’s board, with the aim of bringing the bread manufacturing operation on stream by October next year. “We feel we are on a roll,” adds Cunningham (drolly). “The factory has a ’wow’ factor and we have reached world-class manufacturing standards within three months. We’ve got great staff, a wonderful management team and Finsbury behind us. Also, we’ve got an empty production bay – so why wait?”UCB has already demonstrated success from its foray into the specialist breads arena; the firm launched its dedicated gluten-free bakery in April last year, but this operation is already contributing around one-third of the annual company turnover of £8.3m.UCB now offers a total of seven gluten-free lines, including pizza bases, naan breads, pitta breads and pancakes – six of which were “first to market”, stresses Cunningham. The most recent additions to the range include a crumpet, launched in September, which is already turning over an estimated £7,000 per week, and a jam doughnut, unveiled in late October.With the gluten protein in wheat, barley and rye thought to adversely affect up to one million in the UK alone, supermarket chains such as Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have already latched on to the potential of UCB’s gluten-free products. The company is also exporting to the Nordic countries and New Zealand and is in the process of developing interest in the French market, based on contacts gleaned from other parts of the Finsbury group.Taking all these factors into account, Cunningham is confident that, within three years, the company’s gluten-free sales will top £8m. He is also targeting an increase in total business turnover to £20-£25m over the same period, as well as significant additional job creation. The phoenix, it seems, has risen from the ashes. n—-=== Are you doing enough to meet new fire regs? ===Bakeries could be doing more to meet fire regulations that came into play in October 2006, says a fire and safety consultant, who believes businesses are not maintaining adequate records of checks and maintenance.These should provide the evidence that the systems you have in place are minimising and controlling the risks of fire outbreaks.The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order – or for Scotland, the Fire Scotland Act – changed the role of the fire service from one of inspecting to one of monitoring and enforcement. Safety officers now carry out audits of bakery businesses to assess their level of risk and bring to their attention any issues that need to be addressed. The audit covers every aspect of how the building is managed and the fire safety within, and failure to comply could ultimately lead to prosecution.Many companies are guilty of failing to carry out – or keep records – of weekly fire alarm tests and monthly emergency lighting tests. Lighting systems, which are prone to causing combustion from dust and flour, are not being regularly cleaned.Bakers must also safeguard against the highest risk in the baking process – the ovens. “When they look at their hot processes and the ovens, a regular cleaning programme for the flues, extractor systems and the oven itself, is important,” says fire prevention consultant Alan Gill of AWG Fire, Health & Safety. “It’s not enough to just say you cleaned them last month; we are now looking for the records, and they should be up-to-date.”Consider installing a suppression system that kicks in where there’s a fire. Such a system injects a high-pressure atomised mist into the oven, or discharges an inert gas, which can protect against very serious fire.Weekly fire inspections are vital and every member of staff should receive fire-awareness training – not just key members of staff. “It’s important that staff in the baking industry receive training annually – because it is well-known as a high-risk industry,” warns Gill.—-=== Firms affected by fire ===The UK baking industry has been blighted by a series of fires in recent years, from large-scale plants to craft manufacturers and supermarket in-stores. Here are some of the lowlights:2007AugustA Tesco superstore in Harlow, Essex, has to be evacuated after a fire in an in-store bakery.AprilWelsh bakery chain Ferrari’s has its headquarters in Hirwaun, south Wales, “severely damaged” by fire.2006JulyA fire at Fletchers bakery, Sheffield, costs Northern Foods £5m in lost sales, caused by “a catastrophic technical failure”.OctoberA fire that destroys part of United Central Bakeries’ West Lothian factory is believed to have started in a naan oven.DecemberGreencore suffers an electrical fire at its largest sandwich facility, Manton Wood, Nottinghamshire, when a switchboard fails and blows out the power.2005FebruaryFire destroys the New Rathbones bakery in Carlisle and takes 80 firefighters two days to control.AprilBakkavör’s group sales growth in speciality bread is hit by a fire, which destroys facilities at a former Geest site – one of the largest garlic bread manufacturers in the UK – at Barton-upon-Humber, north Lincolnshire.JulyHilliers of Plymouth, a £25m turnover supermarket supplier, goes into liquidation after fire guts its factory in Devon.SeptemberScottish firm Auld’s facility in Renfrewshire is destroyed by fire. The company erects a semi-permanent production facility, costing £2 million.2004JanuarySuspected arson ignites a fire, fought by 150 firefighters, at Warburtons’ Wednesbury plant in the west Midlands.NovemberDelice de France’s freezer depot in Southall. London, is gutted by fire caused by a faulty light, blitzing £1.5m worth of stock.
With the deadline now extended to 16 May, there is still time to get your entries in for this year’s Baking Industry Awards.Entry forms are available from Stephanie Smallwood, tel: 01293 610433 or e-mail: [email protected] are 11 categories, championing the achievements of all aspects of the industry, with awards for training, manufacture, craft bakery, customer focus, the best in-store bakery and a newcomer this year – plant product of the year. Entrants for the Baker of the Year award must have hands-on baking experience. (See the March 14 issue of British Baker for full details of the awards and the sponsoring organisations.)The 2007 awards were a great success, with more than 900 people from across the industry, celebrating the achievements of the award winners and all those who had entered.Remember that all finalists attend free and can bring a partner to the awards at the Grosvenor House hotel in Mayfair on Monday, 15 September.l Join the British Baker team as we launch our bigger and brighter format at this year’s Baking Industry Exhibition (BIE). We will be celebrating our relaunch on 7 April at 3pm on stand G28B. This year’s exhibition, held at Birmingham’s NEC from 6 to 9 April, has many new features including artisan masterclasses and a demonstration theatre. For details, see [http://www.bakingindustryexhibition.co.uk]
Greggs has appointed Ken McMeikan – currently retail director at Sainsbury’s – to be chief executive of the group. He will join the board of the bakery giant on June 1.Sir Michael Darrington will retire at the end of July after 24 years as managing director of Greggs but will remain on the board as a non-executive director.Announcing McMeikan’s appointment, Greggs chairman Derek Netherton said: “When we began the process to find a successor to Mike Darrington we recognised that he would be an extremely hard act to follow. We are therefore delighted to have found in Ken McMeikan a person with the right mix of abilities and personal qualities to lead the business in the next stage of its development.”Netherton added that McMeikan’s “considerable retailing experience” would “greatly complement the skills and expertise that already exist within the Greggs senior team”.McMeikan, 42, joined Sainsbury’s in 2005 after a short period as chief executive of Tesco Japan. Previously he had spent 14 years in operational roles with Tesco, becoming chief executive of the Europa Foods convenience store business following its acquisition in 2002, with responsibility for integrating it into the Tesco Express format.Netherton also paid tribute to Sir Michael for “his outstanding contribution to the considerable growth and development of the business over the last 25 years, and particularly for his strong and unflagging leadership”.Sir Michael welcomed McMeikan’s appointment and said his experience would “prove particularly relevant and helpful in progressing the development of Greggs as a much more unified and customer-focused national brand”.
Don’t miss your chance to be part of the Baking Industry Awards 2008, get those forms in before it’s too late! The deadline has been extended until 23 May, so luckily you’ve got another week to enter. The awards recognise the hard work and passion of everyone involved in the British baking industry, so why not have the chance to be rewarded for all your effort – there are awards to suit all. Entrants do not have to be a supplier or customer of any of the category sponsors – anyone can enter, big or small. Joanna Lumley hosted last year’s red-carpet event, which was attended by key players in the industry, and this year looks to be just as spectacular. The ceremony will take place at the Grosvenor House hotel in Mayfair on Monday, 15 September. For entry forms or advice contact Stephanie Smallwood at William Reed Events on 01293 610433 or visit www.bakeryawards.co.uk.
Cornish bakery Rowe’s has revealed that its new Reggae Reggae Chicken Pasty is now outselling its Traditional Steak variety – a first in its history.The Reggae Reggae Chicken Pasty was launched at the start of the year in over 300 Sainsbury’s stores nationwide. It has been developed using Reggae Reggae Sauce – a creation of Levi Roots, who featured on the BBC television show Dragon’s Den. Rowe’s is currently the sole manufacturer of bakery products containing the sauce. Paul Pearce, director of marketing at Rowe’s, said that Rowe’s and the Levi Roots team were looking at ways to develop the range and expand on its distribution.
== Lewis’s Spanish deal == Swansea-based Lewis’s Pies has signed a deal to supply a newly opened Kwik Save store on the outskirts of Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol in Spain. Peter O’Toole, a former Kwik Save regional manager, who acquired the rights to the Kwik Save Discount Stores brand after the business went into liquidation in 2007, has relaunched the retailer in Spain. The Real Bread Campaign has secured a grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food scheme, enabling it to appoint a full-time project co-ordinator to work over the next four years with independent bakers, public institutions and local community projects including food co-ops. The Real Bread Campaign aims to stimulate consumption and local production of ’real’ bread, made with all-natural ingredients. == Data detail == Four places are up for grabs on an expenses-paid trip to Switzerland’s Richemont School from 19-23 October, which will include a two-day course on breads, cakes and slices. Three places are available to students over 18 (including mature students) under the Piero Scacco Award and the ABIM Award, while a fourth place is open to a mature applicant from the UK baking industry under the Joseph Travelling Award. Contact [email protected] for an application form. Some William Reed Business Media/IGD bakery figures printed in the last issue were incorrect. The total number of bakeries stands at 6,473 compared to 6,563 last year – not 6,733 in 2008 as stated. This is a decrease of 1.37%. The number of bakery multiples rose from 3,248 in 2008 to 3,255 in 2009 (+0.2%), while independents fell from 3,315 to 3,218 in 2009 (-3%). == Richemont places == == Real Bread grant ==
Warburtons is to spend £10m on a new advertising campaign, only weeks after it revealed a £25m investment programme at its Bolton bakery.The nationwide advertising campaign will run across television, print and on-line media and will feature the new strap-line ’Warburtons. We care because our name’s on it’. Launching in the spring, the television ads will feature actual Warburtons employees and members of the Warburtons family.The firm’s multi-million-pound investment at its Bolton site will involve the redevelopment of the bakery on Hereford Street, with a new facility to be commissioned from September 2011.It will result in the closure of two of its existing bread plants, threatening the jobs of around a quarter of its workforce at the site. “As the two existing bread plants require upgrading, we will be creating a new single facility that will ensure we have a sustainable and efficient manufacturing site to meet future customer requirements,” said Warburtons.The firm revealed that 121 jobs, out of the 234 employed on the two bread plants, are at risk. Around 480 staff are employed at the Bolton bakery, which produces over two million bread products a week.The firm will now enter into a 90-day consultation period, followed by a 30-day consultation period, said Ian Hodson, organising regional secretary for the Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union. He told British Baker that the shop stewards were “pretty devastated by the news”.Warburtons declined to comment further on its plans for the new facility at present.