Oakdale up for sale as it calls in administrators

first_imgLeeds-based malt loaf specialist Oakdale Bakeries called in administrators KPMG Restructuring on January 26.The company, which turned over £30m last year, blamed trading losses and a competitive environment for the decision.Richard Fleming, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG’s Leeds office, said: “The business has encountered difficulties as it has been making trading losses in the highly competitive environment of the food production sector. However, we are looking to continue to trade the business with a view to selling it as a going concern.”He said administrators are keen to hear from any parties interested in buying the business.Oakdale employs a total of 350 staff across three sites in Doncaster, Morley and Wigan. It produces cakes, fruit pies, malt loaves and pies as own-label products for a number of supermarkets and retailers across the UK.Oakdale parted company with its chief executive Des Kingsley six months ago. He had led it through a management buy-out in July 2004 from Oakdale’s founder Marshall Capel. Andy Deutsch from the Thomas Food Partnership had been due to take over before the company went into administration.last_img read more

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viewpoint

first_imgIf you don’t evolve, you have no divine right to survive. Sometimes we bakers whinge too much.” What an honest appraisal from baker Tim Cuttress of Forfars of Brighton, which has 22 shops (pg 4).He has introduced a range of ’healthy’ foods because, though a baker, he intends to sell fruit salads and pasta alongside his main offering. I know a part of us screams resistance at a baker selling such non-bakery items mainstream. But so many non-bakers are muscling in on bakers’ territory, that common sense says bakers must muscle in on theirs.In our SIAB preview this year, miller Chiara Quaglia says that bakers must also look at what food ’partnerships’ have to offer – which bread goes alongside salad or cold meats, for example (pg 18). I agree. No opportunity must be lost. One day, I would like bakers to be able to offer a glass of red or white wine with their eat-in or take-out offerings. Bread and wine were made for each other.Also this week, Greggs is to trial (very) late night opening (pg 4)! The firm sees a captive audience in those who spill out late from clubs, pubs and cinemas and Sunderland will be the trial area. It is an interesting experiment – from both a sales and security angle.Elsewhere this week, Asda’s new advertising campaign shows the importance of bakery and stars Victoria Wood, a past presenter of the Baking Industry Awards (pg 4). The deadline for entering this year’s Awards is drawing near and I do hope you’ll have a go. You can phone Nicola Chesson on 01293 867629 or download an entry form from [http://www.bakeryawards.co.uk] (see pg 10 opposite and pages 12-13).There is a Baking Industry Award for most categories and, as I have said before, you do not need to be a customer of the sponsoring company. Previous non-winners and first-time entrants are always among those who scoop the accolades.Get your colleagues to contribute comments and ideas, then spend 30 minutes or so filling out the form. Some forms take even less time, a few slightly more. If you make it to the finals, you and a partner, or family member, can enjoy a free evening at the industry’s own big occasion. So do obtain an entry form and return it, fast, because the deadline is almost upon us.last_img read more

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HGCA conference

first_imgThe Home-Grown Cereals Autho-rity (HGCA) will hold its annual Processor Conference in March, entitled ’Food for Thought: Future Challenges’.Speakers will include Asda’s head of ethical and sustainable sourcing Chris Brown.Chris Longbottom from TNS Superpanel will discuss the impact of price increases across the supply chain.The conference will be held on 12 March, 2008, at the Wellcome Collection Conference Centre in London.last_img

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Coffee shop openings set to slow, says report

first_imgThe torrent of new store openings from the big coffee shop and sandwich chains is set to slow to a trickle as consumers tighten their purse strings because of the recession.According to a consumer survey commissioned for a new report by Key Note, 42% of people said they were likely to cut back on visiting coffee and sandwich shops in the future as a result of the recession – a development predicted to dramatically slow growth in the market in the next five years. The sector will also be hit by the ageing UK population, saturation in prime locations and increased competition from other retailers, such as department stores and supermarkets.The Coffee & Sandwich Shops Report predicts that the number of stores operated by the top 12 coffee shop brands will increase by 26% over the next five years from 2,980 to 3,760 in 2013. The number of stores operated by the top 13 branded sandwich shop chains is predicted to grow by 13% from 3,780 stores to 4,265. This is a much slower rate than in recent years.”Among the coffee majors, only Starbucks has so far announced any outlet closures. Most of the major coffee- and sandwich-shop operators are likely to scale back their plans for further outlet openings,” said the report. “Profitability at coffee and sandwich shops is likely to suffer, as special offers are used more often to attract customers.”last_img read more

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Tulip blossoms for Dawn

first_imgBakery manufacturer Dawn Foods has launched a Tulip Muffin range, consisting of five new muffins individually wrapped in tulip-style brown paper cups.They are available in toffee chocolate, Belgian chocolate and cappuccino, blueberry, lemon and triple chocolate varieties, and have been developed to meet the demands of the coffee shop and café sector. The toffee chocolate muffin contains milk chocolate chunks, toffee fudge pieces and contains a caramel cream sauce. The Belgian chocolate and cappuccino variety contains coffee, vanilla flavour, plain and milk chocolate chunks and is topped with plain chocolate flakes. The blueberry muffin features wild blueberries, while the lemon variety contains chopped lemon peel and Sicilian lemon oil, and is injected with lemon curd. The triple chocolate muffin contains plain, milk and white chocolate chunks, with a topping of milk chocolate chunks.All the products are between 120g and 134g and have a shelf-life of five days once defrosted. They also meet 2010 FSA salt targets.www.dawnfoods.comlast_img read more

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Brand clinic: a question of choice

first_imgDon Williams, CEO of brand and design consultancy Pi Global, bewails the pressure group coercion that forces beloved brands to changeI’ve lost count of the number of times some of my ’more mature’ relatives have whinged about brands and, more specifically, about how they’ve been messed up! “Heinz Tomato Ketchup isn’t the same as it was it’s runnier!” is a typical wail. And while I could put this down in part to physiological change and selective memory, it’s obviously true that brands, or rather more precisely, the products to which brands adhere their names, change over time.I remember when I was a lad, up north, eating a Mars bar was no mean feat! Just getting your mouth around the thing was a challenge and sinking your teeth into one, especially on a biting winter’s morning, ran the risk of a trip to the tooth butcher. But boy, were they good! There was a real sense of achievement around finishing a Mars bar. Today, they’re kind of a big daddy Milky Way more ’melt in the mouth’ than dental destroyer.There are many reasons why brands change their signature tastes, textures and all-round ’experiences’, such as taking some cost out of biscuits by replacing butter with palm oil, reducing salt levels in bread and reformulating crisps to deliver a 99-calorie pack.I worked on the Pot Noodle brand for many years and what I loved was the single-minded, in-your-face finger to the world positioning of it: the packaging was as brash as possible; the advertising the ’slag of all snacks’ as so visceral, yet so brilliantly on-brand: genius! Pot Noodle was a brand with a big everything: attitude, ego and taste. If you wanted an instant taste hit after a night on the beer, you just slammed on the kettle, opened the cupboard and almost instant gratification ensued. But then the health stasi reared its ugly head, and the Pot Noodle you see on the shelf today, in my opinion, appears to have been coerced into a pale shadow of its former magnificent self.If there’s one thing I despise, it’s political correctness in all its ridiculous forms. So when I see brands, and especially brands that are based on things like ’big taste’ or indulgence, bowing to the chinless pressure groups that pollute this country, then I see red!If I want to be healthy I can eat a carrot. If I want to treat myself, I can have a full-fat, sugar- or salt-laden, mouth-watering little beauty, because I choose to it’s my choice. And I find it extraordinary that one group of people feels it has the right to pressurise or even coerce another group of people into eating what they believe is correct.The world is inherently not a safe place and, as grown-ups, we should have the right to choose not be treated like children. You don’t solve the obesity problem by forcing people to eat broccoli. I have no problem if brands want to produce healthier alternatives, because that provides a choice, but when iconic brands, such as Penguin, KitKat, McVitie’s and Mars, are changing recipes, then I truly despair.One day, though, someone will produce healthier alternatives that taste and feel as good as the evil ’fat-sugar-salt’ equivalents. When that happens, they’ll become very wealthy and we’ll all become very slim.last_img read more

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Get your tax return filed in good time

first_imgBakers are being urged to beat the New Year rush and file their tax return before 31 January or face a £100 fine.Self assessment tax returns have to be filed online at hmrc.gov.uk/online/index.htm and, if submitting it electronically for the first time, companies will need to register; an activation code can take up to seven working days to arrive.The self assessment online service is available 24 hours a day, with the quietest time to use it between 5pm and 8am, Monday to Friday. You will need to provide details of business accounts for the tax year ended 5 April 2010, such as spreadsheets of income and expenditure, bank and credit card statements, and invoices from customers and expenses receipts. Details of any other income, such as interest on bank and building society accounts or income from stocks and shares, need to be given too.Visit hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the self assessment helpline on 0845 900 0444.last_img read more

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Genesis Crafty scoops film promo

first_imgNorthern Ireland-based artisan bakery Genesis Crafty has launched a new on-pack promotion ’pic-a-nics’, in association with film-maker Warner Bros to promote its new release Yogi Bear 3D.The promotion will run across four of Genesis Crafty’s most popular lines: Big Pancakes, Lemon & Raisin Pancakes, Double Butter & Sultana Scones and Toaster Wheaten on around 300,000 packs from now until the end of March. The products are available in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s stores nationwide, as well as throughout the grocery retail trade in Northern Ireland. The top prize is a family adventure holiday, sponsored by Nomad Living.”For a regional artisan bakery, this is a fantastic opportunity, giving us a high profile in the UK market that would otherwise have been difficult to achieve,” said Liesa Johnston, marketing manager at Genesis Crafty.last_img read more

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Dairy Federation backs dietary fats report

first_imgThe International Dairy Federation (IDF) has welcomed an FAO/WHO report, which found there was no convincing evidence that total dietary fats had a significant effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) or cancer.The report – Fats and Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition – said energy balance was the critical factor in maintaining a healthy body weight, regardless of the percentage energy of total fat. It added that replacing saturated fatty acids with refined carbohydrates had no benefit for CHD and might even increase the risk of CHD and metabolic syndrome development. “There is no clear evidence that dairy food consumption is consistently associated with a higher risk of CHD,” said IDF president Richard Doyle. However, the IDF said a recommendation on total trans-fatty acids did not reflect the difference between trans fats from animal and industrial sources.   Geoff Talbot, The Fat Consultant, said if bakers were able to replace saturates with polyunsaturates, it was a good move to make. However, he added: “Nutritionists have no idea of the problems of producing bakery products – it’s not always possible and you have to do the best you can with the ingredients available.”last_img read more

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Breathing space

first_imgIncidents of occupational asthma among bakers and flour confectioners could be 10 times higher than official estimates, Chris Grayling warned parliament on 16 May.The Work and Pensions Secretary quoted the Surveillance of Work Related Occupational Respiratory Disease (Sword) scheme and reports to the Occupational Physicians Reporting Activity (Opra), which estimated there were 18 cases a year in 2007-09, the latest figures collated.But the minister, replying to a parliamentary question by Linda Riordan, the Labour MP for Halifax and vice-chairman of the British Food and Allied Workers Union’s (BFAWU) parliamentary committee, cautioned that these statistics were “subject to under-reporting”.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says statistics based on reports by consultant chest physicians estimate the incidence rate for bakers and flour confectioners fell from 95 per 100,000 workers a year between 2004 and 2006 to 59 per 100,000 workers a year between 2007 and 2009. However, it says the annual number of estimated cases fluctuates considerably, because estimates are based on a relatively small number of actual reported cases and data for more years will be required for there to be increased confidence that there really is a reduction in asthma.John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, raised the issue in the House of Commons last July in an early day motion (EDM), when he said bakers were about 80 times more likely to develop occupational asthma than the average worker because of exposure to flour and other bakery dusts. He raised the alarm that “thousands of bakers could be at risk of developing an incapacitating respiratory condition”. He urged employers to work with health and safety trade union representatives and BFAWU “to implement appropriate control measures to protect bakers from developing asthma”. And he further urged the government to ensure that the HSE had sufficient resources to take the necessary action.An HSE spokesman conceded: “There is a continuing need to increase understanding of the risk and measures to control exposure in bakeries and HSE is working with the industry to achieve this.”Grayling tells British Baker: “It is very important that bakers are well aware of the risks of occupational asthma that are particular to their industry.”That was why the HSE worked hard to ensure the right advice was available to raise awareness and foster understanding of what could be done to reduce the risks. “Joint working with the industry furthers these efforts. For example, HSE worked closely with the Federation of Bakers when they [in conjunction with the National and Scottish Associations of Master Bakers and the Health and Safety Executive] produced a guidance and training package [Breathe Easy] on controlling dust in bakeries.”The package includes what is known in the industry as ’the blue book’ Guidance on Dust Control and Health Surveillance in Bakeries which was revised in November 2008 and stresses the need for controlling exposure in all phases of bakery operation.Gareth Evans, principal scientist at the Health and Safety Laboratory’s Occupational Hygiene Unit, in Buxton, presented a paper A practical strategy for controlling exposure to biological dusts that cause respiratory disease: application to the food industry to the Asthma Partnership Board this January. He suggested current UK generic exposure limits for flour dust were set too high. “The Netherlands has examined the close relationship between the exposure to flour dust and respiratory ill health and this work has suggested that current UK generic exposure limits for flour dust are not protecting workers from respiratory disease,” he wrote.The HSE, however, says some large users of flour are setting their own in-house workplace exposure limits (WEL) which are lower than the current maximum levels. Ronnie Draper, BFAWU’s general secretary, said the asthma problem was more of an issue in smaller “back-street bakers” than large plant operators and he concurred that there was a problem with a lack of reporting incidents. He said he thought Grayling, with his comment on under-reporting, was “nearer the mark than published figures”. And he thought bigger companies would be aware of the condition, but not small high-street bakeries. He also referred to a study conducted by Health and Safety Laboratories in England and Scotland in 2003/04 which he said showed bakers had little understanding of handling flour or the difficulties it could cause.In 2003, researchers at the Health and Safety Laboratory, Sheffield, talked to 113 bakers and found almost half reported breathing-related symptoms, 27% reported nasal irritation, 25% a respiratory symptom, 16% chest tightness, 10% cough and 10% wheeze.Draper said all the union’s health and safety representatives were taught about bakers’ asthma and the union was building an awareness that the condition was a problem in the industry. “The ones I’ve dealt with do something about it, but I operate within the organised part of the industry. There are some large bakeries that are cowboys and don’t operate in the same way as the regulated part of the industry.”ResponsibilitiesThe Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations stipulate that risks are assessed and exposures prevented or, where not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled. The HSE says that, for substances that can cause asthma, adequate control means exposure has to be as far below the WEL (10mg/m3 average over eight hours) as is reasonably practicable. Employers should also undertake health surveillance for workers exposed to substances known to cause occupational asthma.Greggs has occupational advisers in every bakery to undertake health surveillance, including an annual health check for every employee who has potential exposure to flour dust. A spokes-woman said: “We are confident that our bakers are adequately aware of the risks.”Dumouchel, a small artisan operator in Garforth, Leeds, recently ordered a “long-life non-stick coating” from Cleanbake, which removes the need for a release agent such as grease or flour, and bought an airflow mask with filter for its baker. Manager Rebecca Brayson said the Cleanbake product had made “a dramatic difference” to the flour dust in the bakery.The importance of this issue must not be underplayed. While Gill Brooks-Lonican, chief executive of the National Association of Master Bakers, believes more bakers suffer from hearing defects than from occupational asthma, she cautions: “When I was on the health and safety liaison committee, they said if you can write your name in the flour dust, it’s too much.” Exposure control The HSE says simple tips to control exposure include:l Ensuring work is done in ways that avoid raising clouds of dustl Where appropriate, provide local exhaust ventilation (dust extraction) or respiratory protection equipment for dusty tasksl Never sweep or use compressed airl Clean using wet methods or an industrial vacuum cleaner.BFAWU advice includes:l Reducing exposure to flour and other additives to the lowest level that is reasonably practicablel Making suitable and sufficient assessments of the risks to health of all employees in relation to exposurel If it is not possible to prevent exposure, methods must be put in place to ensure any exposure is adequately controlled l Ensuring employees are property trained, informed and instructed in relation to exposure that can arise and the use of protective equipment.last_img read more

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