Medway takes time to settle down business

first_imgA three-month review is under way at new company, Medway Foods, the business formed from a £7m management buyout (MBO) of four of Canterbury Foods’ pastry and food ingredients plants.Medway was set up after Canterbury went into administration on January 3, having failed to agree new terms for its £15m debt with its main backer, Barclays Bank. Medway is headed by ex-Canterbury Foods chief executive Paul Ainsworth, who told British Baker he would spend the next three months “settling the business down”. He commented: “We are now well-financed by GE Commercial Finance and I am sure the business will be cash-generative going forward. We will be doing it slowly; we are not ambitious to grow too quickly. Having effectively saved 200 jobs, I want to take a long look and ensure the future business plan keeps everyone employed.”Ranges will remain the same while the review takes place, he added, with a new head office set up in Whitstable, Kent. AIM-listed Canterbury had a “difficult start to the year”, after financial backers unexpec-tedly called in the administrators, he said. “Getting the letter in my hand, saying the bank had withdrawn its backing, was quite a shock. We had contingency plans in place, including an MBO deal, since the end of November, and this seemed the best option.” The MBO covers three plants in the Isle of Sheppey, Whistable and Bridgend, and saves 200 jobs.Administrator PriceWater-houseCoopers is still looking for a buyer for Canterbury Foods’ remaining cooked meats business, in Yate, near Bristol.last_img read more

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Offers accepted for two of Harvestime’s plants

first_imgHARVESTIME (2005) administrators are processing offers for the company’s Walsall and Leicester bakeries, as attempts to sell the business continue.Administrator John Kelly of Begbies Traynor said offers for the company’s bakery in Walsall and the main bakery of its two in Leicester have been accepted, subject to contract. He said all negotiations are bound by confidentiality agreements, adding: “We maintain an ever flexible approach to our management of this administration to maximise the opportunities for selling the business and its assets.”Industry sources suggest the buyer of the Leicester bakery may be RHM Bread Bakeries. It may need to expand its capacity to cater for increased demand, following new orders such as its own-label deal with Asda.And options to keep the Walsall bakery afloat could include a management buy-out deal. Meanwhile, administrators have made further redundancies at Walsall, which is still trading as a going concern. Between 70 and 80 staff were made redundant at the end of last week, reducing the workforce to approximately 320. The bakery has stopped direct deliveries to the stores of retail customer Tesco and is only supplying its depots and independent shops in the Walsall area. Administrator John Kelly said in a statement the agreement with Tesco had enabled Harvestime to significantly reduce costs, which is part of a constant review of the business.Distribution costs are understood to have been a key factor in the £250,000 a week losses that Harvestime (2005) was experiencing when it went into administration in November 2005.last_img read more

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Finedon Mill directors face charges over HGCA levies

first_imgFinedon Mill directors John Lister and Charles Garavan are being prosecuted in relation to breaches of the 1965 Cereals Marketing Act. The case comes after Finedon Mill called in administrators on July 12, 2005, after its remaining asset, a mill at Finedon was sold to Rank Hovis on June 28, 2005. The company was once a shareholder in New Rathbones, which went into administration on April 1, 2005.The directors of Finedon Mill are personally charged with breaching the Act by not registering Finedon Mill with the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA). An HGCA levy is payable by all processors of UK cereals. A preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday, February 28 at Bristol magistrates court, in the case brought by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on behalf of the HGCA. The case was adjourned to April 3, and may then be transferred to a Crown Court. The defence argument is understood to centre on whether DEFRA has the right to prosecute on behalf of the HGCA.It is believed Finedon Mill Ltd is alleged to owe the HGCA a six-figure sum for around nine years unpaid levies. The company was set up in July 1993 but only started trading around 1996 or 1997. Annual levies would be around £20,000 a year from then. As a company, Finedon Mill Ltd has already been fined £750 plus £1,500 costs, after pleading guilty to failing to register with the HGCA, at a separate hearing at Bristol magistrates court on February 14. This sum has been added to the list of unsecured creditors’ debts, held by Finedon Mill’s administrators Baker Tilly. Recovering the unpaid levy is subject to a separate legal process.HGCA finance director Gordon Bennett told British Baker that this is a landmark case, adding a cereal processor’s failure to register with the HGCA is “a bit like not registering for VAT”.last_img read more

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TASTE OF TARTAN

first_imgBakery companies were out in force at the first Tesco ‘Enjoy the Taste of Scotland’ event, held in Edinburgh in April.The pioneering event brought together 68 Scottish food and drink producers, exhibiting the “best” from Scotland’s larder in one place. Tesco’s chairman David Reid opened the event, along with Minister for Agriculture & Rural Affairs Ross Finnie, in the prestigious surroundings of The Hub festival centre in Edinburgh. Throughout the three-day event, over 9,500 visitors discovered, tasted and bought a mouth-watering array of food, available in Scottish Tesco stores. The event encompassed various themed areas, including bakery, dairy, meat, healthy-eating, fresh produce, confectionery, ice creams, beers and whiskies. There were hundreds of products to sample, some of which are only available in three or four stores where they are produced locally, and others that are available nationally. Visitors looking for inspirational culinary creations whet their appetites at the Tesco Celebrity Kitchen, manned by chefs including Scotland’s Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart.Highlighting local provenanceSarah Mackie, the retailer’s senior Scottish buyer, orchestrated the event. She said: “The main purpose of the event was to raise awareness of Scottish food and drink. The diversity and the quality produced in Scotland is impressive and something we should all be proud of. It was an excellent opportunity for suppliers to meet the media and the Scottish public and share some of their individual stories with them, highlighting the provenance of many lines.”The exhibitor list read like a culinary tour of Scotland. A number of bakery companies attended, including Macphie of Glenbervie, JG Ross Bakers, Robertson’s of Stonehaven, Allied Bakeries, Jackie Lunn, Bell Baker, UCB/California Cake Company and Morton’s Rolls. Visitors to the Macphie stand got a taste of delicious bakery products, including hot cross buns, crumpets, scones, pancakes, shortbread, flapjacks, loaf cakes and muffins, all made using Macphie ingredients. And they also got to meet the reigning Miss Scotland, Aisling Friel, to mark the opening day. Said Friel: “I believe the ‘Enjoy the Taste of Scotland’ showcase was an important event as it celebrated the best of Scottish food. I was particularly delighted to be supporting Macphie, as I know visitors loved the delicious food on offer at the stand.” According to Macphie, all Tesco in-store bakery pancakes, crumpets, teacakes and hot cross buns nationwide use ingredients produced by the Scottish company.Celebrating qualityMacphie has two Scottish manufacturing sites: Glenbervie, in the north, and Tannochside, in central Scotland. The company has nearly 80 years’ experience in identifying consumer trends and developing innovative ingredients for the baking industry. Its range of products include cake and bread mixes and concentrates, icings and fillings, cream alternatives, glazes, sweet and savoury sauces, desserts, flavoured butters, stuffings and soups.Macphie chief executive, Alastair Macphie, said: “I believe nothing matches the quality and variety of Scottish food and the event was very busy and successful. We hope to see it repeated next year! It allowed visitors to discover an array of delicious food being produced on their doorstep and provided an excellent platform, as a supplier to Tesco, to promote our bakery ingredients to a wider audience and chat with end consumers of our products.”He added: “The star of the show for us was the Lemon Melts, made using our Lemon Sensations Mix. Visitors were queuing up to get a taste; it was just superb.”Raising awarenessOther local companies included family-owned bakers, Robertson’s of Stonehaven, which supplies Tesco with a range of oatcakes and butter biscuits. Owner John O’Dowd said of the event: “It was a fantastic experience for a small business such as ours, to raise awareness of our products to a wide audience. We talked to a broad range of people from the media as well as other suppliers and numerous consumers. As a result, we hope to increase the number of products that we supply to Tesco as well as increase sales of existing products.”JG Ross, a second-generation craft baker, with 17 retail outlets in the north-east of Scotland, manufactures a wide range of products, including bread, cakes and biscuits. One JG Ross delicacy is the ‘buttery’ or ‘rowie’ as it is affectionately known in Aberdeen. The company produces over 60,000 handmade butteries every week. Working together Marketing manager, Suzi Coutts said: “It was great to see the Scottish food and drink industry getting the opportunity to work so closely together. To hear Ross Finnie, Scottish Minister for the Environment and Rural Development, suggest that our butteries should be available throughout all Tesco stores in Scotland is high praise indeed. “It was not only a great opportunity for customers to sample the products but also exhibitors to sample other companies’ products and become supporters of ‘brand Scotland’.” Bakery company Allied Bakeries’ range of Kingsmill bread and bakery snacks is available in Tesco stores nationwide. Spokesperson Millie Harasymiuk said: “Over the three days Allied Bakeries was able to showcase and sample a number of bakery products available to Scottish consumers. From our bakery in Glasgow we supply Tesco Scottish stores with a range of Kingsmill, Burgen and Tesco own-label products as well as bakery snacks.”last_img read more

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High-GI link to cancer?

first_imgBread hit the headlines again this week when the Daily Mail published an article linking consumption of white bread with an increased risk of kidney cancer.Researchers led by Francesca Bravi of the Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan, conducted a study of 2,301 Italians, 767 of whom had renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer. Researchers blamed high blood sugar levels caused particularly by white bread.This may be due to the high-glycaemic index (GI) of these foods and their possible involvement in insulin-like growth factors, they said. Bravi added: “We also suggest reducing consumption of refined cereals and increasing that of whole grain ones.”In Britain the FSA said the study does not change its advice to eat a balanced diet with lots of starchy foods such as bread – ideally wholegrain varieties. It said it acknowledges that some low-GI foods such as wholegrains “are foods we should be eating more of”. The GI concept encourages eating these foods in place of more refined carbohydrates, in line with its healthy eating advice, it said.The survey was published on 20 October in the International Journal of Cancer and the story was picked up by newspapers worldwide, including The Times of India and The Toronto Daily News in Canada. “Eating bread can kill” was the headline in the The Statesman in Ghana.Bakels MD Paul Morrow said: “This is one isolated statistical analysis. Scientists need to find out if there is anything behind what it suggests.” Alex Waugh director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers said the study was flawed: “It is based on people’s recollection of what they have eaten over two years.”Evidence suggests that bread consumption decreases the chances of other types of cancer such as colon cancer, he added.last_img read more

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Two positions for Delice de France

first_imgDelice de FranceAs part of the I.A.W.S. group of companies we are the leading supplier of quality authentic European frozen bakeryproducts to the U.K Food industry. As well as having major Manufacturing capabilities around the world, we source products for our customers from a number of major manufacturing companies around Europe.Due to our ever expanding product range we are currently looking to recruit for the following two roles:Product Development TechnologistYou will ideally have formal qualifications in Bakery Technology and a passion for developing only the highest qualityproducts. An understanding of manufacturing processes would be useful as you will be required to develop productsfrom Kitchen samples to full manufacturing. An amount of travel will be required in this position.Quality Assurance TechnologistWe are looking for a tenacious “Quality” person with formal qualifications in Food Technology to support and developthe setting of product standards and maintain the day to day quality of our products. You will be expected to communicate any issues on quality to all levels of management from our major supply base.This role is both exciting & challenging to any prospective candidate.Both these highly challenging roles will be based at our head offices in Southall, London.We are looking for highly dedicated, self motivated individuals to support & develop the selection of New Products forour diverse range of customers. The positions will help set and maintain our High level of Quality Food Standards.If you feel you have the necessary qualifications and drive to work in this fast moving business, then please apply inwith your full C.V. and salary expectations to [email protected] rewards for these two challenging roles will be commensurate with experience.www.delicedefrance.co.uk www.iaws.ielast_img read more

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Top speakers for BSB event

first_imgBakery industry leaders are to address the British Society of Baking’s two-day Autumn Conference, from 8-9 October at Coombe Abbey Park Hotel, Coventry.Speakers at the event include Nigel Doughty, MD of bakery chain Paul UK, Tesco category manager Neil Franklin, Mathiesons Bakeries MD George Stevenson and food writer Tom Bridge, who will talk about Christmas sandwiches.Crumb Structure Formation in Burger Buns and Soft Rolls will be looked at by John Cottrell, technical manager of ADM Milling, and Bakels’ product development manager Gary Gibbs will look at healthy bakery products.The event starts with a medieval banquet on 8 October, with the conference held on 9 October.Peter Jones, MD of Speedibake, and Paul Molyneux, technical director at British Bakeries will be chairing the morning and afternoon sessions at the conference.The organisers are hoping for a record attendence. For bookings, call Sharon Byrne at Bakels on 01869 247098 by 1 October.last_img read more

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Terry Tang at a glance

first_imgEstablished: The business was formed in 2000 and, after moving from a smaller location, Terry Tang’s is now on Picton Road in WavertreeKey personnel: The family business comprises four people including Terry, his wife Carol and their daughterOutput: The bakery can make up to 15 novelty cakes a day and up to 12 wedding cakes a weekInfluences: Terry admires John Slattery’s chocolate creations: “When it comes down to chocolate, he’s the man.”Terry’s tips: If you only use royal icing, try a paste, it’s much more versatile and modern. “But at the end of the day, it all comes down to practice,” he addsCurrent projects: Terry is making a model of a horse with wings, which is nearly one-metre high. He plans on painting it in various colours, as it looks more like a statue than icing sugar. He wants to do the same with an eagle and tigerFamous customers: Liverpool football club Gerard Houllier, Cisse and Wayne Rooneylast_img read more

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Caked nappies

first_imgWhat’s the most unappetising ingredient you could possibly imagine for a cake? Take a straw poll and you’ll end up with a pretty long list before you get to babies’ nappies. As unlikely an invention as it seems, the Nappy Cake is a genuine product that’s available from internet retailer [http://www.baby-cakes.co.uk]. “Each cake is ’freshly baked’ to order, and carefully handfinished,” says the website. We wish we could have witnessed how this particular business venture would have fared in the Dragons’ Den. However, one thing is in its favour: it’s perfect for baby showers…last_img read more

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In Short

first_imgFSA’s point-size pushThe Food Standards Agency has revised its guidance on clear labelling for food packaging, suggesting that manufacturers should use at least an eight-point font size for essential information, especially on safety. The FSA said this reflects concerns that some existing labels containing information on food content are too small for many people.Oven grantThe 109-year-old Lewis’s Bakery based in Garrets Green, Birmingham has been awarded a £46,000 grant by Advantage West Midlands to help it buy three new ovens. The grant has also enabled the firm to start baking European breads such as ciabatta and focaccia.Bakery’s open dayThe organic Side Oven Bakery based on a farm at Foston in East Yorkshire held an open day earlier this month in aid of the Country Trust, a charity which promotes understanding of the countryside among children, teachers and parents from inner-city areas. Visitors were able to tour the bakery and see the traditional wood oven.Taking a BrekkieThe West Cornwall Pasty Company has launched a new savoury breakfast range across its 50 stores, which will feature three varieties of “Brekkie” wrapped in golden pastry: bacon, sausage, egg and baked beans; a slice of cooked ham, scrambled egg and mature Cheddar; or scrambled egg, mature Cheddar, tomatoes and mushrooms.Iodine boostBakers in Australia will have to add iodine to bread from next year due to concerns that iodine deficiency is re-emerging. Health authorities fear that a lack of iodine can affect neurological development in children and reduce IQ levels.last_img read more

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