Skills just improve

first_imgFood and drink sector skills council Improve has revamped two levels of its bakery apprenticeships, in a bid to recruit more young workers to the sector. The revision includes a reduction in the hours apprentices spend in the classroom, so that more practical skills are delivered. The aim is to boost the average number of starters on the standard scheme from 65 to 90 per year and to reverse the decline in the number of people taking the advanced apprenticeship.Improve has made the changes following consultation with employers and has taken their recommendations into account. Learning frameworks manager Teresa Brookes said: “Bakery suffers from hard-to-fill vacancies, skills gaps and an ageing work force, with the majority of employees over 35. We see these revised apprenticeships as the ideal vehicle to bring more young people into the industry.”Advanced advantagesThe main overhaul has been made to the advanced apprenticeship – or modern apprenticeship in Wales – which takes around two years to complete and delivers a bakery NVQ Level 3. A key modification has been the removal of the technical certificates, introduced in January 2003 before the creation of Improve. “The technical certificate could be obtained by one of two routes – completion of a retail qualification or a BTEC National Award in food science and manufacturing technology,” says Ms Brookes. “Neither of these qualifications was workable. The retail qualification was largely irrelevant to most young people pursuing a career in bakery and the BTEC was only available at three colleges in England. Both also duplicated much of what was taught in the NVQ and resulted in extra classroom time, which proved impractical for apprentices and employers.”Recruitment to the advanced apprenticeship scheme in England and Wales has declined in the last three years, adds Ms Brookes, and consultation with employers suggested that this has been because of the technical certificate. “At the moment an average of just 15 learners begins an advanced bakery apprenticeship each year and completion rates are extremely poor,” she says. “By removing the technical certificates, we’re confident numbers will rise.”Meanwhile, the standard apprenticeship (foundation modern apprenticeship in Wales) delivers a bakery NVQ Level 2. The revised framework recognises that the knowledge element can be delivered and assessed through completion of the NVQ. Take-up into the standard apprenticeship scheme in England has remained consistent over the last few years, with an average of 65 students per year. “Our aim is to increase take-up by at least 35% over the next three years,” says Ms Brookes. For more information, contact Teresa Brookes at Improve on 0845 644 0448 or visit www.improveltd.co.uklast_img read more

World bread prices: soaring costs push UK loaf up table

first_imgSpiralling flour and fuel costs have helped propel the UK up the global ranking for bread prices, but the country remains one of the cheapest places to buy bread in the world.Figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s) Worldwide Cost of Living Survey show the average price of a kilo of bread in London rose from £1.09 in September, 2006, to £1.45 a year later. In Manchester, prices rose from 88p to £1.11.The EIU said rises had been compounded by the strength of sterling and the weakness of the US dollar, which has seen the relative cost boosted further compared to countries with weakening currencies or those linked to the dollar.”Bread prices in the UK have risen in local currency terms as rising commodity prices have been passed on to consumers,” said Jon Copestake, food and drink analyst and EIU survey editor. “In Manchester, the prices we surveyed rose 15.2% in the last year, although only 1.2% in the past six months. In London, bread prices rose 20.1% in the past year, 13.6% of which came in the last 6 months.”Despite the price rises, the UK is still one of the cheapest places in the world to buy bread. Of 130 cities surveyed around the world, London ranked number 70, up from 81 in 2006, in terms of price, while Manchester was at 93, up from 103.”Bread in the UK is seen as more of a staple than other countries. Production is highly developed and commoditised,” said Copestake. “Large scale consumption allows companies to exploit economies of scale and the market is highly competitive.”The research was based on bread from three categories of retailer. ’Low’ covers multiples, such as Tesco, ’medium’ equates to top-end supermarkets such as M&S and specialist shops, and ’high’ comprises food halls.last_img read more

BSB golf event

first_imgThe world-famous Brabazon Golf Course at The Belfry, near Birmingham, is once again hosting this year’s golf day for the British Society of Baking. The event takes place on Tuesday, 29 April, starting at 8.30am, and will give members of the BSB and their guests the opportunity to follow in the steps of golfing greats such as Tiger Woods.The event costs £120 including lunch. More than 100 people have already signed up but there are still some 20 places left. Contact Keith Houliston of organiser British Bakels on 01869 246098.last_img

A flair for festivals

first_imgHoneybuns’ cafe at Glastonbury has always been a good spot to shelter from the howling wind and rain, and dry out your boots before trench foot sets in, so bad has the weather been at Britain’s largest music festival for the past few years. This year, however, the Dorset-based cake company provided sanctuary for festival-goers in search of some shade from the glorious sunshine that bathed the campsite over the weekend, not to mention a civilised cup of tea and cake.”We put table cloths and vases of fresh flowers on the tables, and serve our tea in proper tea cups,” says Honeybuns’ owner Emma Goss-Custard. “It’s a little oasis of calm opposite the jazz tent, when everywhere else is chaotic. People can sit down on a deck chair, read The Guardian and have our cakes with a proper cup of tea.”Honeybuns is one of a growing band of bakery businesses taking advantage of Britain’s love affair with music festivals to make a quick profit, promote their brand and have some fun in the process. Bakeries keen to jump on the rock bandwagon, egged on by the thought of tens of thousands of festival-goers hungry for pies, sandwiches and cakes, should be warned, however, that selling at festivals is not all sunshine and flowers.”Two years ago, there was a really bad lightning storm at Glastonbury and most of the site lost electricity. It was fine for us because our products don’t need refrigeration, but it was heartbreaking to see people with meat products having to bin everything,” says Goss-Custard. “A lot of people invest masses in product and kit, but if the weather is bad or the product is not right, you stand to lose a lot. We are delighted if we cover costs and make a small profit.”The company started at Glastonbury six years ago with just a basic stall selling its gluten-free cakes, biscuits and flapjacks and has since grown to a full-blown tearoom, which has a 3m frontage and can sit 14 – although lots more squeeze in and sit on the floor.”The pitch costs a couple of thousand, then there’s hiring catering equipment and our time, and we have to pay full price for tickets, so we’re lucky if we make a £1,000 profit,” says Goss-Custard. “We think of Glastonbury as more of a holiday and a chance to get people’s email addresses and find out who’s buying the product. We use it to tweak and polish the brand and trial new products. In many ways, it’s a luxurious brand-building exercise, which is great for face-to-face customer feedback.”Stuart Oetzmann at Norfolk-based artisan Metfield Bakery has exhibited at many music festivals, including Bestival, Secret Garden and Download, but has cut back this year because of an influx of wholesale orders.”You can make a decent profit, but you have to be careful that your core business doesn’t suffer because all your best staff are off at a festival,” he says. “Margins are good, but it’s staff costs and wastage that are the overheads to watch. You have to watch out for young members of staff in particular. You don’t want to take staff who are just going to get ’bollocksed’. The last thing you want is to be setting up at 6am with someone who is still nutted from the night before. Even worse is when they just disappear into the festival and you don’t see them again.” Pitch charges depend on the festival, he adds, ranging from £1,000-£2,500, while some festivals take a percentage of your turnover – usually 10%.”The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to have a big product range. We’ve done hog roasts, bacon butties, pies, sausage rolls, cakes and bread, but what you really want is one product that you can just knock out quickly. By far and away the best seller is our handmade sausage in focaccia with apple chutney. We do a few cakes and loaves of bread but people just want something they can eat while they walk,” he says.One bakery company that is held up by many to be the expert in the festival field is Bristol’s Pieminister. It attends around 30 events a year and has got the pie-selling process down to a fine art, thanks to two dedicated festival teams that tour the country in specially designed trailers.”We’ve become famous for our huge queues that can get up to 100m long, but on average, customers don’t wait longer than 10 minutes,” says director Tristan Hogg. “We train all our staff to be as quick as possible in serving up and it helps to have bespoke trailers, which were made to our specifications so that they have the best lay-out for making and serving pies. They don’t come cheap though. A brand new trailer will cost around £30,000 and that will take three to five years of festivals to pay off.”Pieminister charges £6 for pie, mash and peas and this year is launching three new flavours: Henny Penny (British free-range chicken with mushrooms, white wine, cream and herbs); Beefy Shamrock (steak and Guinness); and Moo & Blue (steak, red wine gravy and Stilton).”We look at festivals as a good platform for marketing and trying out new products. The trick is not to be too greedy – don’t go with loads of stock thinking you’re going to make millions. That said, as a pie manufacturer it’s good for our cashflow as the season drops off after winter.”You might think a pie-maker like Hogg would be cursing the weather at this year’s Glastonbury – after all a hot pie is not an obvious choice on a summer’s day. But sales remain fairly constant regardless of the weather, he says. “If it rains we obviously tend to do quite well, but equally, when it’s sunny we get longer trading hours. People get up earlier and get hungrier quicker, so we’re not really affected by the weather.”The same cannot be said of the festival-goers, many of whom are only just getting over their sunburn now. At least it’s better than trench foot.—-=== Top tips for festival trading ===l Don’t go expecting a huge profit. Taking a stall at a festival is a valuable marketing opportunity and a great way of trialling new productsl Keep your stall simple and easy to set up and take down. Likewise, hone your product range so that you can serve customers quickly and efficientlyl Be prepared for whatever the weather throws at you. If it’s hot, soft drinks, sausage rolls and salads will sell well; if it’s cold, pies, pasties and hot drinks will be in demandl Choose staff carefully. Your core business should not suffer, because your best staff are off running a festival stall. Equally, young staff can catch festival-fever and be tempted to party too hardl Check what kind of napkins, bags and cutlery you are allowed to use. Glastonbury, for example, has a strict policy on traders only using recyclable materialsl If you’re hiring catering equipment, ask your supplier whether they would be able to deliver directly to the festival site. Some may even be willing to set it up for youlast_img read more

Starbucks claims recovery on track despite losses

first_imgStarbucks insists it is on the road to recovery in the UK despite the latest dismal results. Figures filed at Companies House for the 12 months to 27 September show it made a loss after taxation of £52.1m compared with a loss of £46.9m the previous year.The loss stands in contrast to the bullish performance of Costa, which posted a 60% increase in operating profit in 2009/10.To compund matters, Starbucks failed to get the Advertising Standards Authority to pull adverts from its rival earlier this year that boasted ‘Starbucks drinkers prefer Costa’ and ‘Seven out of 10 coffee lovers prefer Costa’.Starbucks’ financial report said: “Management took rigorous action to improve the customer experience and to provide customers with greater value for money.”These included the introduction of 100% certified Fairtrade espresso in all UK stores and a customer reward programme. It added: “There was evidence that consumers responded to these initiatives and the year ended with record numbers of consumers in stores.”Anya Gascoine-Marco, senior project manager at Allegra Strategies, said the figures were nothing to be unduly alarmed about and that turnover was fine; comparative store sales rose by 3.9% in the quarter to 27 December 2009, with sales in December alone up 6%.She added: “Starbucks have cut prices and have reviewed their estate – the Borders stores were the worst performing and didn’t close until December. They are on a journey to getting back to breaking even.”At the start of the year, Starbucks announced plans to open 29 motorway services outlet in the UK over the next 16 months – replacing Welcome Break’s Coffee Primo own-brand – as it explored new avenues of trading.The chain has also opened concessions in New Look clothing stores, following the closure of its 36 Starbucks concessions in Borders, which went into administration before Christmas.last_img read more

Sainsbury’s new concept takes on takeaway market

first_imgPret A Manger and EAT are facing the prospect of a powerful new competitor on the high street after Sainsbury’s launched a standalone takeaway food shop called Fresh Kitchen.The concept store on Fleet Street, London, which opened on 13 January, sells a range of sandwiches, pastries, wraps, soups, curries, drinks, hot meals and salads to take away. There is no seating at the store and Sainsbury’s branding is kept to a minimum, with the shop instead highlighting the fact that products are freshly prepared on-site.Publicising the launch of the store through Twitter, Sainsbury’s remained tight-lipped on whether the brand would be rolled out nationally or would appear in its supermarkets, although it did say “watch this space”.In general, prices at the new store were lower than other sandwich retailers, with a latte retailing for £1.85 and sandwich wedges starting at £1.29.Kiti Soininen, senior food analyst at research company Mintel, said the concept could be expanded rapidly, given the scale and financial resources Sainsbury’s has at its disposal. “If the company does go on to build this into a larger chain, it would heat up the competition in the lunchtime market. The store focuses strongly on the freshness of its food as its selling point an approach seen at leading sandwich chains like Pret A Manger and EAT. With Fresh Kitchen sandwiches and baguettes priced at around the £3 mark, with breakfast variants at lower price points, it looks to aim to challenge these established chains.”last_img read more

From health to indulgence

first_imgYum Yum Bros Food Company has launched two new bakery brands, targeting both the healthy eating and indulgent snacking sectors.The Indulge Yourself brand includes bars, slices, bites bags and pots, with bar products including rocky road, tiffins, brownies, flapjacks and caramel shortcake, while the bagged format also contains mini muffins and cookies.Three flavours of bars and bags have been launched into its new healthier Oh My Goodness range, with mini pots in the pipeline.”We’ve developed a really good base mix using spelt, flax and oats, and we’re not using any fat for binding we’re using honey and quality invert syrup and relying on fruits to deliver the flavour profile,” said director Robin Pearson.The company’s products are currently being supplied into Welcome Break, Virgin Trains, entertainment centres including Thorpe Park and Alton Towers, farm shops and delis.last_img read more

Buttigieg to fill-in-host late night TV show Thursday

first_imgIndianaLocalNationalNewsSouth Bend Market Buttigieg to fill-in-host late night TV show Thursday Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Previous articleJackie Walorski talks about coronavirus in IndianaNext articleIndiana House leadership change set as session nears end Carl Stutsman Facebook Twitter Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a campaigns stop, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) No need to worry about former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, he may not be running for president any more but he is staying plenty busy.This week he will even have the spotlight back on him–quite literally–as he will be gust hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live. The announcement came Monday during Today. While the guest list isn’t completely set it will include seasoned actor Sir Patrick Stewart fresh of the debut of his new Star Trek series and an animal trainer.As far as the opening monologue, Pete says “hopefully some funnier minds than mine will be doing some writing for that.” Past this week though he said he plans to travel to thank supporters, take a vacation and then “make myself useful in new ways”. By Carl Stutsman – March 9, 2020 2 542 WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest Google+ Facebooklast_img read more

One-week leaf pickup begins in Mishawaka Monday

first_img Previous articlePlanning for fans in the stands at the Indy 500Next articleTax refund scams targeting college students making a comeback Brooklyne Beatty Facebook Pinterest By Brooklyne Beatty – March 31, 2021 0 241 Twitter Twitter TAGSApril 12collectionIndianaleaf pickupMishawakaMonday Google+ One-week leaf pickup begins in Mishawaka Mondaycenter_img WhatsApp A week-long leaf pickup program will take place in Mishawaka beginning Monday.Residents should begin raking leaves to their curbside for a Monday, April 12 pickup, which will continue through Friday, April 16.Leaves will be picked up the day before the resident’s regular trash pickup day. For example, if a resident’s trash pickup day is on Wednesday, the Mishawaka Street Department will pick up leaves from that home on Tuesday.Those with trash pickups scheduled on Monday will have their leaves collected on Friday, April 16.Leaves should be raked to the edge of the curb and should be free of branches, twigs, stones or other foreign objects.Those with questions can call the Mishawaka Central Services office at (574) 258-1660. Pinterest WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews Facebook Google+last_img read more

Press release: Bridging payments for Basic Payment Scheme 2017 confirmed by Farming Minister

first_img We have made good progress towards getting payments to farmers this year with over 93 per cent now paid and we are working hard on the final seven per cent. The burden of EU rules continues to be a barrier to some of the remaining processing so we will ensure that, as we did last year, any farmer not paid by the end of March will receive a bridging Payment in April. As the Environment Secretary has made clear, when we leave the EU we will match the £3 billion that farmers currently receive in support from the CAP until 2022, and we intend to go on supporting farmers for years to come where the environmental benefits of that spending are clear. More than 93% of farmers in England signed up to the 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) have now received their payment. While the RPA continue to pay farmers, those who haven’t received their money by the end of March will be offered a bridging payment of 75% in April, Farming Minister George Eustice said today (Friday 26 January).Payments made to date are worth more than £1.5 billion. The 79,000 farmers who have been paid include a range of claim types and sizes including cross-border, young farmer and common land claims.Farming Minister George Eustice said:last_img read more