Kluman & Balter (Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire) has expanded its fats and oils range with Breadfat. The fat produces light and well-textured bread for sandwich loaves, baps, rolls and other speciality items, says the company.Kluman & Balter offers seven different types of margarine. The Sovereign Superior AV margarine has good creaming properties and a buttery flavour, says the company. Kluman also supplies oils, such as palm frying oil, vegetable oil, rapeseed oil and extra virgin oil, suitable for baking quality breads.Like all of the products in the Kluman and Balter range, the oils and fats are available directly from stock for immediate delivery. The fats are non-hydrogenated and come in 10kg and 12.5kg packs, the oils in 5, 15 0r 20 litre drums and 1000 litre tanks.
Kitchen Range Foods (Huntingdon, Cambs) is building on its Cadbury Mini Dipping Donuts with the launch of Cadbury Twinpack Donuts.Each pack contains two full-sized donuts covered in Cadbury milk chocolate and chocolate pieces. The packs retail at 79p and are on sale in Tesco stores, with a roll-out in Asda stores imminent. The product will be sold in in-store bakeries where few branded products are on offer, but doughnuts are the best-selling products, says marketing manager Matt Godbold.
Suppliers and creditors have raised serious concerns about London wholesale bakery European Bakeries, which recently spent a week in administration.European Bakeries, which supplies discounter Aldi and catering giant Compass, through Enterprise Foods, called in administrators Deloitte on June 8. It had debts of over £576,000 at the time, with over 100 creditors owed sums of up to £98,898.Suppliers hit included BFP Wholesale, Maple Leaf Bakery UK and Greens Flour. European blamed the collapse of sandwich chain Benjys, which it supplied, for its financial problems.On June 15 it was sold as a going concern to DM Holdings of which David Merchant is the only director, with Nury Gee listed as company secretary. Administrator Lee Manning of Deloitte has since admitted that “a lot has come to light” since that deal was signed. Following a recent creditors’ meeting, he has started an investigation into the relationship between the former European Bakeries and a connected logistics company, Foodchain Distribution.Before it went into administration, European Bakeries was charged a fee by Foodchain, believed to be around £3,000 a week, for daily deliveries to Aldi, although these were made using European Bakeries vehicles, petrol, staff and products.Gerald Waldeck was the largest single shareholder in European Bakeries before it went into administration. He also had a 50% stake in Foodchain.Manning said the findings of Deloitte’s confidential report would be relayed to the creditors’ committee “in a few months”.As well as that, a “considerable amount” was owed to European Bakeries by Foodchain and administrators were seeking to recover these debts, he said.Administrators expect to be able to tell angry creditors within a “few months” how many pence in the pound they will distribute.Meanwhile, various suppliers have queried the suitability of two consultants employed by the new business.The pair, David Gee and Kevin Smedley, are disqualified as serving as company directors until 2019 following a substantial fraud.They were banned following a case brought by finance company GE Commercial Finance when they were found to have provided false information to obtain finance.Damages in excess of £16m were awarded against them personally.The company involved was City Truck Group Ltd, which went into administration in 2002. Gee had been chairman and Smedley group financial director. The two are believed to be planning to appeal against their disqualification.New European Bakeries MD David Merchant told British Baker that David Gee had been working at European Bakeries as a consultant for a year, before Merchant bought the company. Gee will remain with the company for around six months to restructure its sales operation as he had “built up relationships with customers that it was essential were maintained,” Merchant said. Consultant accountant Kevin Smedley joined the new company in June as a part-time interim manager in finance and HR for a “couple of months” until a new financial controller was appointed. Gee and Smedley “were not acting as directors”, Merchant added.David Gee’s wife, Nury Gee, was company secretary until auditors were appointed, he said. She also became company secretary of Foodchain on June 16.The relationship between European Bakeries and Foodchain, which is still trading, had ceased, Merchant emphasised.Merchant said: “I intend to grow European Bakeries and build on its reputation as a quality craft baker.” He said he planned to review product range, expanding into different market segments – targeting retail channels. The business’s catering services side would be smaller in proportion as the overall company expanded, he said. Investment would be made in its London bakery.
Organisers plan to double the £11,000 raised for charity last year, as Scotch Pie Week returns for its second time in November.During the week, which runs from 24 November to 1 December, Scottish bakers and butchers raise cash for the Scottish Society for Autism by selling branded wristbands or donating a percentage of their Scotch pie sales.The charity week was based on the example of National Doughnut Week which raises thousands of pounds a year for charity The Children’s Trust through doughnut sales at more than 1,000 UK bakery outlets.By registering for Scotch Pie Week, sponsored by ADM Milling, bakers get a promotional pack that includes a collection box.Scotch Pie Week, launched last year, runs alongside the Scotch Pie Club’s World Championship, held on the Scottish national feast day, St Andrew’s Day, 30 November.This Championship is open to the 130 members of the Scotch Pie Club, administered by the Scottish Association of Master Bakers.Scotch Pie Club founder Alan Stuart said: “The Scotch Pie Club Championship was launched at the height of BSE, and we couldn’t have imagined it doing so well.”A speciality north of the border, the Scotch pie is baked in a circular tin with the top crust placed about 1cm lower than the rim.The filling is minced mutton, often highly spiced with pepper and other ingredients.For details of both Scotch Pie events, e-mail [email protected]
Farmhouse Fare has won the competition to find a budding artist in the baking industry to create the Bakers’ Benevolent Society’s charity Christmas card.The competition, organised by California Raisins, asked entrants to design a card that incorporated a traditional baking theme. Pudding firm Farmhouse Fare was selected as the winner, producing a series of photographs showing a child stirring a Christmas pudding.The Bakers’ Benevolent Society assists those who have worked within the baking industry or its allied traders and are now retired, as well as their dependents.If you would like to place an order for your Christmas cards, contact the Bakers’ Benevolent Society on 01992 575951 or e-mail: [email protected]
Double D Food Engineering is to provide training to its customers, helping them to get the best from its range of ovens, provers and retarder provers.The one- or two-day courses will target different personnel levels including operators, product development specialists and engineers.”We will also be able to tailor training to suit particular food lines or recipes,” said Bob Petrie, who became Double D’s MD earlier this year when the company was acquired by specialist engineering group Bonspiel.”We find customers aren’t aware of a product’s full capabilities, so they’re not getting maximum benefit,” he added.Programmes are on offer either at Double D’s test centre near Edinburgh or on site at customers’ premises.Double D makes a range of ovens, including the Revorack, Revoreel and Revoband Travelling Oven. The company also supplies Humidair provers.
Costa Coffee is to source its entire coffee supply from sustainable farms.From September 2008, at least 30% of the coffee used in Costa’s Mocha Italia blend – which forms the base of its coffee drinks – will come from Rainforest Alliance certified sources. It will then gradually work towards a 100% sustainable sourcing policy.Costa’s marketing director David Hutchinson said: “We know that it will take time to convert our supply base to certified sustainable sources, but we believe it’s an investment that is right for our business, right for the coffee industry as a whole and we believe it’s a journey our customers will want to be part of.”Farms must meet rigorous standards to gain Rainforest Alliance accreditation, including reducing pesticide use, improving worker safety and protecting forests and soil.The Rainforest Alliance is a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behaviour.
UK bake-off and food-to-go giant Country Choice is planning to take on rival Cuisine de France (CDF) on its own turf, by entering the Northern Irish market, which the latter dominates.A team of 12 key Country Choice staff will be blitzing the market over a two-week period from Monday, visiting as many retailers as they can and offering a series of deals, sampling, free stock, and awareness days in a bid to open accounts. Richard Acey, sales director of Country Choice, part of UK foodservice supplier Brakes, said there is a three-year business plan to gain a “significant market share”, before probably moving south into Ireland and then on to France. He said: “Our market share in the UK has finally got to the point where all that’s really happening on a day-to-day basis is we’re poaching from CDF and they’re poaching from us. “We need new geography. We believe the retailers in Northern Ireland are desperate for some choice, and that we’re best-placed to create that choice. “The foodservice market there is much more advanced anyway, so there is a strategic benefit to get a better understanding of where the UK is headed.”Country Choice’s business development manager Alan Curley will oversee the NI operation, and McCain Foodservice will act as distributor of Country Choice’s food-to-go offer.
“At the moment, things haven’t slowed down that much in terms of basic food sales and petrol is cheaper than it was six months ago. From a general trade point of view, we have to be careful not to talk ourselves down too much. We have to keep positive and keep doing what we know we can do well; we are in a better position than many trades.On a personal level, I’ve just bought a new bakery in Snodland near West Moorling in Kent, which I’m in the middle of doing up. We opened the shop the week before Christmas and have been bringing goods over from our family bakers in Strood. Our first days of trading saw people queueing out of the door.Although we cannot get the actual bakery open for another month or two, until the building work has finished, we can bring in fresh bread and cakes every day from our bakery about five miles away. So on a personal level, we hope to face a slightly busier few months than we maybe would have done.Having talked to other bakers, it’s not perhaps quite as busy as they would have liked it to have been, but the market hasn’t dropped completely and I’m a great believer in keeping positive.”
Swedish bakery company Peter’s Yard, which opened an upmarket bakery and coffee shop in Edinburgh last year, has moved into wholesale in the UK for the first time with a range of traditional Swedish crispbreads.Harrods and Fortnum & Mason are set to list the crispbreads, which are handmade with natural ingredients such as milk, rye flour, honey and sourdough. The products, currently baked in Sweden, will soon be made by a third-party bakery in London.Peter’s Yard, headquartered in southern Sweden and founded by entrepreneur Peter Ljung-quist, set up a bakery and café in Edinburgh’s Quartermile development in January last year. It bakes Swedish artisan pastries and breads on-site, such as rye, kavring and sourdough, and sells a range of premium biscuits and biscotti.Joint-MD Wendy Wilson-Bett told British Baker the crispbreads are aimed at top-end retailers, such as food halls and delis.