Cornish pasty campaigners say they have new hope of restricting production of Cornish pasties to Cornwall, after the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association (MMPPA) won a Court of Appeal victory on January 24.The Melton Mowbray Association has been campaigning for seven years for the legal right to restrict production of Melton Mowbray pork pies to a 1,800sq mile zone around Melton Mowbray. It has been backed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which believes restricting production will benefit the region. The campaign is contested by Northern Foods which produces the pies in its factories in Shropshire and Trowbridge and has a 24% share of the £51.7 million Melton Mowbray pie market (according to TNS figures).Northern Foods had asked for a judicial review to protect its right to make the pies, but lost its High Court appeal in December (British Baker, January 6, pgs 8-9). And, on January 24, the company’s attempt to overturn that decision failed as the Court of Appeal refused it permission to appeal. Northern Foods director of communications Hilary Baker told British Baker the name Melton Mowbray is an indication of style, and not a geographical base. Northern Foods is to make a second application at the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal, as it continues its fight, she said.But DEFRA has already applied for European Commis-sion Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for the pies, status already enjoyed by products such as Champagne. The application could be gran-ted by May. The news that Northern Foods’ first appeal request was dismissed has been welcomed by the Cornish Pasty Associa-tion. It met DEFRA officials in March 2005 to discuss a PGI application, but progress has been delayed pending the outcome of the Melton Mowbray case. The association, which includes Ginsters, Proper Cornish and Crantock Bakery among its 42 members, said it now plans to meet with DEFRA officials in March to go through any objections to its application. Proper Cornish MD Phil Ugalde told British Baker: “We are heartened by the fact DEFRA is giving support to regional food producers. Our application for PGI status is in with DEFRA, but we are waiting for the green light to take it forwards. We are encouraged by the latest news.”Meanwhile, Northern Foods is preparing comment on this application too. Ms Baker told British Baker: “This is not about artisan versus big business. It is about one food producer using EU rules to gain unfair advantage over another. What will happen in future with Chelsea buns and Yorkshire puddings?”The MMPPA includes food giant Samworth Brothers, which has a 62% share of the Melton Mowbray market (TNS). Samworth Brothers’ Ginsters business is part of the campaign by The Cornish Pasty Associa-tion to gain PGI status.Timeline1998: The Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association is formed.1999: The Association applies to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for PGI status for the pies.2004: DEFRA agrees to champion the cause and forwards the application to the European Commission. Northern Foods launches a legal challenge. The EC PGI application is suspended. DEFRA agrees to consider further objections.2005: DEFRA resubmits its PGI application in Europe. Northern Foods seeks judicial review. The High Court rejects Northern Foods’ case2006: The Court of Appeal rejects Northern Foods’ case.
Thermo Fisher SCIENTIFIC has introduced the Thermo Scientific Powerx – a new line of high-performance X-ray systems for the baking industry.The Powerx family complements the Thermo Scientific EZx and PROx x-ray systems, says the firm.
The British Richemont Club will host a three-day meeting of international members from 27 to 29 September.British president Dawn van Rensburg of Gerrards Confec-tioners of North Wales, together with John Slattery of Manchester-based Slattery Patissier & Chocolatier and Liz Davidson of Classic Celebration Cake of Stockport have spent two years planning the event. It will see 90 top confectioners and patissiers from Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Austria and Turkey descend on Manchester, for the three-day gala meeting.The meeting will start with mass at a nearby church on the Saturday evening, followed by a Chinese banquet. Over the following days, there will be several events, including a trip to Manchester United’s famous football ground, bakery visits to Waterfields of Leigh and Chat-wins Bakery of Nantwich, and a special series of Masterclass demonstrations at the renowned Slattery school. The event will be rounded off by a dinner at the medieval Samlesbury Hall.
California Raisins is offering students attending the ABST conference in May the chance to win prizes for creating innovative recipes using California Raisins, raisin paste or raisin juice concentrate. The annual ABST conference takes place from 1-3 May at the TLH Leisure Resort in Torquay. There are two different categories – one for baking and one for confectionery – and the entries will be judged on 2 May. First prize is a £500 travel voucher, second place wins a £250 clothes voucher and third place a £100 music voucher. Students need to bring two different samples of the entry – one for tasting and one for photography. Entries must also state the student’s name, college/company, list of ingredients used and the method of preparation. California Raisins will supply the raisins, paste or juice concentrate. For more information please email Dee Cassey at [email protected]
Significant sales growth at The Real Good Food Company’s bakery division, Hayden’s, has helped the firm achieve estimated profits of around 25% above current market expectations.Hayden’s Bakeries achieved double-digit growth with all its major customers, for the year ended 31 December, including Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and Costa Coffee, with overall sales up 15%. In its pre-close trading update, the firm also revealed that a major investment plan is now being overseen by the management team, led by MD Paul Smith, to double the size of the business over the next four years.Among its successes last year, the division grew its foodservice sales, an area the business moved into in 2008, which now accounts for almost 10% of total revenues. Twenty-nine products were either launched or re-launched during the firm’s “key launch window” in October, and mince pie sales hit record levels, with over 1.5 million pies produced – up 64% on 2008.The supplier of sugars, bakery ingredients and manufacturer of bakery products, also announced record retail sales of sugar, within its ingredients business – Renshawnapier, in 2009, which was put down to a combination new contracts and growth in the home-baking market.Sugar sales to small industrial customers increased strongly in the second half of 2009, with new product launches planned to help further drive growth in the division.Bulk sugar sales reduced slightly due to weakness in the market, “following the final phase of the EU Sugar Regime changes in October”. However the firm announced a number of new contracts have already been gained for 2010.“The Group expects to report profits before taxation and exceptional items for the year ended 31 December 2009, which are around 25% above current market expectations,” according to Real Good Food, which also managed to reduce its bank borrowings from £29.1m to £21.3m during the period end.The firm expects to announce its preliminary results in mid-March. Real Good Food Company is comprised of its ingredients business, Renshawnapier, and its bakery businesses Hayden’s Bakeries and cake manufacturer Seriously Scrumptious.
Pastry focus at showSIAB, the Italian bakery show, which takes place in Verona on 22-26 May, will be featuring one hall dedicated to pastry. It has also launched an area to highlight packaging, marketing and distribution. Key features of the show will include a revival of Renaissance Breads and also specialist breads in Breads of the World, as well as Breads for Restaurants. To register or for more information, see www.siabweb.com or phone 00 39 045 829 8111.Firkins’ expansionAccording to expressandstar.com three new Firkins Bakeries shops are due to open this month. The first has already opened in Harborne and sites in Dudley and Bearwood are due to open soon. In March this year, BB reported that the West Midlands firm now trading as Newbridge Bakery was in advanced negotiations for a further five shops in the region, with the Harborne shop deal already completed.FreeFrom awardPure Flavour has won this year’s FAIR Trophy for the overall best FreeFrom Food, for its gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free Lemon and Vanilla Sponge, at the FreeFrom Food Awards 2010. The Innovation Award for the best new product in 2010 was won by The Gluten Free Kitchen for its seeded rolls.Sandwich promotionDon’t forget to promote your sarnies during British Sandwich Week, which runs from 9-15 May. Organised by the British Sandwich Association (BSA), the trade event can be used by sandwich-makers in whatever way they want to promote themselves. However, the BSA does request that the official logo is used. If you haven’t got it yet it is available on request by emailing [email protected]
Edinburgh-based artisan bakery Peter’s Yard has announced that its handmade Swedish crispbreads will now be available on the shelves of Selfridges’ food hall.The firm has gained 100 listings from retailers in the 12 months since its first UK retail listing with Fortnum & Mason.Wendy Wilson-Bett, co-founder of Peter’s Yard, said: “We are so pleased with the response we have had and are happy to have built strong working relationships with our current stockists. Peter’s Yard is very much a ’word-of-mouth’ experiential brand for people looking for something a little different so we also understand the importance of innovation and have several recipe and pack developments planned.”Made to a traditional Swe-dish recipe, the crispbreads contain all-natural ingredients, including sourdough, fresh milk, rye flour, whole wheat flour and honey.They are available in specia-list food outlets, including: Harrods, Lewis and Cooper, Weetons and farm shops such as Hollies, Secretts and Cheshire Smoke House.
Alan StuartPresident, Scottish BakersWhen I was a young lad in the 1950s, a million of anything seemed almost inconceivable. A really rich person was literally a millionaire and I struggled to comprehend anything beyond that. Today, we bandy billions and even trillions around and therein lies the nub of it. Our civil servants, our political masters and, of course, our footballers have lost the plot. They are drowning in a sea of nothings and they don’t even know exactly what they mean.How big is a trillion? Believe it or not, our masters aren’t sure. Here in Britain it has 18 zeroes, but in the USA it only has 12. That’s a great start. So be really careful next time you’re buying dollars.I was prompted into these musings when I learnt that the Saville Report on Bloody Sunday cost £191m. Was I the only one to be staggered by this amount? Where did it all go?In the USA, normally the natural habitat of greedy lawyers, the 9/11 inquiry lasted 20 months and cost $15m! Thanks to Saville, 12 lawyers trousered £20m between them, with Messrs Clarke & Glasgow, QCs, getting £8.5m of that. The report itself ran to 30,000,000 words, so that’s £6 a word. That’s up there with Harry Potter author JK Rowling.My point is that the numbers are getting too big. We need to do what France and Italy used to do on a regular basis and revalue our currency. Let’s divide everything by 10 and have a New Pound. Then those dreadful footballers would only earn £5,000 a week and a loaf of bread would be 10p to 15p. The reality of our national financial plight would, in reality, remain unchanged. But at least our masters might understand the numbers better and we wouldn’t hate footballers quite so much.
White bread sales dipped last year as growing numbers of shoppers embraced brown and healthy loaves.While still the largest sector by far, spend on pre-packed white bread fell from £208m in the 12 weeks to 27 December 2009 to £196m in the same period last year, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel figures.Healthy eating messages and new launches helped brown bread sales rise from £64m to £70m, half & half bread sales increased from £43m to £45m and bread with bits spend jumped from £43m to £46m. Overall spend on pre-packed bread fell slightly from £379m in the 12 weeks to £378m.Allied Bakeries said the convenience channel’s focus on white bread would continue and that it was responding to retailer demand by launching three white loaves in the sector. It has launched Kingsmill Danish 400g the brand’s first Danish-style bread, Kingsmill Doorstep 800g its thickest sliced bread at 2.2cm, and Farmhouse Soft White as a 400g loaf, which has a more rustic feel with a round top, central split and flour dusting. Kingsmill Soft Malted Grain Farmhouse 800g completes the new line-up.Category director Guy Shepherd said: “The new products tap into the convenience sector offering a comprehensive range of products to meet [consumers’] needs. Allied Bakeries delivers direct to convenience stores on behalf of retailers which means that on average, bread is 12 hours fresher than delivering first to a distribution centre.”He said the firm continued to push non-white bread with its Multigrain, Tasty Wholemeal and Seeded loaves.>>Sugar beet quality could hit ABF rise>>Kingsmill’s smooth style
Some of Ireland’s best-known biscuit brands have been acquired by private equity-backed Valeo Foods after it agreed a deal to buy Jacob Fruitfield.Products such as Fig Rolls, Coconut Creams, Jacob’s Crac-kers and Tuc are included in the deal, taking Valeo’s annual turn-over to around £300m.Valeo was formed in 2010 and has a portfolio of consumer brands, including baked bean brand Batchelors, Shamrock home-baking ingredients and Sqeez fruit juices. Seamus Kearney, the current CEO of Jacob Fruitfield, will become the group CEO of Valeo on completion of the deal.Valeo is controlled by CapVest, the London based European mid-market private equity firm led by Seamus Fitzpatrick, who is also chairman of Valeo. He said: “Our acquisition of Jacob Fruitfield is a significant step in what is likely to be an ongoing process of further consolidation in the Irish food sector.”