Wellbeing is the theme of the Biscuit Cake Chocolate and Confectionery Association’s (BCCCA’s) annual Technology Conference, which is being held in Daventry on March 30-31, 2006.This conference will tackle health issues facing food manufacturers and will feature an exhibition of product development initiatives, new technologies and ingredients. Rosemary Hignett, head of the nutrition division at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) will be joined by a line-up of 19 other speakers at the event.Papers will address topics that include meeting FSA salt guidelines, the impact of trends in nutrition and health and the health aspects of chocolate.
With the younger generation taking the helm at Kluman & Balter, Danny Kluman tells Andrew Williams how he sees the business going forward You recently took the helm at Kluman & Balter. How did you get to where you are now?I’ve been in the business for 10 years, starting off in telesales. Following that, I took control of the buying, then oversaw the sales reps. I worked in every department before becoming a director. Now, I’ve taken up the managing director’s role so we’re moving forwards. My father [Geoff Kluman, the previous MD for more than 30 years] will be involved in a consultancy role – probably for a few hours a month and if he can do even fewer, I think he’ll be happy. So there will be continuity.Are there any other comings and goings?M y brother Jamie joined the business three years ago, from a marketing firm, and he’s brought with him a different angle to developing the company. He now heads up field sales. Simon Douglas, who has been with Kaybee (Kluman & Balter) since leaving school in 1988, has taken charge of in-house sales. And Bryan Partridge who is a fully qualified baker now heads up development and retail sales.So how are you moving forward?We are totally customer-focused. We’ve just relaunched our website, so that customers can see our range of products and services available online. It gives us a presence and it’s a useful resource for existing customers, potential new customers, retailers and the plant baker.In terms of customer service, we are EFSIS-accredited to the highest level. We are different from other wholesalers because we are impor-ters and distributors, with appointed agents throughout the world, constantly sourcing new manufacturers and the finest ingredients available. We also have a dedicated quality control and technical department, which audits to the highest standards and produces bespoke recipes in our fully equipped on-site bakery. Seventy-five per cent of our field sales reps are qualified bakers and not order-takers. They understand the demands and constraints placed upon the craft baker in the industry today. When you’re looking to lock people in to your business, you have to develop partnerships. This year, to date, we have added four new 22-tonne capacity vehicles to cope with the upturn in business. What’s the background to Kluman & Balter and how has the business evolved in recent times?We’re a fourth-generation family-run business, which started in Hackney, east London, in 1923. We moved to Holloway and then on to an 8,000sq ft unit in Enfield in 1986. The company was sold soon after and then bought back in 1988. We now have premises of 20,000sq ft in Waltham Cross, where we moved three years ago. Our frozen distribution satellite depot in Boroughbridge has a capacity of over 92,000 pallets, and we have an ambient satellite distribution depot in Stockport, with a capacity of over 5,000 pallets. Our business is split into three main groups: retail, which is the main supermarkets; high street, which covers master craft bakers and chain retail shops; and foodservice and plant bakery. Our turnover has grown in all three sections year-on-year. What are bakers pestering you for right now?In a couple of words: innovation and healthy-eating. Everybody wants new ideas. We are putting a lot of emphasis on seeded bread at the moment, and we’re bringing a range in from Germany. Our breads include anything from multigrain dark rye and light rye, Donker (a Dutch-style, dark-coloured loaf with a malty taste) to ciabatta bread and tomato bread. Long-term, we’re looking to develop more healthy-eating products in our range. Different blends of dried fruit are big at the moment, and cranberries are the flavour of the month, because blueberry prices have tripled this year. We also stock over 1,000 ingredients such as sugars, fats, dried fruits and chocolates, as well as finished products, such as speciality breads and cakes.We’re also launching a new phase of Photo Cake, which we’ve been working on for the last three years. It’s a customer-interactive Photo Cake kiosk that enables you to design and personalise your own cake. It adds value to the cake and provides a bit of theatre in the bakery. Our present system is the only proven cake station in the country generating sales in excess of £5m per annum. We believe this new generation will double this figure. Have you got anything else interesting in the pipeline?We’re working on a bespoke range of muffins in 10 innovative flavours, as well as a new form of gateaux to the UK, which we believe will equal the sales of Photo Cake machines. It’s an idea we picked up in America, which has not yet materialised in the UK market. How early in your life did you decide you wanted to carry on the family business?Not until my final year of university, doing business studies, did I realise there was an opportunity for me to take this company further and put into practice what I’d learnt. This was a big opportunity to work with an established company and take it to another level. The baking industry is crying out for new blood and you’re part of the younger generation coming through. What can you offer the industry and what do you think needs to change?The new management team is enthusiastic and passionate about the baking industry. Although young, it has in excess of 60 years’ bakery experience. We work on our business 24/7. Our service levels are run to the highest standard in the industry. At a recent national retailers conference, we were one of only five companies, among many in our industry, given a green card for complying with all requirements, and our management drives this attitude. All departments within K&B want and expect 100% success. We’re not perfect but we’re improving daily. How do you unwind away from work?I am never far from work, as my colleagues and customers know. But when I get the chance, I like football, swimming, going to the gym, eating out and socialising. I’ve been an Arsenal supporter for 26 years and saw them play in the Champions League this season. I was in Paris for the final; it was a great atmosphere… until the final 20 minutes. How disappointed was I to lose? Gutted isn’t the word!
Cornish pasty company Crantock Bakery has opened its seventh shop in Spain, on the Costa Blanca shores of Puerto de Mazarrón.Crantock has teamed up with two Spain-based retailers – The Pasty Shack and Tasty Pastry – which are opening shops across the country. Since last autumn, The Pasty Shack, which operates the new Mazarrón store, has already opened five shops and plans to open three others in the next six weeks.The Newquay bakery also exports its pasties to Germany, Portugal and Holland. Crantock’s MD Nick Ringer said: “Crantock pasties can now be found across Europe from Gibraltar to Berlin.” All the pasties are made in Cornwall before being blast frozen for transit.
Bakery schools are becoming an endangered species,” says Chris North, bakery lecturer, at Castle College. “If we were white rhinos, there would be a committee formed that would seek to preserve us. If we want the industry to survive, we need to give trainees and youngsters a lot of support and encouragement, which is why competitions like this one help, as they bring together craft bakers and students.”The annual Sheffield Bakery Competition is open to students attending Sheffield College, Doncaster College and Rother Valley College, as well as local craft bakers, including Staniforths (Rotherham), Hofmann and Sons (Wakefield) and, from Sheffield, Barkers the Bakers, JW Rose, Sparks Confectionery, Brook Bakery and Shelf Village Bakery.Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Councillor, Jackie Drayton, also turns up to witness the judges in action and to offer her support to the industry. “Bread is the food of life,” she says to the bakery students at Castle College. “You are the future of this extremely important trade. I know how much you must enjoy baking, because I have a go at making my own bread too. I love the smell.”The panel of judges is chaired by Charles Geary owner of Geary’s Bakeries. He explains to the Lord Mayor what he looks for in the winning entry: “It’s got to have a nice even texture from the top to the bottom, that’s soft but not crumbly, with a nice nutty aroma.” The panel of judges also includes Beverley Habgood of Nottingham, Paul Rodgers of Doncaster, Roy Handy of Rotherham and Andrew Crowe of Bradford.”Such competitions encourage local craft bakers to learn about Sheffield College and become aware of our talented bakery students,” says North. “We hope such initiatives will help students gain a job, in this area, after graduating.”He strongly believes the industry “needs to get bakery education back on track”, as there has been much concern expressed about the lack of trained individuals recently. The Castle College bakery teacher says that the worrying thing is that there are huge parts of the country where there are no local bakery training providers. “There used to be training ’all over’ the north of England. We are going to run dry of people with bakery qualifications. In that case, employees from Holland, Germany and France – where they do five-year apprenticeships – will have to support our industry.”North believes that the industry needs to fund its own training and could do this through a levy – for example, on yeast or flour. The money could then go into a pot to fund bakery colleges and schools.”I’m always hearing that people are desperate for trained staff. The problem is that there are a lot of people who think that others should do the training,” he says. “Employees want workers who already know about raw materials, machinery, legislation, labelling and all sorts of wonderful things, but at the same time are unwilling to help support the students. It’s not realistic.”Bakers from all sectors of the industry need to join with colleges and providers, and agree what they are going to do. A committee needs to be set up, with a desire to see the whole industry survive rather than just individual businesses.”School leavers are advised against careers in baking, he believes: “I suspect that people say, ’Don’t do that – you have to start at 4am, you will get paid peanuts and it’s a terrible job.’ This is the perception of us. This may be true for some working in the industry, but those who are qualified and committed, with brains and determination, can earn a good living, while doing something they love. This is the message we need to pass on, which is why we encourage competitions like this and invite craft bakers and students to enter.” n
T here is one overriding story this summer: wheat and commodity price increases. They have affected the interim results of Premier (pg 4) and they have affected every strand of bakery. I have taken more phone calls and comments about this subject recently than anything else. It has made people wary because the situation is fluid – not finite – and further price increases cannot be ruled out.If you read the News Analysis on price pressures (pg 14-15) you will see evidence that many commodity prices have doubled. Maple Leaf’s Guy Hall puts it succinctly when he says that there is a commodity crisis and no hiding place.Quite a few of you, I know, are keeping cuttings about the increases and using them in your presentations to custo-mers, so I hope you find the information helpful.And as Premier’s Robert Schofield told us this week: “The increase in raw materials is not short-term. Prices here have to go up.” He is having to take some very difficult decisions affecting whole bread plant closures, but trading is still extremely tough.Does it help to hear what some of our counterparts in Europe are going through? In France, the definitive baguette, almost the country’s emblem, is due to increase in price. So the French president’s wife is now being compared to Marie-Antoinette of “Let them eat cake” fame (or ’brioches’, as is the correct translation). In Germany, meanwhile, bread is due to rise in price by 5% and croissants, containing even more commodities such as butter, are due to rise by up to 17% (pg 12).The whole industry needs the support of the major retai-lers over these price rises, which are unprecented for 15 years, as we have heard. Importantly, consumers are getting the message about food price rises. The topic is being covered on TV and in the press constantly. Consumers will pay more and family bakers and supermarkets must have the courage and will to accept the rises and pass them onto shoppers.Also this week, Improve CEO Jack Matthews updates us on the new bakery qualifications, Steve Ray of Kidder- minster-based Tony’s tells us why family bakers are making a comeback and we hear why Wrapid, a new food chain, believes that hand-held flatbreads are the food-to-go of the future. Fair enough, but I can’t live without my crusty loaf!
It is no secret that, similar to other areas within the food industry, the bakery sector is fuelled by consumers looking for new product and packaging choices.In addition to consumer pressure, manufacturers must comply with regulatory bodies, such as the UK Food Standards Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.As a result, manufacturers continually reassess product formulations, baking processes, packaging materials and equipment in order to improve product performance, enhance overall efficiencies and remain competitive.The UK government is offering an incentive by way of additional tax relief – and it is likely that some of these activities will be eligible for that incentive. Research and development (R&D) tax relief is available to any UK firm that is carrying out qualifying activities.Yet many people overlook this valuable incentive because they do not realise just how broad the definition of R&D is for these purposes; it’s not all about white coats and Bunsen burners!Large companies can go back to 1 April, 2002 to make claims, while smaller companies can go back six years. However, time is running out. The government has now reduced the time limit for making historic R&D tax relief claims. From 31 March, 2006, companies will only be able to claim historic R&D tax relief going back two years instead of six. For accounting periods ended on or before 31 March, 2006, all claims have to have been made by the earlier of six years after the accounting period or by 31 March, 2008. For those that have yet to make a claim, this could see them potentially miss out on millions in possible tax relief.== ways to claim ==There are two basic systems under which firms can claim: Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) relief and Large Company relief.There are considerable benefits to companies in claiming R&D tax relief, yet many food manufacturers let their R&D tax relief entitlements pass. In 2004, according to the Office of National Statistics, the food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing businesses dis- closed R&D expenditure representing only 0.0251% of the total R&D expenditure across the manufacturing sectors. It is clear, having provided services to a number of R&D tax relief claimants in various UK food manufacturing companies, that most businesses are under-claiming because of a lack of understanding about the incentive.One key misconception is that eligible R&D activities occur only in a laboratory setting, a mistake that leads many manufacturers to only claim activities that take place in their R&D departments. This is a major oversight, as there are many other projects that may involve qualifying R&D activities. These can include scale-up to commercial production volume, process improvements, equipment upgrades or improving existing products.Manufacturers who rely on their overseas parent companies to perform R&D also often assume that there are no eligible R&D activities in the UK plant. This is not always true, as products and process developed in overseas associated companies for manufacturing in a UK plant frequently need to be adapted to be successful in local markets. This is often due to ingredient or process variability. Therefore, the activities in the local market, undertaken in the UK plant to adapt the process or formulation may be eligible to receive R&D tax relief.A summary of the different phases of product/package development in food is presented above, along with possible activities under each section. The boxes shaded in orange represent where eligible R&D activities may be found. In all cases, the key consideration in determining whether a project qualifies is whether or not the eligibility criteria have been fulfilled. The company must demonstrate that the work was technically challenging and an advance was being sought. Advances in science or technology can include new or improved products, processes, materials, devices, services or software.== QUALIFYING EXPENDITURE ==While there are differences in eligible qualifying expenditures for a large company compared to that of Small and Medium-sized enterprise (SME), qualifying expenditure generally includes:l R&D staffing expenditure: qualifying expenditure on externally provided workers;l subcontracting and/or third-party payments to research institutions or universities (in some cases);l and materials consumed or transformed, including water, fuel and power used in the R&D activity.If your firm is already claiming R&D tax relief, you may want to consider whether all eligible activities are being claimed. One area often overlooked involves situations in which UK affiliates are receiving funding from the non-resident parent corporation to carry out R&D in the UK. Often, the UK affiliate does not claim the R&D costs, on the grounds that they were fully funded. Yet under the R&D tax relief incentive, non-resident funded R&D costs may still be eligible. In general, most businesses can benefit from structuring their accounting system to capture all the qualifying costs. * Naro Roxane Markarian is manager, research and development tax team, at KPMG in the UK
Dawn Foods will be sponsoring British Baker’s Baking Industry Summit 2008. This year’s summit, to be held in London on the 27 November, will cover all the essentials of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), with top speakers including Tesco, Asda and Greggs. “The summit looks set to stimulate interesting debates and we are pleased to be able to support this important forum,” said Dave Roberts, Dawn Foods’ UK national accounts controller.The summit will look at where to start on CSR and what government, consumers and the supermarkets require. To book a place, contact Helen Law on 01293 846587 or email [email protected] You can also book online at [http://www.bakingsummit.co.uk].Speakers include: Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director for corporate and legal affairs at Tesco, Andrew Parry, project manager for food and food waste at WRAP and Huw Edwards, commercial director for central buying, bakery and cafés at Asda.l Dawn will be on hand at Bakers’ Fair North to keep hunger pangs at bay, by offering cake from its Adore and Sweet Bakery Snacks lines, plus a cup of tea or coffee to every visitor. Other attractions at the fair, taking place on 19 October at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium, include a talk from HR law specialist Ray Silverstein, partner at law firm Browne Jacobson, will also be on hand to give one-to-one advice at British Baker’s stand. For free tickets to the event call 01792 365906 or visit [http://www.bakersfair.co.uk] for more information.
Time is running out to find the UK’s best cupcake (deadline 8 July), so enter our Cupcake Week competition, sponsored by Puratos, now! A panel of independent judges awaits your entries:l Baking guru Dan Lepard is The Guardian’s bakery writer, blogger and author of several well-respected books on baking. A past British Baker columnist, he has acted as a consultant to many bakeries and works with Bakehouse.l Mich Turner is founder of London’s multi-award-winning-Little Venice Cake Company and author of three cake books. She has been a consultant to Marks & Spencer and has a line of celebration cakes in Sainsbury’s.l Fiona Burrell is author of Leith’s Baking Bible from Leith’s School of Food and Wine, and is a regular columnist in British Baker.All details can be found at www.bakeryinfo.co.uk or send your recipes and images to [email protected]
Peter’s has seen its overall slice sales rise by 60%, following the launch of its Premier Slice Range in November. The firm said the range has “smashed sales targets” and has increased the sales of its slices in Tesco stores across Wales by 108%. “This is the most successful product launch we’ve ever had and proves that the time we spent perfecting the recipes and packaging to appeal to a wider audience has paid off,” said marketing director James Osgood.The range features eight varieties, including Spicy Chicken Fajita and Chilli Beef, and is designed for eating on the go. The firm said sales of its existing slice ranges are also up by 52% this year.
Essex-based cake and dessert manufacturer Raven Patisserie has moved to a new purpose-built production site in Witham.The new premises have been designed to accommodate its “ambitious sales targets for its patisserie and bakery products”, according to the firm.Operations director Daren McGrath said the business plans to achieve the growth through “new markets and new business from a widening geographical area”.A subsidiary brand of Wilkin & Sons, Raven Patisserie, previously located in Braintree, has grown steadily over the last couple of years. Wilkin & Sons, known for manufacturing Tiptree fruit conserves, acquired cakes, traybake and bar manufacturer Passionately Cakes in 2003. Passionately then joined forces with Raven Catering, to form Raven Patisserie in 2005.”Raven has grown from strength to strength. We out-grew our premises in Braintree within two-and-a-half years,” said McGrath. “This site in Witham is over 17,000sq ft and is large enough to handle the next phase of our growth.”The company, which currently employs 23 staff, supplies individually wrapped cakes, ambient bars and slices, luxury round cakes and traybakes to a number of tea rooms and restaurants across the UK.Passionately Cakes is now the brand name for the company’s counterline ’grab and go’ bars.