Department store Harvey Nichols has signed up Maison Brillant to open a bakery concession, as it gives its food hall a “face-lift”.Maison Brillant has an outlet in Henley-on-Thames and has just opened a second in Gabriel’s Wharf, on London’s South Bank. It also has a wholesale business, based in Marlow, Bucks, which supplies top restaurants, including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck. Harvey Nichols fresh foods buyer Noel O’Brien told British Baker Maison Brillant will run a large working bakery, producing bread, patisserie and chocolate.He had seen around 20 contenders before shortlisting six to run the concession. Maison Brillant was selected purely on quality after “exhaustive” negotiations, he said.“I was brought in to give the food hall a face-lift, in terms of branding, marketing and range,” explained Mr O’Brien. Harvey Nichols will continue to sell other branded bakery ranges, including Christmas puddings and biscuits, although the bulk of its offer will be produced on-site and from scratch by Maison Brillant. This will be a rustic and honest offer. There are not many places around Knightsbridge where you can buy a fresh baked sourdough product.” A spokeswoman for Maison Brillant said it will supply a range of 13 everyday breads, 13 daily patisserie lines, 12 traiteur lines, including quiche and cheese sticks, and 11 Viennoiserie items as well as weekly specials and a choco-late range. All ingredients will be sourced from France. The concession is due to open at the start of April, she said, and will be manned by five bakers.
Greggs’ Bakers Oven division has announced the results of its annual in-house bakery competition.First prize overall went to Richard Haydon, relief baker for Bakers Oven Midlands, who was assessed on 10 products that he baked on a day-to-day basis. Second place went to Paul Norman, a bakery manager at the Bedford Bakers Oven, and third place was taken by Andy Page, bakery manager at Bury St Edmunds.The finalists were also eligible to enter innovation awards in bread and sweet categories. Haydon won the bread innovation award for his six-seed cheesy herb tear-and-share bread.
This year’s IBA baking show pulled in more visitors than ever before, with numbers up 6% on the 2003 show in Düsseldorf.According to German trade fair industry association, AUMA, 965 exhibitors made the trip from 48 countries, while 76,199 visitors from 127 countries attended the Munich show.The most popular sections among visitors were those on machinery and plant, baking agents, raw materials and services. Many stopped off at the AB Mauri stand where Cereform showed off products including its Aqua series of water-based fluid dough conditioners and its Simply range of E-number-free cake and confectionery products, as well as new brownie and muffin products.IBA Visitors were treated to a programme of events including conferences by the international associations of bakers and confectioners and the IBA Cup.Some overseas visitors also attended tours of baking businesses in the Munich region.
The organic market is expanding rapidly. Shoppers are voting with their trolleys and even a brief visit to a supermarket is likely to provide more than enough evidence of burgeoning consumer demand for organic goods.Three years ago, approximately half of all shoppers were knowingly buying organic food, but that figure has now risen to nearly two in three. Taste, health, food safety and environmental concerns are prompting people to choose organic.So why should suppliers choose certification? Firstly, if they are already processing organic food products and labelling them as such, under EU Regulation 2092/91 they are legally required to be certified by a registered body. Secondly, consumer trust in organic products is paramount. Choosing organic certification with the Soil Association allows suppliers to demonstrate to customers that they have met, and have been inspected against, strict criteria and that the integrity of a product has been checked from farm level upwards. Lastly, it gives them access to an extremely buoyant retail market, which has shown double-digit percentage growth over the last 10 years and 30% growth in 2005 alone.certification mythsThere are a many myths about the Soil Association and its certification process, which by its very nature, applies restrictions on suppliers.But if they are able to meet the requirements, they stand to gain greatly from being able to label and sell product as organic. If they have not met the required standard and they are making any organic reference on products – such as ’containing organic flour’ – they risk a hefty fine from trading standards.So what is involved? In essence, the process ensures that product ingredients have absolute integrity, that the processing, baking and storage process does not risk that integrity, and that the product is packed and labelled correctly to enable consumers to make an informed decision.Application forms, explaining the process to be undertaken, including details of how records will be kept and the product’s integrity maintained, must be completed. The Soil Association must also approve any labels attached to products offered for sale.An inspector checks that all requirements outlined in the association’s standards are being met. The following processes must then be put in place:? Proposed record-keeping: goods in, processing records (including batch codes and volumes) and goods out? If organic and non-organic products are to be processed, how would they be separated to maintain organic products’ integrity? Dedicated storage areas, equipment and utensils must also be outlined? Staff must be trained to ensure they understand all procedures to be followed when working with organic ingredients? Pest control and cleaning procedures.Dedicated equipment to process organic foods is not required to meet the standard. However, separation of organic and non-organic must be demonstrated.Most organic businesses process their organic batch as the first of the day to enable the separation of tins.In some cases it is impractical to wash tins or have dedicated tins so the standards state that tins must not contain non-organic residues and that organic dusting flours should be used for both organic and non-organic to protect the organic integrity of the product.If an inspector identifies areas that do not meet the requirements, a compliance form would be issued and a written explanation of how the issues would be corrected must be provided. This would usually be enough for businesses to be given a licence. It usually takes a maximum of 12 weeks to complete the process, from application to the granting of a licence.As part of the Soil Association, firms can display the Soil Association symbol, which, independent studies have shown, comes top for consumer confidence.It is also requested by some retailers. Certification costs cover everything, including adding additional products to licences and providing certificates.Efficient, robust certification is vital if consumer trust in organic products is to be maintained.The Soil Association can also provide British Retail Consortium (BRC) inspections for businesses.The association has a special fee for small businesses and all the processes required to gain certification are straightforward. Its business development team can talk businesses through the application process in much greater detail and help them source ingredients and find a market for their products. n? The Soil Association, now more than 60 years old, is an environmental charity that promotes the benefits of organic food and is a not-for-profit body that offers robust and professional certification.—-=== Organic challenges ===The certification of organic bakeries throws up some unique challenges. There are issues around use of tins, tin release agents, divider oils and dusting flours. For example:1. If you use the same tins or prover pockets for organic and non-organic products, you must:? check them before use for organic products and reject those which have residues of non-organic products? record how many you reject during these checks and keep the records for inspection? use organic dusting flours and releasing agents for organic and non-organic products? use clearly marked baking tins and trays that are dedicated to organic production.2. Yeast is becoming more available organically, but is still permitted as non-organic, providing that it is not from a genetically modified source or grown on genetically modified substrate. Because of the availability of organic yeast, it is possible that, in 2009, when the EU regulation is reviewed, provision will be made for organic yeast and other micro-organisms. Until this time, the status quo will remain.3. Usually, fortification of organic products with vitamins, minerals and trace elements is prohibited. However, under the Bread and Flour Regulations (1998) iron, thiamine (Vitamin B1) and nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) in a carrier of calcium sulphate must be added to flour, except wholemeal flour.—-=== Organic accreditation and contacts directory ===l Soil Association, Bristol, 0117 914 2407, [http://www.soilassociation.org/certification]l Organic Farmers and Growers, Shropshire, 01743 440512, [http://www.organicfarmers.org.uk]l Organic Food Federation, Norfolk, 01760 720444, [http://www.orgfoodfed.com]l Organic Trust, Dublin, 00 353 1 853 0271, [http://www.organic-trust.org]l Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Association, Stroud, 01453 759501, [http://www.biodynamic.org.uk]l Quality Welsh Food Certification, Ceredigion, 01970 636688l Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association, Co. Longford, 00 353 043 42495, [http://www.iofga.org]l Scottish Organic Producers Association, Edinburgh, 0131 335 6606, [http://www.sopa.org.uk]
British Baker will be holding its 20th annual Baking Industry Awards on September 17, celebrating outstanding talent in the baking industry.The 11 award categories include three new categories in 2007 (see pg 16). These are the Food-to-go Innovation Award, sponsored by Christian Salveson, Patissier of the Year 2007, sponsored by Puratos and the Skills Achievement Award, sponsored by Rich Products. And we welcome Delifrance as the new sponsor for the In-Store Bakery of the Year 2007 award.For your chance to win the £500 prize money in each category and recognition from your industry peers, contact William Reed Events on 01293 867629 for an entry form. The closing date for entry is 4 May.Awards will be presented at a glittering gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London’s Mayfair.
Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government organisation for developing industry, has launched the first ever management development programme for the bakery and desserts sector.Over the past two to three years, Enterprise Ireland has been working closely with firms in these sectors to identify industry challenges. These include the needs of multiple retailers and rapidly changing consumer trends.Mike Feeney, Enterprise Ireland’s food sector executive director, said it was essential that management in these companies is fully equipped to anticipate and respond to industry challenges.The nine-month programme is being delivered by the Irish Management Institute (IMI) in Dublin and will give companies taking part access to new product and process ideas.It will also provide networking opportunities, while the programme will include study visits to the National Bakery School in Dublin; the San Francisco Baking Institute in California and the academy of the German bakery industry in Mannheim.Feeney said: “Owners and managers taking part will enhance their managerial effectiveness, identify new growth opportunities and increase innovation and international marketing capabilities.”The course costs E16,385 (£11,127) per person, but with 70% funding from Enterprise Ireland this is reduced to E4,915 (£3,338). The scheme launched on 22 March at the IMI headquarters in Dublin, with a trip to Germany scheduled for 10-13 April.
The sandwich industry belongs to bakers,” Jean-Luc Poujauran, baker and chairman of judges at the Délifrance World Cup sandwich challenge, tells me.He acknowledges that foodservice plays a major part in the distribution of good bread. Indeed, those who created the award-winning sandwiches for the competition were drawn from the foodservice industry, but Poujauran says that, in France, bakers have driven creativity in the sandwich market and are held in immense respect.Poujauran himself is held in high regard among bakers. He began his career in a small shop based on the Rue Jean Nicot in Paris, making baguettes, croissants and pastry specialities.Now he supplies the top Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris with his breads. He offers clients traditional country breads and speciality breads. His repertoire includes breads made with sesame seeds, cereals, figs, and hazelnuts from the Piedmont region.”The key to good bread is good ingredients, good kneading and good fermentation,” he says. For Poujauran, this means beginning the breadmaking process each day with a starter dough, made to a recipe handed down by his baker father 31 years ago. “My breads contain iodised salt from a specific region in France. But I don’t have to use too much, because the natural levain imparts the flavour.”The flours, too, are of his own specific choosing, right down to the region where the wheats are grown. Natural yeasts are next and water that has been through reverse osmosis [a form of filtration]. “Bread should be naturally healthy. You don’t need emulsifiers,” he stresses. Perhaps he is blissfully unaware of Britain’s plant bread industry, but most French bakers – including Délifrance – do not use them, preferring the ferment to give the flavour and keeping qualities.Poujauran loves making speciality breads and is always widening his repertoire. Basic staples, include walnut bread. He specifies where the walnuts come from and lightly grills them before
’Better for you’ choices emerged as the biggest growth area in soft drinks retail last year, according to the latest research, as bakers were urged to diversify their drinks offering, reports Andrew Williams.Glucose and stimulant drinks, smoothies and sports drinks all fared well in 2007, with consumers seeking out functional benefits such as vitamins, minerals or energy. As many as 18 of the top 20 launches last year offered a perceived health benefit, said the Britvic Soft Drinks Report 2007.Paul Moody, president of The British Soft Drinks Association and chief executive of Britvic Soft Drinks, told BB that bakery retailers should still be catering for mainstream tastes, but that niche drinks were on the up.He said: “Superstores present a huge range of products from, at the one end, the traditional scale brands, such as Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola, to obscure, small brands, which fulfil an interesting role. Over time, that breadth of offer will translate its way into bakeries or high street sandwich shops.”The biggest question for bakery retailers, he said, would be how much space to devote to niche drinks in the chiller cabinets. Burgeoning drinks such as “enhanced water” – with added vitamins or electrolytes to aid hydration – doubled their market in the US last year. Over time these drinks could accelerate into the mainstream in the UK.l Britvic has launched Lime Grove – a range of on-trade-only drinks. The sparkling fruit drinks will be sold in 275ml glass bottles. It has also added a 250ml single-serve pack to its Robinsons Smooth Juice range to tap into health trends.
The news has come this week of the experiments of a large producer of bread to combat the competition of the “oven-hot” loaf of the family baker. With the widening field that must ever be sought for plant-produced bread, these manufacturers have been seeking a method of producing oven-fresh bread before the customer.Some shops of multiple concerns in heavily populated areas have been carrying window banners to the effect that bread was delivered freshly twice and thrice daily, with the delivery times stated. This has been carried further so that really hot bread can be sold (pictured). The ingenuity of the plant producer must be commended.
The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas will come to London’s Grosvenor House hotel for this year’s Baking Industry Awards.The awards, to be held on Monday, 15 September, kick off with a special reception, followed by a three-course meal and wine, before the results are announced and celebrity presenter Kate Thornton calls the winners to the stage. In keeping with the Vegas theme, there will be dancing and a casino following the awards announcements – it could be your lucky night! The dress code for the ceremony is black tie, and there is no obligation to dress up Vegas-style, but feel free to pull out all the stops if you choose.Places are selling fast, so hurry and book your place by contacting Elizabeth Ellis on 01293 846593 or email [email protected] william-reed.co.uk, or visit [http://www.bakeryawards.co.uk] for details.