Rises in “underlying costs at farm level”, including energy and fuel, could force up bread prices in the longer term, according to Alex Waugh, chief executive of the National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim).Speaking during a discussion at the Home Grown Cereal Authority’s (HGCA) Grain Market Outlook conference on 16 October, he said although further increases in bread prices in the short-term were unlikely and competition among retailers might even push them lower, he predicted that rising costs of wheat production would have a long-term impact on prices.Fuel costs have risen by 50% between July 2007 and July 2008 and the cost of fertiliser has rocketed by 161%. Robin Manning, head of cereals and wine at Defra, said it was “very easy to blame biofuels” and pointed to other factors, inclu-ding population changes, diet, the activities of speculators and weather conditions, as also having an effect on the market.Regarding this year’s harvest, Gary Sharkey, Rank Hovis head of wheat procurement, told British Baker that while there was likely to be enough milling wheat for bread, there were concerns at levels of wheat used for cakes and biscuits. He warned that the milling premium on this wheat could soon match that for breadmaking varieties, at around £40 or £50 a tonne, which was previously “unheard of”.—-=== In Short ===== Cool innovation ==Natural solution provider, Cleveland Biotech, has been named winner of the Field Service Innovation of the Year award at the 2008 Cooling Industry Awards. The accolade was given for the its Amnite L600 FridgeFree product, a biological solution for clearing gel build-up in the drains of commercial refrigeration units.== Book sought ==If anyone knows where a baker can lay his hands on a copy of ’Up-To-Date Confectionery’, a book by A R Daniel, published by Maclaren & Sons, please email Christopher Rose on [email protected], as he’s seeking a copy.== Torbay’s café trial ==Torbay Council is aiming to create a ’café culture’ in Paignton by closing Torbay Road to traffic for two trial periods. If tests are successful, the road could be permanently pedestrianised. The first trial, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, aims to boost trade over the festive period. If this proves a success, the Council plans to run the second trial during the summer.== Retail excellence ==A number of supermarkets scooped accolades at the Scottish Retail Excellence Awards 2008, held at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on Tuesday, 21 October. Tesco won the Retail Training Initiative award, Sainsbury’s took home the Customer Service Excellence award and Asda triumphed as National Chain of the Year.== Wastage Fine ==Carluccio’s, the chain of Italian restaurants and food shops, has been fined £15,000 for breaching packaging waste regulations. The firm pleaded guilty to failing to meet its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste between 2004 and 2006.
Sandwich maker Greencore Group has hit the headlines this morning after the Daily Mail revealed it had been forced to look for workers in Eastern Europe for its new factory because Britons won’t do the job.According to the newspaper report, headlined ‘Is there no one left in Britain who can make a sandwich?’, Greencore bosses are making the journey to Hungary this morning to recruit new staff for the new factory in Northampton, which is due to open in 2016.The firm, which makes around 430 million sandwiches a year and supplies sandwiches to Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda, admitted that it would have to recruit the majority of the 300 workers it needs from overseas. It said this was due to people in the UK being unenthusiastic about the job roles.Allyson Russell, Greencore’s human resources director, told the paper that the company had tried to recruit in the UK, but that it was “not always the kind of work” people wanted to do.A Greencore spokesperson said: “Greencore employs around 1,100 colleagues in Northampton and is currently looking to recruit a number of new staff. “We have already started a range of recruitment initiatives locally and have been pleased with the response.”The new £35million factory is due to open in early 2016 in in Northampton.The average wage in Hungary is just over £7,000. Even if workers coming here were on the minimum wage, they would earn almost double that at £13,520 a year.The sandwich company completed the disposal of its foodservice desserts business, Ministry of Cake this year, for upfront cash consideration of £8m and deferred consideration of up to £3m.
Just like that, the group got right back into it with a powerful version of “Shakedown Street.” That segued seamlessly into the old standard “Viola Lee Blues,” before the group dug deep into the catalog with “Eyes Of The World > Playing In The Band > Terrapin Station Suite > Morning Dew.” Wow! Check out footage of “Shakedown Street” below, courtesy of Stephen Hurtes:After some cake was served and some “Happy Birthday” was sung, the crowd showed their true appreciation for Lesh and his incredible career. The show ended with an encore of “Standing on the Moon,” a fitting end to a great performance. Don’t worry! Lesh & Friends will be back for two more nights, tomorrow and Friday, at the Capitol Theatre. Yesterday marked the 76th birthday for Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh. Naturally, in planning his birthday party, Lesh picked a favorite location and some of his best friends for the occasion. There was cake! What more can you ask for?The show featured the “Almost Q,” a lineup with Warren Haynes, Rob Barraco, and John Molo, as well as Lettuce/Soulive axe player Eric Krasno. The group was in fine form throughout the show, opening with “Help on the Way > Slipknot!” before transitioning into “Just A Little Light.” After a fun classic version of “Doin’ That Rag,” Phil & Friends got down on a cover of Eric Clapton’s “Let It Rain.” Check it out:The first set closed out with an “Althea,” seeing Barraco and Haynes trade vocals, and a fun-loving “Bertha.” Watch the two below: The setlist can be seen below, courtesy of Bill Batson/FOJC:Setlist: Phil Lesh & Friends at The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY – 3/15/16Set One: Help on the Way (RB) > Slipknot! > Just a Little Light (WH), Doin’ That Rag (RB), Let It Rain (WH), Althea (RB, WH), Bertha (RB)Set Two: Shakedown Street (WH) > Viola Lee Blues (PL, RB, WH), Eyes of the World (PL) > Playing in the Band (RB) > Lady with a Fan (PL) > Terrapin Station (PL, WH) > Morning Dew (WH), Happy Birthday to Phil!Encore: Standing on the Moon (WH)[Cover photo via Capitol Theatre Instagram]