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.
In the past two years, consumers have witnessed record-high and rock-bottom food prices. Now, along with the economy, prices are picking up. Increases in demand are driving consumer meat prices higher. Over the past year, the overall price of food has increased .2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic Consumer Price Index. In the past month, the CPI shows meat, poultry, fish and egg prices increased .2 percent. “We’ve seen all protein prices increase over the past several months, especially beef,” said Curt Lacy, a livestock economist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. “Demand is picking up some as consumers appear to have more income or at least more they are willing to spend on meats.”Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial grilling season, which lasts through Labor Day. “This is the time of year we typically see an increase in demand for beef,” Lacy said. The average American eats 60 pounds of beef a year, he said. Half of it is eaten away from home. The hamburgers, steaks, meatballs and chili are consumed either in restaurants or at ball parks and other food industry establishments. “In the economic downturn, we saw this demand decrease the most,” Lacy said. “The food service and restaurant sector really suffered, but all indicators show it is starting to turn the corner. The increase demand is coming from that sector.”According to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index, the industry is experiencing an increase. Fueled by restaurant operators’ outlook for sales growth, capital spending plans and staffing levels, the index rose to its highest level in 27 months in February. That increase in demand is increasing prices at the grocery store. Compared to March 2009, retail ground beef prices in March 2010 increased 45 cents per pound, while all steak prices increased only 1 cent per pound. Pork prices are a mixed bag. Sliced bacon is running 8 cents per pound ahead of a year ago, while pork chops are12 cents less than in March 2009. Retail chicken prices are the same as a year ago. Favorable retail prices have helped livestock producers. So far this year, hog carcasses are bringing about 15 cents more per pound. Cattle prices are up about 12 cents a pound compared to last year, Lacy said. Decreased farm supply and increased demand is also driving higher prices for the consumer. “We have really tight supplies in feed lots right now with fewer calves heading into feed lots,” Lacy said. “We will bring less beef to market this coming year.”Milk prices are picking up, too. “Milk prices at the retail and farm levels declined substantially last year,” said Tommie Shepherd, an agribusiness economist with the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the retail price of a gallon of milk in Georgia averaged $2.84 during the first quarter of 2010, a dime over the last quarter of 2009. In 2008, prices averaged $4.09 per gallon and climbed as high as $4.49 during the summer months. Producers are seeing an increase in their price, too. The federally mandated minimum price to farmers for 100 pounds of milk was $16.80 in March, or $1.44 per gallon. This amounts to a 35 percent increase over the March 2009 price of $12.47 per 100 pounds, or $1.07 per gallon. “We are seeing some expected recovery following a year of devastatingly low farm milk prices,” Shepherd said. “This increase is in line with average long-term trends, although producers are not seeing quite as strong of a recovery as was expected earlier this year.” Producer milk prices may peak at $18 later this year, Shepherd said, basing his estimate on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange milk futures prices. But, large cheese stocks and sluggish domestic consumption of dairy products should keep prices at the market relatively stable for the foreseeable future, Shepherd said. “Cheese prices are a major driver of farm milk prices,” he said. “If there is a lot of storable commodity out there, in the form of cheese and butter, then prices decline, which translates back into lower farm milk prices and into lower grocery store prices as well.”
Published on September 28, 2015 at 4:54 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ This is the seventh episode of the “On The Beat” podcast, where Daily Orange beat writers discuss relevant topics in Syracuse football and men’s basketball.You can read all The Daily Orange’s coverage of Syracuse-LSU here.If you have thoughts on the LSU game or the season, leave us a comment beneath the podcast. Thanks for listening.