Gordon Polson, director, the Federation of Bakers

first_imgRising food prices are never far from the headlines these days with wheat playing a pivotal role in cost increases and providing a focus for the media.The current hike in food costs are being caused by the growing world population, as well as growing global prosperity in countries such as China and India, where there is increasing demand for food. The use of agricultural crops for energy and industrial purposes is also having an impact.Poor harvests this season in Canada, Australia and Eastern Europe have led to an increase in the cost of wheat – prices have already risen 100% in the past 12 months and this trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. This has led to a much-publicised increase in the price of bread, but also to an increase in the cost of grain-fed meat and other foodstuffs, such as eggs. The effect has not only been felt in the UK. In Italy there have been widespread protests about the rising cost of pasta.Although everyone is aware that growers and producers are facing increased production costs, food retailing remains a fiercely competitive business. But we must remember that it is not possible for bakers to simply absorb the increased costs. It is inevitable that they must be recovered.Today, food is more affordable than ever. Sixty years ago, the average British family spent over one-third of its income on food; this has now dropped to less than one-tenth.last_img read more


first_img…of shoppers would like to be able to recognise free-from foods more easily with improved packaging, says a poll by allergy magazine Foods Matter, with clear ’flashes’ to identify wheat-free and dairy-free products wanted by 98%. Isn’t the whole ’free-from’ section in the supermarket enough of a clue…?last_img

Bakers take craft skills into schools

first_imgSchoolchildren up and down the country had the opportunity to become bakers for the day, as National Craft Bakers’ Week took bakery into the classroom.Cheshire-based Chatwins visited several schools and scout groups over the week, where it helped children decorate their own gingerbread men, explained chairman Edward Chatwin.Stuarts of Buckhaven visited Buckhaven Primary School, where the children tried their hand at moulding dough and bread-making.Gingerbread men were also decorated at Boothferry Primary School in Yorkshire, where Fullers Quality Bakers helped the children, with an ITV camera crew in tow to film the event.Meanwhile Wirral-based Hursts Bakery spent an afternoon with 15 year-six pupils (ages 10-11), who got to take home aprons, hats and Hursts Bakery name badges along with a ’goodie box’ containing a drink, small sausage roll, cupcake, their own decorated gingerbread men and some promotional information about the week.”Everyone had a great time, including the teachers,” said James Clarke from Hursts.last_img read more

Popular performers

first_imgMajor brands may well dominate the soft drinks sector, but it is still an evolving market, with changes in preference for flavours and formats. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published its 2010 Basket of Goods and Services for the Consumer and Retail Prices Indexes, and made a couple of amendments to echo current trends: the fruit drink bottle has replaced the fruit drink carton, as the bottle format takes an increasing market share; and a small bottle of still mineral water has been added to represent water in the ’on-the-go’ drinks market, to reflect increased spending on bottled water over a period of years, says ONS.According to the British Soft Drinks Association, carbonated drinks still top the table with the highest market share 42%. Coca-Cola is the single biggest-selling soft drink, worth over £1bn in the UK (AC Nielsen Total Coverage 31.10.09), according to Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE).Sports drinksGlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) recently published Soft Drinks Live report revealed that energy and sports drinks are continuing to perform well in the impulse sector currently holding a 32% market share. Cola has a 25% share, while flavoured carbonates account for 16%, juice drinks 13%, and water 8% (Nielsen Scantrack data w/e 26.12.09). Top performers within the sports and energy drinks category include Red Bull and Lucozade. Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Cherry Coke were top of the cola category, while Fanta Orange, Dr Pepper and Fanta Fruit Twist were the top three flavoured carbonates. Ribena Blackcurrant and Oasis Summerfruits were the most popular juice drinks and Volvic, in both 500ml and one-litre bottles, was the favourite brand of water (Nielsen Scantrack data w/e 26.12.09).Just last week, CCE published its own soft drinks report ’Open More Business’. It identified a £1.4bn growth opportunity in the already huge £11.4bn soft drinks category, which CCE said it is looking to target over the next five years. Eleven strategic category drivers were identified in the report, including: category availability; on-the-go; drinking with food; and revive me. CCE also notes that the summer months are a key opportunity for bakery retailers, as they are traditionally a time of increased purchase.Innovation leaderIn terms of changes to format, soft drinks manufacturer Britvic, the home of big brands such as Pepsi, Tango and Robinsons, appears to be leading the way on innovation. Alongside PepsiCo UK, it is to launch a new range of 600ml PET bottles in April across the no- and low-sugar drinks in Britvic’s carbonates range, which include: Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi, 7Up Free and Tango. Britvic says that despite the view that consumers are trading down in the recession, this hasn’t happened in soft drinks, where staple categories, such as cola and juice drinks, have held up well.”Retailers should therefore continue to stock the most popular and recognisable lines, along with new products to offer their customer something new,” said the firm. “As much as possible, bakers should ensure that packs are properly chilled, as this can increase sales,” recommends Murray Harris, sales director, Britvic. “To maximise sales, ensure your chiller is located in a high traffic flow area, in sight of the till and the door.”When considering the layout of your drinks offering in the chiller cabinet, GSK says it is important for retailers to display a minimum of two facings per drink, otherwise the layout of the drinks cabinet can look unorganised. Allocate more space to more popular stock-keeping units (skus), and locate similar products next to each other. It notes that the top 10 skus make up around 40% of total soft drink sales.”Cluttered fixtures often lead to shoppers being unable to find what they are looking for, so fixtures should be kept neat and clear, with drinks being blocked by segment,” explains Selena Taylor, trade communications manager at CCE. “Visible soft drinks displays front-of-store and near the till are more likely to bring thirsty shoppers in from the street, when both speed and convenience are essential attributes.” And it may sound obvious, she adds, but “keeping drinks chilled is essential to the consumer”.last_img read more

Edible nut pricing

first_imgAlmonds: Prices have largely stabilised since the last report. The Spanish crop and bloom was conversely affected by the snows during bloom, so a much smaller new crop is predicted with prices already well up and likely to continue in the medium to long term. The first so-called “objective” estimate from California will come mid-May, which will start to form the shape of prices to come on the developing new crop.Hazels: Snow and frost in early April across a wide area of the Black Sea growing region has meant prices in Turkey have firmed, as the prospects for the much-needed larger new crop, suddenly shrank overnight.Walnuts: Prices are currently trading at levels virtually double their “usual” historic average, with no new crop respite until the end of 2010. Unless there is a dollar collapse, which will convert to lower UK prices, the main problem is the lack of physical supply over the next six to seven months.Offers for prompt shipment are about as much as origin sellers are willing to make, while fears over long-term availability exist.Pistachios: Prices are currently trading beyond levels that are double their “normal” range, and look likely to remain difficult until October when both US and Iranian new crops will hopefully deliver better supply.l Based on information provided by RM Curtislast_img read more

Lights on Ambers

first_imgNorthern Foods is expanding Fox’s biscuits with the launch of a trio of products under the new Ambers brand.Part of a new £3m marketing campaign, due to break in May 2011, the Ambers range will be the biggest-ever new product launch for the brand, says the company.The line has been developed to represent a new category of biscuit by Fox’s, under the theme of ’everyday indulgence’, and aims to encourage consumers to trade up from the typical everyday biscuit barrel. The range comprises: Fox’s Ambers Milk Chocolate Fox’s secret recipe of crunchy golden honeycomb biscuits, dipped in chocolate; Praline golden honeycomb biscuit baked with praline and dipped in chocolate; and Caramel golden honeycomb biscuit baked with caramel and dipped in chocolate. All varieties are available in 170g packs.last_img read more

NHS urged to look into gluten-free prescriptions

first_imgGluten-free bakeries are calling on the NHS to investigate charges added to prescription gluten-free bread by whole-salers, after a spate of media reports criticised the cost of such products to taxpayers.Wholesalers have been known to charge pharmacies anywhere between £20-60 per prescription because they say gluten-free products qualify as ’special’ products under NHS sourcing rules and require extra administration and handling. Pharmacies are legitimately allowed to claim these charges back from the NHS.The practice has led to a number of newspaper reports claiming that the NHS in Wales pays, on average, £32 for each gluten-free loaf bought on prescription, although this was dismissed as incorrect by Welsh Health Minister Lesley Griffiths, who said the real figure was just £2.82 per loaf.At the same time, Primary Care Trusts in the south east have become so concerned by the issue that they have started to limit the range of products that can be prescribed by GPs in an effort to reduce costs.The British Specialist Nutrition Association, which represents two of the largest prescription gluten-free bakers Juvela and Glutafin, said the issue needed to be properly investigated. “Our members are being tarnished by the press when they have done nothing wrong. It is the wholesalers that are adding these charges,” said director general Roger Clarke. “We need to know how many transactions are affected by these charges, whether PCTs are just using it as an excuse to reduce costs and why the NHS allows pharmacies to be reimbursed.”Leading gluten-free bread brand Genius supplies pharmacies directly with product, thereby cutting out wholesaler charges, but the company said that some pharmacies prefer to buy from wholesalers. “Genius is frustrated that, despite its efforts to provide a cost-effective service to the NHS and offer affordable fresh gluten-free bread available on prescription, in some instances its products are subject to this additional charge, which is out of its control,” said the company in a statement.Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, added: “We have argued for some time that the issue of additional charges needs to be investigated at a national level to hold some in the NHS supply chain to account. Patients do not want the NHS to pay more than they should for their prescriptions and want a fairer, more transparent system. We are talking to politicians and the NHS to get the facts across.”last_img read more

Police chase in LaGrange County reaches speeds to 125 mph

first_img WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews Twitter By Network Indiana – May 20, 2020 0 473 Pinterest Facebook Previous articleNW Indiana Building Trade council supporting Holcomb for 2nd termNext articleJC Penney to reopen at University Park mall Network Indiana Facebook Google+ Police chase in LaGrange County reaches speeds to 125 mph Pinterest (“Police car lights” by Scott Davidson, Attribution 2.0 Generic) LAGRANGE CO, Ind. — A LaGrange County man on a motorcycle was going more than 125 miles per hour during a chase on Wednesday morning, May 20.The LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office said they tried to pull 49-year-old Jamie Gayheart over, but he kept going.Gayheart drove into Michigan before turning around and heading back into Indiana said WOWO.The motorcycle eventually stopped at the intersection of State Road 3 and County Road 300 North.He was arrested and charged with two different possession charges, resisting law enforcement, and reckless driving. Google+last_img read more

Speech: Amanda Spielman’s speech at the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership

first_imgI want to start by thanking you for the opportunity to speak to you today.I also want to commend Joy, Nigel and James and everyone else who has been involved in establishing the Foundation for Educational Leadership. In an education system that is increasingly diverse, the importance of establishing strong support networks for school leaders cannot be understated.When it comes to that diversity, I hope it goes without saying that Ofsted takes an ecumenical approach. We see schools in all shapes and sizes providing an outstanding education. While the ethos of a school undoubtedly matters – more on that in a moment – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. At Ofsted, we are interested in what works for children, what improves their life chances and what sets them up for future success.And viewed from that perspective, system diversity should enable schools to learn from each other’s successes and challenges. Indeed, I think it is only through that combination of innovation, experimentation and collaboration that we will realise a self-improving school system.That means schools cannot exist as islands. If we are to unlock the potential of our great teachers and leaders, we need to ensure that they have strong support networks that let them learn, grow and innovate. To me, a move towards an academy system should not mean fragmentation, but instead the creation of a more dynamic school system, underpinned by strong support networks. For that reason, I have deliberately moved away from talking about educational improvement as the work of a handful of hero heads. The truth is, long-lasting improvement is the work of teams within schools and collaboration between schools. That is what we see in our best schools and academy chains, some of whom have learned, through painful experience, the limitations of the ‘hero head’ model.Of course, church schools by their nature have an advantage in this regard. They have a unique inbuilt network in the church and its mission. But you will know, all too well I expect, that doesn’t mean they always make the most of it. An outsider might assume that church schools are a homogenous group, ably controlled by Nigel and his team from the centre. But anyone with experience of faith education will know that it can be difficult to get two schools in the same town to speak to one another, let alone getting into the politics of cross-diocesan collaboration.The Foundation has set itself the worthy task of breaking down some of these silos, and in doing so has the potential to enable the accelerated spread of excellence among your schools. Reading your first year impact report, it is clear that your peer-support networks and professional qualifications are already filling crucial gaps while at the same time nurturing a new generation of talented but also connected school leaders.This commitment from the church to really thinking about how to get the best from school leaders is hugely welcome. Not least because you have such a significant footprint within the educational landscape. Since its foundation, the Anglican Church has taken seriously its mission of transmitting knowledge, understanding and enlightenment to the next generation. While much has changed – largely for the better – in the intervening half millennia, I know that mission still burns as brightly as ever. My hope is that the lessons of the Foundation will resonate not just within Anglican schools, but also beyond, supporting improvement right across the system.One of those lessons, that I certainly hope echoes in schools of all faiths and none, is the Foundation’s affirmation that there should not, indeed cannot, be a trade-off between school ethos and school outcomes. To me, and I’m sure many of you in this room, that should be obvious. Sadly, I am afraid that it does not match with the reality in all of our schools today.What do I mean by that? First, I am not saying that schools are deliberately neglecting either ethos or outcomes. It is rare that I visit a school that isn’t at least striving towards securing excellent outcomes. At the same time, all but the weakest schools are taking steps to make sure their pupils can take their place in the world as active, engaged citizens. In faith schools in particular, that focus on the spiritual, moral dimension of young people’s education tends to be exemplary. But the discontinuity emerges when schools fail to link those 2 goals. School leaders often feel that in the pursuit of excellent outcomes they have to betray the very ethos they are attempting to impart on young people.The early findings of Ofsted’s curriculum project brought some of these tensions into stark relief. The preliminary report shows that the hunt for prizes and stickers for a school has, perhaps inadvertently, taken on greater importance than the substance of education itself. For a group of school leaders, ensuring that young people have the body of knowledge they need to succeed is playing second fiddle to a focus on maximising league table positions. I mentioned some examples of particularly poor practice in our recent Annual Report, including: Some have taken my comments on the curriculum to be an attack on the exam system. Nothing could be further from the truth. The new SATs, GCSEs and A levels are a marked improvement on their predecessors. And Progress 8 does a good job in mitigating some of the worst perverse incentives in the accountability system. My point instead is this, and I cannot reiterate it enough: exam performance and league tables should be a reflection of what children have learned. Tests exist in service of the curriculum. Curriculum should be designed to give children the best pathway to the future, not to make the school look good.And for the nay-sayers who say it is impossible to do what’s right and at the same time please the Department for Education or Ofsted, I say that simply isn’t the case. As well as the more disheartening cases, our inspectors also visit schools in challenging circumstances that enter the majority of their pupils for EBacc subjects even though they know their Progress 8 scores would be higher if they opted for BTECs instead. They do this because they want every child who is able to study a strong academic core to do so. At the same time, we see many primary schools that get excellent SATs results by doing things the right way: ensuring that children read often and are read to often, instead of sitting endless past SATs papers.The duty of school leaders – and duty, as you will be aware, is not a neutral word – is to make sure that young people receive a rich and deep education. Good leaders make sure the focus of their schools is, in the words of Psalm 119, to ‘teach knowledge and good judgment’. To me, that is real ethical leadership and it is why I am delighted, along with Nigel, to sit on ASCL’s council on ethical leadership, which is exploring many of these issues.I don’t think it is a cliché to say that making sure your pupils’ education has an ethical underpinning matters more than ever in these turbulent times. In an era of ‘fake news’ and tweeting presidents, we need young people to develop the moral fibre they need to flourish in a unstable world and – dare I say it – to correct some of the mistakes of the generation that has come before them. The starting point for that is that school leaders, the people who children look to day to day, must embody the values we want young people to inherit. Young people need to see that real leadership isn’t about bullying your staff to game results or pursuing external validation at any cost. Instead, leadership first and foremost is about acting with integrity. As I have said before, formal education is one of the few rites of passage that almost every young person passes through. It is therefore incumbent on us to ensure that the time is well used to instil deep knowledge and the right values.One of those values as articulated in the definition of British values is ‘mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith’. It is a happy fact that almost every Church of England school we visit takes that value seriously. Many of our faith schools are exemplars in promoting tolerance, not just of different faiths, but also lifestyles and cultures as well. This stands in stark contrast to the way many faith schools operate in other countries and is something that we should be rightly proud of.But tolerance and respect does not mean that we should privilege all belief above criticism. Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education. Under the pretext of religious belief, they use education institutions, legal and illegal, to narrow young people’s horizons, to isolate and segregate, and in the worst cases to indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology. Freedom of belief in the private sphere is paramount, but in our schools it is our responsibility to tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law.That doesn’t just mean Ofsted, but everyone involved in education. Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says ‘anything goes’ for fear of causing offence, schools leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism. That sort of liberalism holds no truck for ideologies that want to close minds or narrow opportunity. Occasionally, that will mean taking uncomfortable decisions or having tough conversations. It means not assuming that the most conservative voices in a particular faith speak for everyone – imagine if people thought the Christian Institute was the sole voice of Anglicanism. And it means schools must not be afraid to call out practices, whatever their justification, that limit young people’s experiences and learning in school.Church schools must not, in their entirely correct goal of promoting tolerance, shy away from challenging fundamentalist practice when it appears in their schools or communities. The experience in Sir John Cass School a couple of years ago should serve as a warning for what happens when they do not. Similarly, schools must not allow pressure from certain elements of school communities to dictate school policy, nor should we allow vocal parental minorities to pressure other parents and children to act or dress against their wishes. Giving way to the loudest voices is the opposite of tolerance.On that note I want to put on the record my full support for Neena Lall, the Headteacher of St Stephen’s school in Newham, and her leadership team. Schools must have the right to set school uniform policies as they see fit, in order to promote cohesion. It is a matter of deep regret that this outstanding school has been subject to a campaign of abuse by those who want to undermine the school’s position. Yesterday my inspectors visited this school and spoke to the head, staff and pupils as well as parents. We will of course publish our findings from that visit in due course. But in the meantime, I do want to be clear, Ofsted will always back heads who take tough decisions in the interests of their pupils. On that, I hope we are not alone, and that others in local and national government, and the Church of England or other religious authorities where relevant, take steps to ensure schools have the support they need in these difficult situations.It should go without saying that the concerns I am raising here are not about mainstream Anglican practice in our schools, nor for that matter most mainstream Jewish or Muslim practice. But it is undoubtedly true – and books we’ve found displayed in schools encouraging husbands to beat their wives are a sorry testament to this – that there are segments of particular faiths who are determined to use our schools to promote beliefs and practices that are an anathema to British values.If we are to tackle this practice effectively, we will require changes to legislation to give us better powers. In both state and independent schools, we are supported by the Equality Act and ‘Independent school standards’. But, one of our greatest areas of concern is what is happening under the radar in so-called out-of-school provision. Out-of-school provision is a mainstay of the work of the church; indeed it is hard to think of a more British institution than a Sunday school. Similar positive activity groups exist in other faiths, providing extra-curricular activities, language training and spiritual instruction. I have no doubt they provide an enriching experience to the young people who attend them. But some other out-of-school settings operate less benignly. These institutions, some of which operate as illegal schools, use the opportunity to – in the words of the former Prime Minister – put ‘poison in the minds, hatred in hearts’ of young people. They need to be tackled.That is why I am afraid to say it is a matter of regret that the Church has resisted changes in the law to allow Ofsted to inspect these settings. This is not about infringing religious freedom: no one is proposing a troop of inspectors turning up at Sunday schools. Instead, it is about ensuring that the small minority of settings that promote extremism are not able to evade scrutiny. If we are to protect many of the tenets that the Church holds dear, we need the power to tackle those trying to use education to undermine them.None of that should detract from what I started this speech by recognising, and that is the major and very positive contribution that church schools play in our educational landscape. A contribution that looks set to continue through your investment in creating the next generation of empowered leaders through the Leadership Foundation. I very much look forward to seeing how it evolves in the years to come, and perhaps seeing a future occupant of my office who has passed through your leadership training schemes.All that remains for me to say is to keep it up and to wish you well for a successful conference. primary schools giving up teaching most other subjects in Year 6 to focus intensively on SATs prep, rather than meaningful work to improve reading and mathematics or a broader curriculum the widespread shortening of key stage 3 to 2 years, when this means that many pupils lose a whole year of study of the humanities, of languages and of the arts at key stage 4, we saw too many schools pushing lower-attaining pupils away from studying EBacc subjects: these are core academic subjects that should be the norm for all but a small minority of pupilslast_img read more

Press release: Essex rapist has sentence increased after Solicitor General’s appeal

first_imgA rapist has had his sentence increased after the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred it for being too low.On 29 May 2015, Sezer Keser, 25, offered to drive the victim home from an Essex shopping centre. After tricking her back to his house, Keser got the victim drunk before raping her.Keser was originally sentenced to 5 years imprisonment at Nottingham Crown Court. Today, after the Solicitor General’s reference, the Court of Appeal increased his sentence to 7 years in prison.Commenting on the sentence increase, the Solicitor General said: I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed that Keser’s sentence should have been higher. He put his victim through a terrible ordeal and my thoughts are with her and her loved ones. I hope the increased sentence will bring them some comfort today.last_img read more