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RHM’s £2m hit on wheat prices

first_imgRHM said its bread division had seen good growth as a result of price increases and customer wins, in a trading update for the last six months issued this week.But a delay in recovering higher wheat price rises cost around £2m in the first half of the year.RHM’s cakes division’s performance continued to improve, it said. And procurement and logistics savings in the first half of the year will be more than £8m.RHM issued the trading statement for the six months to 28 October, ahead of its results, which will be announced on 13 December.RHM also said this week that it will close its Newcastle bread bakery and move production to the south, with 69 job losses expected (see British Baker, 27 October).last_img


Tiramisu titan

first_imgWhat is it with the glut of cakey world record attempts right now? Is it some kind of ironic comment on the Western obesity epidemic, or a reaction to greater government interference in the sweet treats we eat? The latest giant pudding, a Tiramisu, has officially been given the ’world’s biggest’ mantle by Guinness World Records (or so the BBC claims it wasn’t on the Guinness website). The dessert, made at a food fair in Lyon, weighed 1,076kg, used 4,000 eggs, 300kg of mascarpone, 180kg of biscuits blah blah blah. Whatever happened to the phrase, less is more?last_img


Say it with cake

first_imgLooking ahead to spring, although Easter will be flagged up as the main event in the bakery calendar, it’s important not to overlook another potential sales opportunity Mother’s Day. Falling on Sunday 3 April this year, Mother’s Day is traditionally a gift occasion and a time when your products may not sell on taste alone. Thought needs to be given to the presentation and packaging of your goods for example, the addition of a gift box could turn a selection of your brownies into a present rather than an afternoon snack. Inviting window displays are also key to reminding consumers they needn’t say it with flowers, or chocolates, but with biscuits and cakes instead.Mike Holling, retail and sales manager of craft chain Birds of Derby, says developing Mother’s Day products for your customers is a great way for craft bakers to bring in incremental sales to their business. “Last year we achieved sales in excess of £8,000; our target in 2011 will be to increase this by 15-20%,” he says. “We simply adapt some of our regular products, such as biscuits and novelty lines, adding inscriptions in order to generate sales. Strawberry and lemon cupcakes were a particular success last year.”Established in 2007, Biscuiteers is an example of a bakery and gift business at its best. Its strapline ’Why send flowers when you can send biscuits instead?’ says it all. Founder Harriet Hastings says people are prepared to pay for beautifully made premium products, especially when buying them as a gift. She says Mother’s Day is a very big occasion in Biscuiteers’ trading calendar, second only to Christmas. It sells its handmade iced biscuits, including the likes of ’I love you mum’ biscuit cards, in gift tins.”Biscuits are wonderful because they are so adaptable and have limitless design possibilities,” says Hastings. “We do launch new Mother’s Day collections every year, but we also sell a lot of the Flower Power, Cooks Tins and Cupcakes tins. We also offer personalised biscuit card teapots, which we can ice with customers’ messages. Those are popular.”With adequate packaging essential for sending biscuits through the post, Hastings says its packaging has been designed to “withstand the rigours of Royal Mail”, with its biscuits delivered in tins in custom-made outer packaging.The trend for elaborately iced biscuits appears to be gathering steam, with Juliet Stallwood, of Juliet Stallwood Cakes and Biscuits, experiencing a busy Mother’s Day last year, the first in her businesses’s trading calendar. The small family-run business, based in Semley near Shaftesbury in Dorset, offered three cupcake designs for Mother’s Day, along with handmade biscuits, and Stallwood says the business has since expanded really quickly, with enquiries from her website flooding in.Flower powerIf consumers want to say it with flowers, they can always do it with a cupcake bouquet. Victoria Forward, owner of Portsmouth-based Let Them Eat Cake discovered that her cupcake bouquets were an instant hit for Mother’s Day last year, making it ones of her busiest trade weekends to date, and will be offering them again this year. Forward also runs cake decorating workshops and plans to host a special one the Saturday before Mother’s Day in order to teach people how to make the cupcake bouquets for their own mums.She came across the idea of the bouquets after a spot of internet research, which showed they were gaining popularity in the US and, in just two weeks, she trialled the designs and marketed them, using her Facebook page, word-of-mouth and, interestingly, through free community ad site Gumtree. “The cupcake bouquets are something a bit different to giving flowers and chocolates,” she says. She offers a range of different styles: buttercream rose swirls, which were the most popular; hand-piped roses; chrysanthemums; and gerbera daisies, and says she plans to branch out and offer a more premium service this year with messages in icing and gift cards as options.last_img read more


UK-based O’Briens sees HQ and website close

first_imgThe head office and website of O’Briens Sandwich Bars in the UK have closed down.It comes two years after the UK chain was bought out following the collapse of O’Briens Irish Sandwich Bars (UK) Ltd and O’Briens Irish Sandwich Bars (Property UK) Ltd in 2009 into administration. Both companies were subsequently dissolved.It is not known how many shops are still trading as O’Briens Sandwich Bars, but it is understood the majority of the shops have rebranded and are trading as independents.The Glasgow branch of O’Briens is still using the original name, but the owner said he now had no connection with his former franchisor and the head office for O’Briens Sandwich Bars UK, in Glasgow, had closed. Four former O’Briens franchisees who spoke to British Baker said they have had no contact with the directors since last year.Following the collapse in 2009 of the UK business, a new company, O’Briens Franchising (UK) Ltd, bought the assets and set about working with some of the remaining franchisees. According to Companies House documents, the company is still trading, although it has never filed accounts the first set of which were required to be filed by 20 January 2011.A separate company formed in 2009, O’Briens Franchising (GB) Ltd, which had directors in common with O’Briens Franchising (UK) Ltd, was struck off in November 2011.O’Briens in Ireland is a separate company from the UK business and is not linked to the UK stores. Its website says it operates over 100 stores across the Irish Republic.last_img read more


A fresh look’

first_imgEditor’s Note: This story is the first installment in a two-part series on Jenkins’ voice in these ongoing conversations in the Notre Dame community. This series is also the first of three similar “From the Office of the President” series on the Notre Dame presidency to appear in coming weeks. God. Country. Notre Dame. For students here, those three words are a mantra, a proud refrain. For University President Fr. John Jenkins, those three words are his entire life. “As president of Notre Dame, I live in three worlds,” Jenkins said. “One is the world of higher education, one is the world of Catholicism and religion and the other is the world of our nation, the United States of America.” The upcoming year will be an especially poignant cross of those three worlds for Jenkins, who began his presidency in 2005. The University, as one of the premier Catholic colleges in the nation, is challenging the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act as an overstep of the government’s rights against religious organizations. The beginning of the school year will be followed within months by a presidential election, as well as state and local elections around the nation. 2013 will see the implementation of a new strategic plan for the University, and administrators and students continue to discuss the ways in which the school will – and will not -address sexual orientation in its policies and ideals. In an interview with The Observer to begin the 2012-13 school year, Jenkins addressed these issues and others in depth. As the leader in many conversations that will define this upcoming year, his words were soft-spoken but sincere. “Any issue that’s controversial in the Catholic world or in the university world becomes more prominent at Notre Dame,” Jenkins said. “I believe that if we don’t have controversies at a university, [we’re] failing. Universities are about vigorous discussion of important issues.” One issue under heated debate among students and administrators in the past year has been the issue of sexual orientation at Notre Dame. Following public requests from students and faculty asking the University to improve inclusion of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community, the school announced last spring it would not add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination clause. “At Notre Dame, we do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,” Jenkins said. “That’s a fundamental thing, but that’s not the only thing. The Spirit of Inclusion, which was approved by the Board of Fellows, higher than me, the highest level of the University, says that not only don’t we discriminate, but we want to be a place, an environment, where people feel – of same-sex orientation, anything else – feel respected, supported, fully involved in this community.” The clause primarily addresses discrimination against prospective students and employees in areas such as admissions, employment, scholarships and athletics. The current clause states the University “does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, veteran status or age.” What the University includes in the non-discrimination clause are “all and only” those categories required by federal law, Jenkins said. Other schools that include sexual orientation in a similar policy usually do so because they are required by state or local ordinance. “If Notre Dame voluntarily took this on, our fear is that it would be seen as a broader and stronger commitment with regard to same-sex orientation that may undermine our ability to live in accordance with the Catholic teaching because we distinguish between orientation and action,” Jenkins said. As a prominent Catholic university, Notre Dame could also become the target of high-publicity lawsuits related to the clause, Jenkins said. “I don’t believe that step [of including sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause] would achieve the goal of creating an environment of welcome, of support,” Jenkins said. “I fear that it would tend to be divisive. So I am absolutely committed to try to create that environment, but I think there are other ways to do that.” Jenkins said the community has made progress in past years by embracing the Spirit of Inclusion, which states Notre Dame welcomes its LGBTQ community and seeks to create an environment in which “none are strangers and all may flourish.” The University has also established the Core Council for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Students, a group of administrators and students that advises the Vice President for Student Affairs on LGBTQ needs. “The non-discrimination clause, I know that’s an issue that people are quite concerned about,” Jenkins said. “But I don’t believe that will achieve the end that is most important.” Instead, Jenkins also emphasized the University’s discriminatory harassment policy, which is designed to protect current students and employees from discrimination and harassment for any reason. “In our academic articles for faculty for promotion and tenure, there’s a clause in there about the unacceptability of bias that includes same-sex orientation or any other quality where people feel they’ve received bias,” he said. “And just I want to say as president, we don’t tolerate discrimination. If people feel they are discriminated against, use the hotline. Go to the appropriate authority. Let us know, and we’ll address it.” Developing a welcoming culture on campus needs to go beyond the administrative level, Jenkins said. “I think so much of this is about climate, and it’s not what I’m, what the president, is doing in his office,” Jenkins said. “It’s about what all of us are doing on campus. I think that’s extremely important, and that’s something we work on with hall staff, that’s something we work on with our Student Affairs personnel. … We just have to keep working on it.” The Office of Student Affairs and its newly-appointed Vice President Erin Hoffman Harding are currently reviewing a proposal to create an official gay-straight alliance (GSA) at Notre Dame. AllianceND, currently campus’s unofficial GSA, applied for official club status in February. “Are there better structures to achieve our ends?” Jenkins said. “I think it’s time for a fresh look.” Tomorrow: Jenkins on the University’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services, the upcoming presidential election and more.last_img read more


DEET alternatives

first_imgBy Elmer GrayUniversity of GeorgiaIn mosquito repellents, the longtime standard DEET(N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is still the most effective. However,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently added twonew active ingredients to their guidelines.The CDC now accepts picaridin, or KBR 3023, and p-menthane3,8-diol (PMD), or oil of lemon eucalyptus, as viablealternatives for people who object to using DEET.Both of these new active ingredients have been used in Europe andAustralia for a few years. It should be noted that oil of lemoneucalyptus should not be used on children under age 3.A word of caution about “natural” products: Often they’re basedon oils distilled and concentrated from plants. Usually theseoils have evolved to help defend a plant from insect feeding.When they’re concentrated and refined, they can be toxic andirritating. As a result, “natural” doesn’t always mean “safe.”Safe for kidsBoth the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics sayrepellents containing 10-percent and 30-percent DEET appear to beequally safe for children over 2 months old.Parents should use lower concentrations on children if possible.At 10 percent, DEET is typically effective for 2 hours. At 30percent, it’s effective about 5 hours. Use higher concentrations(up to 30 percent for children) only when extended exposures areexpected.As with any repellent or insecticide, though, it’s critical toread the label and apply only as directed. The most importantaspect concerning children and repellents is for adults to applywhatever is used.When applying repellents in general, apply them only to parts ofthe body that are exposed to mosquitoes. Don’t apply anyrepellent to skin that will be covered by clothing. Don’t apply arepellent to sunburned, irritated, cut or abraded skin, either,or to the mouth or eyes.Be carefulWhen applying repellent to your face, put it on your hands andthen rub it over your face. Use this technique on children ingeneral. And after leaving the mosquito-infested area, wash alltreated skin with warm, soapy water.The risk of being bitten by a mosquito carrying a disease of anytype is extremely small. But never underestimate the dangers ofmosquito-borne diseases. Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)is extremely serious and debilitating, no matter what version youget (West Nile virus, Eastern Equine, LaCrosse).The best ways to limit exposure to mosquito populations are: Wear light-colored, protective clothes.Keep screens repaired.Wear insect repellents when exposed to mosquitoes.Eliminating all standing water around your home andneighborhood can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes, too.Using common sense, minimizing your exposure to mosquitoes,eliminating standing water and following label directions onrepellents can help you have a safe and enjoyable summer.(Elmer Gray is an Extension Service entomologist for theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)last_img read more


News & Notes

first_img July 15, 2004 Regular News Patrick G. Emmanuel was recently honored by the Pensacola area Rotary Clubs as the winner of the 2004 Ethics in Business Award, which recognized Emmanuel’s years of ethical dealings with his clients, employees, business associates, and the community in general. Howard A. Spier of Miami has been elected to the board of directors of The Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys. Tod Aronovitz of Miami served as a moderator for the Federal Judicial Roundtable program held at The Florida Bar’s 2004 Annual Meeting in Boca Raton. A group of about 15 U.S. district court judges from across the state discussed courtroom procedures, advocacy, and the need for civility in litigated matters with the lawyer attendees. Scott P. Chitoff of Brinkley, McNerney, Morgan, Solomon & Tatum in Ft. Lauderdale has been elected to the board of directors of the Young Lawyers Division of the Broward County Bar. Michael G. Tanner of Holland & Knight in Jacksonville co-chaired the Advanced Trial Advocacy Program presented by the University of Florida College of Law and the Trial Lawyers Section of the Florida Bar on May 11-15 at the University of Florida campus. Brian A. Hart of Rafferty, Hart, Stolzenberg, Gelles & Tenenholtz, P.A., in Miami, spoke about U.S. real estate laws to a group of German investment advisors and business media representatives at a conference called “USA Real Estate” in Frankfurt, Germany. Christopher M. Fear of GrayRobinson in Lakeland was honored by Florida Rural Legal Services and the Lakeland Bar Association at a ceremony that applauded the efforts of pro bono attorneys in the 10th Judicial Circuit for their work to the Volunteer Involvement Project from 2001 through 2003. Edward J. Page of Carlton Fields in Tampa has been certified as a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Jason Hunter Korn of Cohen & Grigsby in Bonita Springs has been appointed to the board of directors of the Edison College Foundation. Patrick J. Lannon of White & Case in Miami has been named to the Probate Rules Committee of The Florida Bar and to the Executive Committee of the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami. Michael D. Joblove of Miami presented, “Defining and Protecting Territorial Rights in Franchise Systems,” at the International Franchisee Association Legal Forum in Washington, D.C. News & Noteslast_img read more


Thai boy has avian flu; UK finds H5 virus in parrot

first_imgOct 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The 7-year-old son of a Thai farmer who died 2 days ago of H5N1 avian influenza also has the virus, but there is no evidence that the boy caught it from his father, according to news services.Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports said the boy tested positive for the virus, but they didn’t say what test was used or where it was done. The boy is hospitalized but is expected to recover.”There is no evidence that the boy contracted the disease from his father,” said Siriraj Hospital Director Prasit Watanapa, as quoted in the AFP report.The father fell ill after slaughtering sick chickens. Prasit said the boy “had close contact with the virus” from being around the chickens, AFP reported.”The H5N1 virus found in the boy and the father was the same strain that has been found for the last two years, with no signs of a mutation,” Prasit added.Reuters reported that the 7-year-old was treated with the anti-flu drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) early in his illness. The boy has recovered his appetite and his fever has resolved, the story said.If the boy in fact has avian flu, his illness is the 19th case in Thailand since the disease began spreading in East Asia in late 2003. The country has had 13 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO), which has not yet confirmed the boy’s case, currently lists a total of 118 human cases, with 61 deaths.In Britain, meanwhile, a parrot that was imported from South America and died in quarantine tested positive for a highly pathogenic H5 avian flu virus, government officials announced today.The parrot had been imported from Suriname, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said in a news release. It was part of a shipment of 148 parrots and “soft bills” that arrived Sep 16.All the birds in the consignment were being destroyed, DEFRA said. Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds said, “The confirmed case does not affect the UK’s disease free status because the disease has been identified in imported birds during quarantine.”As an additional precaution, the few people who had contact with the birds in the quarantine unit were being given antiviral drugs, the statement said.H5N1 avian flu has not been reported in the UK or in South America. DEFRA said no form of avian flu has been confirmed in Britain since 1992.Officials said another serious avian illness, Newcastle disease, has been detected in imported quarantined birds and successfully contained five times previously.In Indonesia, a 63-year-old man and his 22-year-old son who were suspected of having avian flu have tested negative, according to an AFP report today. The report of their cases yesterday had prompted talk about a possible family cluster.”The pneumonia they are suffering from was not caused by bird flu,” a health ministry official named Hariyadi Wibonoso was quoted as saying. He said further confirmatory tests would be conducted in Hong Kong.The WHO has recognized five cases of avian flu in Indonesia, including three deaths. But government officials have described several more cases as probable on the basis of local tests.Many news items related to avian flu were reported from around the world today. Here is a sampling:Three racing pigeons imported into Australia from Canada were found to have avian flu antibodies, which prompted Australia to consider banning all live bird imports. No virus was found, and it was known not what viral strain the antibodies were related to. A Canadian official said the antibodies are not dangerous to humans, and the pigeons could have been exposed to a virus years ago.Taiwan said it had developed its own version of oseltamivir and would begin producing it if avian flu surfaces there, according to a Deutsche Press Argentur (DPA) report. “We are ready to begin mass production and are waiting for Roche [the manufacturer of oseltamivir] to license us to do so,” a health official was quoted as saying.Canadian officials promised to endorse a Mexican proposal for wealthy countries to share their flu vaccine stockpiles with poorer countries, AFP reported. The idea is to be presented at an international meeting in Canada next week.To protect poultry from avian flu, the Swiss government banned outdoor poultry farming from Oct 25 to Dec 15, when seasonal bird migrations should be over, according to AFP.Officials in one German state eased a ban on outdoor poultry farming by saying farmers could keep geese outside so long as they are under nets or tarpaulins, DPA reported.David Nabarro, the United Nations avian flu coordinator, met with Chinese Health Minister Gao Qiang, who promised full transparency and cooperation in efforts to stop the virus, AFP reported.last_img read more


Thursday Night Football

first_imgIf you are not a football fan, the Thursday night games have a way of ruining your normal TV watching.  This is the least of the problems created by these games.  An article in Sports Illustrated magnified the real problem of this.Because of the nature of pro football and the violent hits that players take, the games on Thursday night ramp up the number of injuries.  When you play a Sunday game (especially Sunday night), the body does not have time to recover.  With the added pressure of wanting to win your division, most players want to take the field and go back into action before their body is ready.   We know how many of these players are now living with the results of those lasting injuries.  Some cannot even walk.So, why do we have Thursday night games?  It is all due to the greed of the owners.  Being on television means big bucks.  None of the owners are in the game to lose money.  You can bet that not only will Thursday night games continue, but some owner will get the bright idea to play on Tuesday!last_img read more


Freedom 40 win worth $1,000 to Wood

first_imgBy David Smith Jr.MEEKER, Okla. (July 14) – After surviving a mid-race battle for the lead, Joe Wood Jr. worked lapped traffic to perfection in the latter portion of the race to claim the Freedom 40 Sprint Series of Oklahoma feature at Red Dirt Raceway.Jake Martens opened a five-car length lead with 15 laps to go. Two laps later, Wood got a run coming out of turn four to take the front spot away on lap 27.Not even encountering slower cars on lap 32 could slow Wood’s pace as he went on to claim the half-stretch $1,000 victory, his second on the season and third career with the Smiley’s Racing Products-presented series.Martens held off Andy Shouse for the runner-up position while rookie Steven Shebester had his best performance of the season in fourth. Blake Dacus was fifth.Sheldon Barksdale led the first nine circuits and ended in sixth. Wood was scored first on a cou­ple laps at midway before Martens regained the lead, then returned the favor for the $1,000 pay­day.Feature results – 1. Joe Wood Jr.; 2. Jake Martens; 3. Andy Shouse; 4. Steven Shebester; 5. Blake Dacus; 6. Sheldon Barksdale; 7. Gary Owens; 8. Tristan Oakes; 9. Chris Kelly; 10. Chas Koch; 11. Dillon Laden; 12. Loyd Clevenger; 13. Michael Gossman; 14. Justin Fisk; 15. Warren Fields; 16. Blake Scott; 17. Josh Toho; 18. Mike Scott; 19. Tanner Conn; 20. Blake Anderson.last_img read more