Passions are clearly running high over the future of training in the baking industry, as bakery tutor Chris North so eloquently discourses in this week’s Friday Essay (pg 13).The relationship between the sector skills council Improve, employers and colleges has not been one without tensions over how to take the issue forward, while the path ahead has so far been beset by good intentions, but little action.An October conference on bakery training is being lined up by the Student Alliance (formerly the NFBSS/IBA Alliance) to address this, with the aim of getting the key industry decision-makers – from employers to student bodies – in one room to hammer out the future of bakery training. With plans still at an early stage, we will report details as and when they become available.In the meantime, big changes are afoot, with NVQ and SVQ qualifications set for an overhaul. Improve will unveil a series of new qualifications “designed by employers to deliver to employers’ needs, and to provide a pathway to enable individuals to get the skills they require”, says Paula Widdowson, communications director for Improve.common modulesFor the first time there will be specific pathways for learning for every type of baker at NVQ Level 2, with common modules applicable to all pathways. “At the moment, there are four or five qualifications in bakery,” she says. “Some might cover process, some might cover craft. Now, for the first time ever, there will be, for instance, a qualification specifically for a craft baker, an in-store baker or a highly automated plant baker. There will be common areas covered, such as cleaning, security, storage, distribution and retail.”A further five pathways will be available at Level 3, along functional lines such as management, improvement, technical skills and supply chain management.Qualifications will be obtainable either through on-the-job training, through colleges or through private training provision. “Because there are so many modules involved, they can be done in a variety of ways – some can be done online or through distance learning,” says Widdowson.”This hasn’t been done by Improve, sat on its own in an ivory tower. This has all been done with the help of hundreds of employers, responding to our consultation platforms and one-to-one meetings,” she says. So what have employers requested? “They’ve been asking to make the qualifications more relevant to their needs, to beef up the management side, to make the underpinning knowledge about how dough works at a relevant depth for the particular role, rather than blanket-cover everybody to the same level of knowledge. Employers want to pick and choose the relevant knowledge that is required.”Seven types of qualification will come into effect in September. Improve will be giving full details of them at an event on 6 July in Leeds, aimed at employers and employees, where there will also be an opportunity to sign up to modular courses.Meanwhile, the National Bakery School at London South Bank University has sought to improve the level of bakery training available by introducing a two-year Foundation Degree in Baking Technology Management. Upon completion, students can top up their qualification with either a BSc (Hons) Food Design and Technology or a BA (Hons) in Business Management. Head of the school Dr John Marchant says the course updates and replaces existing qualifications, which were either too theoretical in nature or too basic in content.This foundation degree will cater particularly for the needs of young people entering the industry and also for those already working in the baking industry, who may benefit from further professional development. Although there has been no formal publicity, the course has already received 10 applications.practical course”Improve suggested we set up a foundation degree and we began this process in consultation with industry. It has taken us two years to achieve this goal but we can now recruit for a September 2007 start,” says Marchant. “It gives students both a management and science outlook, but overall, it’s a very practical course.”He urged other colleges to follow suit: “We’re very lucky that we’re part of London South Bank University, which made it much easier to set up, but I would suggest that other colleges could affiliate with universities and do the same. All students would then have access to a foundation degree across the country, which would provide the baking industry with a firm footing for the future and bring us into line with other industries.” nl The Improve event, Pick Your Mix, will be held at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds on 6 July. For more information, email: [email protected]—-=== Future employment trends ===l skills required in the sector are increasing as time progressesl management positions will increase greatlyl the number of elementary jobs will continue to falll food scientists, NPD, traceability and legislation demands are critical areas for the industryl flexibility has to be increased to attract more females, ethnic minorities and older workersIndustry needsWhat food and drink sector skills council, Improve says the industry wants:l relevant and accessible productivity trainingl improved in-house and on-the-job trainingl improved clarity of communication on training and funding across the UKl regional group training for small to medium enterprisesl a conversion programme for food scientists—-=== New training course ===Starting in September, the Foundation Degree at the National Bakery School hopes to give:l A grounding in business knowledge to support the start-up and operation of a small business or the enterprise initiative to work with an international food companyl A practical and conceptual awareness of the wider environmental constraints acting on the baking industryl A range of practical strategies for creating, developing and sustaining the baking business or enterprise initiativesl A vocationally-based capability to enhance and/or develop novel ideas into a successful baking business or bakery-related enterpriseAny bakers who are willing to offer work placements are asked to contact Dr John Marchant at [email protected] Placements will start in June 2008 and run for 15 weeks
Month: April 2021
W ith competition from the multiples, it’s increasingly challenging for the small baker to offer differentiated products that stand out from the crowd.But have you ever considered the spices you use in your products? Are you one of the many who buy a pack of spice and it lasts forever and do you only buy it occasionally? If so, does it really have any flavour? Have you ever considered grinding your own?You may think this is a crazy idea, but is it? I’ve been grinding my own spices, in a small way, for years and they really can be wonderful when they are freshly made. The flavour they give is magical compared to some purchased products. When spices are ground, they do lose flavour the longer they are stored. So why not try to do some yourself?For large production, this may not be so easy, but for the small craft baker who is willing to try, it could be great. You can buy a small domestic coffee grinder for not a lot of money and that’s what I use.I suggest you buy relatively small quantities of whole spice, where possible, and make your spice mixtures from these.Asian stores are a great source of good spices at reasonable prices. If you examine other cultures that use spices, they often grind them fresh just before use. If you can do this, then fine, but you could make up a quantity and try to use it quite quickly. Store it in an airtight container, away from the light, to keep it in the best possible condition.I work on the technical side for Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients. Recently, one of our sales team asked if I had a scratch recipe for a spiced yeasted bread product. I supplied the recipe, which should contain a continental spice blend. So I offered the main recipe, but also gave a recipe for a spiced blend, obtained from a book of the Richemont School in Switzerland, just in case the customer could not obtain the spice.I also decided to take the recipe home and try it for myself, but did not have all the spices I required. The recipe called for aniseed, but I only had Star Anise, so I continued anyway. To my delight, the aroma was stunning.Although not all the ingredients fitted the original recipe exactly, I still ended up with an excellent product. So what did I do? Well, I made a kind of Chelsea Bun and was really pleased with the result. The feedback I received from one group of friends, for whom I made them, was: “Why can’t we buy this? The flavour is really good.”With the recipe featured here (see right), start by making the spice mixture and take in the marvellous aroma. After you make the buns, you may have your own views on the emphasis of certain spices, so feel free to experiment. Good spices can mean great flavour. n
Ethnic bread manufacturer Honeytop Speciality Foods, announced last week that turnover is up by 29%, from £20.5m to £26m on the previous year.Charles Eid, joint-MD of Honeytop, said the results are the culmination of an “exciting year”, which has seen new products including organic naan, keema naan and filled dough balls.He said the company’s export sales had doubled and it had a sizeable presence in the European market and had products selling in Canada and the USA.Honeytop is to trial ’tear-and-share’ garlic bread fingers in 80 McDonald’s stores in north England, as an alternative to fries for children’s Happy Meals.
Fines totalling £33,500 have been imposed on two firms after a lorry driver was crushed to death at the Allied Bakeries site in Glasgow.Graham Meldrum died after being struck by a faulty tail-lift on his truck while unloading in July 2005. He was trapped for an hour before his body was discovered by a colleague.The bakery was fined £19,500, after admitting three health and safety charges, including failure to provide proper training and failing to ensure equipment was in good working order. TNT Logistics, the firm which supplied the vehicle, was fined £14,000 after admitting a single breach. Glasgow Sheriff’s Court heard that staff at the plant had expressed concerns about trailers as far back as 1997.Meldrum’s widow Karen Thomson said she wanted a fatal accident inquiry so that her husband “didn’t die in vain”.
Speciality vegetable oil manufacturer AAK has announced a fall in profits for the second quarter. But the company said the trend for less expensive vegetable oil solutions fits well with its strategy for growth.The Swedish firm, which has its UK base in Hull, revealed falling operating profit of SEK25m (£2.15m) in the second quarter, with a marginal drop in sales to SEK4,045m (£348.62m) from SEK4,067m (£350.52m) last year.Its food ingredients business saw operating profit rise by 22% to SEK74m (£6.37m). However, its chocolate and confectionery fats business has been hit heavily by the recession, with operating profit falling to SEK55m (£4.74m) (2008: SEK105m/£9.05m).The firm announced that additional preliminary insurance compensation of SEK70m (£6.03m) had been received, in relation to “business interruption” in 2008 and 2009.AAK said that, within food ingredients, it has experienced a marked trend towards the substitution of more expensive products with less expensive value-added vegetable oil solutions. “This aligns very well with AAK’s Group strategy and enhances growth,” said the firm, which added that the trend for health-improving solutions continues to be strong.
McCambridge has announced it intends to close two of its own-label division factories as part of its strategy to streamline the business.Group commercial director Neil Fraser said Lisa Bakery in Oldham, which produces predominantly Swiss rolls and mini rolls, and William Lusty in Heywood, Lancashire, which manufactures slab cakes, have “physical constraints” that do not facilitate economic growth.“It is proposed to transfer the production at these sites to other north west-based manufacturing facilities within the own-label division of the McCambridge group,” said Fraser. “We’re not walking away from these products, we’re just going to move them, and obviously this will require staffing at the other sites.” He admitted that “realistically there will be some jobs at risk”, but said it’s too early to say how many. The equivalent of around 65 full-time staff are employed at Lisa Bakery, and 40 at William Lusty, he said.The firm will now enter into consultations with the Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union and its employees on the proposals, which are expected to last a minimum of 30 days.
Capital FM radio presenters Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon are fronting a new £3m marketing campaign to promote Kraft’s new Belvita Breakfast brand – a range of biscuits targeting the breakfast market.Claimed to be the only breakfast biscuits in the UK, Belvita biscuits are made with whole grains and, when eaten with a portion of fruit and serving of dairy such as a latte and an apple, release carbohydrates steadily over four hours.The marketing campaign for Belvita Breakfast, which launched this month, features TV ads aimed at the brand’s core market of 25-35-year-old women, as well as print ads, retail promotions and sampling.Biscuits have long been a popular breakfast item in Europe, but have yet to gain a foothold in the UK, where cereals and toast still dominate. Belvita Breakfast retails across Europe with one in five people in France eating biscuits for breakfast.“Belvita Breakfast’s success in Europe shows that there is a real appetite for breakfast biscuits, and the UK market is ready for something new,” said Nicola Wilkinson, Kraft Foods.According to research commissioned by Kraft, 34% of the UK population regularly miss breakfast, compared to 17% in France, 18% in Italy and 13% in Spain. Eight per cent of Brits never eat breakfast, with men (38%) and people in their 20s (55%) most likely to skip.
The latest breakthrough in baking, devised via a meeting of minds in the art and nuclear science fraternities: radioactive cakes. Granted, as bakery NPD goes, this one’s going to be a tough sell. But stick with us, as these cakes, using ingredients that contain radioactive isotopes, really are edible.As part of a window display at the Wellcome Collection in London, entitled ’What if’, designer Zoe Papadopoulou asked, “what if local communities informed public policy on nuclear fuel?”Papadopoulou joined scientists from Nuclear FiRST to develop an edible yellowcake, using ingredients that contain radioactive isotopes, to challenge entrenched viewpoints and misunderstandings of health and safety risks (’Yellowcake’ being a colloquialism for uranium oxide U3O8, used in nuclear reactors). The idea was to serve it up in a non-confrontational setting to people living in close proximity to nuclear reactors, and to engage in a discussion about nuclear fuel and its by-products. And what more inviting a setting than a tea party?Hmm, the proof of the pudding on this occasion will very much be in the eating. Without wishing to commit an entrenched misunderstanding ourselves, let’s hope the participants still have a full head of hair by the end of it.
“We’re determined to maintain the bakery’s reputation for producing the best Chelsea buns in the world. They’ll be ridiculously sticky and ludicrously fruity weapons-grade buns”Tim Hayward, food writer for The Guardian and Fire & Knives, takes over the Fitzbillies bakery in Cambridge, which recently closed to the distress of fans like Stephen Fry on Twitter”In 100 AD, the Roman poet Juvenal coined the term ’bread and circuses’ to describe the straightforward way populations could be persuaded to support government decisions. I’m sure a few of my colleagues still wish it was that easy”ably assisted by Wikipedia, health minister Anne Milton recalls the simpler days when votes were bought with bread, thus leaving the Federation of Bakers lunch she was addressing thinking “Don’t knock a bread subsidy until you’ve tried it!”
(“U.S. Capitol Building detail” by Kevin Burkett, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic) WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved legislation to provide direct relief to Americans suffering physically, financially and emotionally from the coronavirus pandemic.The action comes after President Donald Trump declared the outbreak a national emergency, freeing up money and resources to fight it, then threw his support behind the congressional package.Still, he has denied any responsibility for delays in making testing available for the new virus, whose spread has roiled markets and disrupted the lives of everyday Americans.The aid package from Congress would provide free tests, sick pay for workers and bolster food programs. The crush of activity caps a tumultuous week in Washington.The legislation has gotten mixed reaction from local representatives. 2nd District Congresswoman Jackie Walorski supported the bill, saying the legislation will provide critical relief for working families. 3rd District Congressman Jim Banks voted against it, saying some language will mean major harm for small businesses and greases the skids for massive bailout packages for industries forced to implement these costly policies.Rep. Jackie Walorski released the following statement:“As a country, we’re stronger when we work together. Congress and the Trump administration are putting politics aside and putting American families first. This bipartisan legislation will provide critical relief for working families impacted by coronavirus, including paid sick leave and nutrition assistance for low-income households with children whose schools are closed.“Over the last days and weeks, I’ve been working constantly with federal, state, and local health officials to ensure those on the front lines have the tools and information they need to keep Hoosiers safe and healthy. Along with President Trump’s national emergency declaration, this bill ensures diagnostic testing is free for patients and will get vital resources to health care workers faster. It also maintains important pro-life protections. “I urge everyone to continue exercising simple but important precautions: wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, avoid large gatherings, and stay home if you’re sick.”Rep. Jim Banks released the following statement:“On the heels of a massive $8.3 billion emergency spending package, Speaker Pelosi rushed a second short-sighted emergency bill, passed in the middle of the night and behind closed doors, that does more harm than good.“While there are some good things in the bill, we don’t know the final price tag. Some language will mean major harm for small businesses and our economy. Moreover, it greases the skids for massive bailout packages for industries forced to implement these costly policies. Our national debt is nearing $23.5 trillion–our children’s generation can’t afford it.“Congress should have stuck with writing a narrow bill that ensures testing availability and support for American families directly affected by COVID-19. Instead, it chose to radically expand the welfare state and set the scene for future spending.” Facebook House passes aid bill after Trump declares virus emergency Facebook By Associated Press – March 14, 2020 0 255 Pinterest WhatsApp WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter Twitter Google+ Google+ CoronavirusIndianaLocalNationalNews Previous articleThree Rivers woman hurt in crash on U.S. 12 in Porter TownshipNext articleState of Michigan launches coronavirus question hotline Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.