Injured worker gets pay-out

first_imgA senior Midlands bakery worker has been awarded £400,000 in an out-of-court settlement following a horrific injury.Kenneth Johnson, 58, from Tipton, was a manager in the bakery department at Russells Foods in Lozells, Birmingham, when his right arm became trapped between rollers as he cleaned the bowl of a dough-milling machine.Doctors were forced to amputate his arm at the scene of the accident.In a court case before Birmingham Crown Court, Russells Foods was fined £25,000 with costs of £3,500 after the company admitted breaching health and safety regulations.Speaking after the settlement Johnson said: “Even though the accident was more than four years ago, I still have flashbacks and cannot erase the blinding agony from my mind. I still have to see a psychiatrist twice a year. I would gladly give back every penny if it meant getting my arm back.”Russells Foods declined to comment on the settlement.last_img read more

Wrapid response

first_imgWith a name that works on many levels – well, two at least – this food-to-go chain thinks it has cracked the speedy service formula with wrap-based products. Joint director Stephen Minall and cohorts spent two years tracking consumer eating habits in the UK; they also racked up a few air miles to the USA, Asia and Italy before coming up with an ethnic handheld snack concept.Flatbreads offer convenience of portability and a healthier perception than regular breads, says Minall of parent company Moving Food, which already supplies a range of snacks and sandwiches to the multiples as well as advising Debenhams, Nisa and others. “We were watching the market and we observed three years ago the growth in tortilla-based sandwiches,” he says.KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King and Pret A Manger have all offered a variation on a tortilla-based warm wrap. But Wrapid has made efforts to develop authentic breads rather just rely on tortillas; ethnic carriers include an authentic rollable naan bread, and closer to home, Minall is on the lookout for a supplier of a thin Yorkshire Pudding to wrap a Sunday Roast filling. Meanwhile, the products, cooked in-store with a Turbochef infrared oven, are claimed to stay hot for up to 30 minutes.Wrapid ticks all the boxes for a low-overhead food-to-go outlet; to maximise the lunchtime rush each transaction is turned around in 40 seconds; the Leeds store makes around £2,500 on a Saturday with only four staff; and products are gas flushed to get 8-10 days’ chilled life to minimise on-site storage and waste.The prudent plan, says Minall, is to hit between five to eight sites in Leeds and London by the end of 2008.”How many idiots do you hear who say they’re going to have 50 stores in five years and you never hear from them again?” —-=== The pros and cons ===Biggest challenge:The original wrapping made the product sweat too much so we’ve spent money with the Waste Resource and Action Programme, who’ve developed unique packaging for us. We’ve changed the branding too. We had the wrong colours and the research showed we looked more like a travel agent! We’ve realisedthat it’s important to spend money on high-definition photography.Greatest satisfaction:When one puts something on a flip chart, one has a view of what one wants to attain. But we’ve achieved that in a very tight footprint for back-of-house with very limited equipment; running costs are small; and the Environmental Health Office is using us as a model example.last_img read more

Greencore trims up in time for US drive

first_imgWhat’s a company to do when it’s wrapped up a quarter of the UK’s manufactured sandwich trade in over a quarter of a decade? Why, take over the US market too, obviously. Greencore’s declared – and frankly, long-awaited – ambition to get involved in convenience foods in the US, a country with untapped potential for large-scale chilled foods manufacture, is finally nearing fruition. A small team has been busying itself with this project for the past year and a decision is due in the “relatively near future,” says chief operating officer Tony Hynes.The firm has been touted as a takeover target – including, most recently, Exista, the Icelandic financial muscle behind the massive food group, Bakkavör, although Exista has since denied this. In the meantime, speculation about overseas expansion or take-overs aside, Greencore has been making do expanding its UK and continental operations. “Bakery is an area of significant growth for us; it’s an area where we will invest more,” states Hynes.A sign of this came in December 2007, when Ministry of Cake was snapped up, marking out Greencore’s ambitions in the foodservice cakes sector. Any future acquisitions are likely to come with diversifying the foodservice portfolio in mind, he says. “That’s very much the focus of our development,” he says. But, given the current cost climate, is it perhaps not the best time to be buying bakery businesses? “It has been a bad year! It’s been very tough in the baking industry. But I don’t think that should necessarily influence our long-term strategy,” he adds.Greencore will have felt the pinch of soaring ingredients costs as acutely as anyone, operating as it does hand-in-hand with the supermarkets, as a predominantly own-label supplier. So how is it dealing with those cost pressures – by reformulating products, perhaps? “I don’t think there’s one simple solution to this,” ponders Hynes. “We’ve had to get price increases – our customers have understood that and we have responsibility ourselves to try and do things better. Re-engineering of products has not been a key part of our agenda at all – the consumer has an expectation in terms of what they want. We’ve managed, through reasonable discussion, to get a proper result for ourselves.”Streamlined approach== ==What the drama of rocketing ingredients prices has done is sharpen the focus on driving out costs and improving staff management – something that has transformed the business over the past three years. “I think there are others (food companies) that have not even engaged on that agenda so far. We don’t see ourselves as simply food manufacturers,” says Hynes. By this he means Greencore is drawing on good practice from other industries, as opposed to just the food sector. “Unless you look beyond that, you’re not going to find new or better practices, but in so doing, we’re leaving behind some of the jargon of the other industries.”Not that Greencore is beyond corporate-speak. It has its own ’Lean Greencore’ and ’Total Lowest Cost’ programmes, part of a lean manufacturing drive. These are the firm’s answer – alongside tighter purchasing – to cost hikes. They entail making sure lines are running at the right speeds, changeovers are efficient, downtime is analysed and people are given more responsibility; 1,000 staff across Greencore’s business have undergone foundation training for leadership skills.The management structure has been streamlined and Hynes admits that there were too many layers of management in the past. The line of command has been tightened and he wants the workforce as close to the MD of each business category as possible. Involving the workforce at the line-leader/operator level, and establishing a clear set of values, has paid off with a more engaged staff, says Hynes.The high employee turnover of three years ago has been halted, and crucially so, given that people come third only to ingredients and packaging costs on Greencore’s balance sheet. “Quite frankly, if you’d seen our business three years ago, you’d have found that the workforce was there to do what they were told, rather than to engage their brain to any great extent. We’re very much focusing on a few key areas, keeping our business very simple, investing in line leaders and getting much greater engagement in that area, and it has been phenomenally beneficial.”This involves simple initiatives, such as bagging waste and piling it up so that workers can appreciate the scale of wastage, and then strive to reduce it. “We do it for learning, not as a bollocking,” says operations director at the main sandwiches site in Manton Wood, Graham Burley, of this new measure. “Two weeks ago, there was twice as much waste. We want to be the best-in-class and we want to take the cost out of everything, where we can, but only in a format that doesn’t risk anything.” On a grander scale, Greencore is investing in a conversion plant for generating electricity from food waste, which should be online in 2009.== Growing desserts business ==All of which is underpinning Greencore’s push into bakery. “We like to think that our desserts business will grow very significantly over the next three-to-five years,” says Hynes. Part of that may be through further acquisitions, he says. “Certainly it will involve more food-service activity. But it will also mean us getting involved in the more creative side of things.” For example, a range of cakes that have their origins in Eastern Europe, in recognition of those growing populations in the UK, are due to launch in the very near future.He describes Greencore’s food-to-go business – not unreasonably – as a ’powerhouse’. “We have big ambitions for that, with more and more links to the bakery business,” he says. Convenience is still as big a driver as ever, and Greencore’s 50% product churn gives some idea of how people are exploring more food-to-go formats. “Growth in Christmas cakes is not because people are eating more of them, it’s because the old skills of making the Christmas cake are disappearing and more people are now buying them.”Hynes also talks with enthusiasm about his ambitions for developing the Weight Watchers brand in sandwiches, quiches and desserts. “On the health front, the development of the Weight Watchers agenda is now encroaching into our bakery businesses, and we think that’s a credible way to deal with some of the obesity issues that are out there.” Intriguingly, he alludes to another future launch that’s “different from anything else in the market” on the healthy, balanced diet front.Balance seems to be the watchword going forward: “It’s going to be a tight year, but we’re happy with the balance we’ve got.”—-=== Size matters ===l Following a spate of acquisitions, the firm has grown from being a state-owned business – the original company Irish Sugar was privatised in 1991 – to become the chilled and convenience foods goliath it is today. The step change was buying Hazelwood Foods in 2001. Hazelwood comprised a ragbag of businesses – toilet paper, nappies, fish – but Greencore slimmed it down, keeping sandwiches and convenience foods at the core.l Following four years of disposals, acquisitions came in 2005 with specialist sandwich maker Oldfields and, latterly, the sushi business Sushi San, as well as foodservice cakes supplier Ministry of Cake, last year.l Greencore makes over a quarter of the manufactured packaged sandwiches eaten every day in Britain, supplying (in no particular order) Co-op, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Boots, Morrisons and Somerfield. It supplies Tesco, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer with other goods, such as ready meals and quiches.l At the forefront of much of Greencore’s best practice is Manton Wood, the site of the biggest sandwich facility in the world. It makes around half of the 4 million sandwiches Greencore supplies every week; the rest are split between two London sites in Bow and Park Royal. The firm employs around 2,000 across sandwich manufacture in total.l BB was given a tour of Manton Wood, which has up to 18 production lines running – one of which has been beefed up by a Lieder line (an automated sandwich line with two robots and ultrasonic sandwich-cutting). “This cost us a lot of money, but it pays for itself by allowing us to take people off the line,” says operations director, Graham Burley. Between £5-6million capital expenditure has been ploughed into Greencore’s sandwich businesses each year for the past three years.l But that’s only part of the story. Greencore’s cakes and desserts facility in Hull is four times as big as Manton Wood, at 250,000sq ft. It’s the UK’s biggest supplier of Christmas cakes and non-dairy desserts. Greencore also commands 43% of the quiche market and a third of Yorkshire puddings.—-=== Tony Hynes CV ===l 57 years old and lives in Derbyshirel Worked in senior management positions with Essilor – a French ophthalmic optics group – in Ireland, the USA, China and France, before becoming MD of Green Isle Foods, part of Northern Foodsl He joined Greencore in May 2001l As Greencore Group’s COO, he is also chief executive of Greencore’s convenience foods division and has responsibility for the group processes functions, which encompass purchasing, communications and technical, including health, safety and the environmentl As a family man, Hynes enjoys canoeing and fishing, and is a keen supporter of Chelsea FClast_img read more

Owlet woos bakery firms with juices

first_imgOwlet Juices has just launched a new “bag in a box” of juice, which the company claims is suitable for bakery retailers. The juice, which has a 12-month shelf life, comes in a 10-litre pack size with a recyclable cardboard box and there is no glass packaging to recycle.The juices contain no sugar, artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives. The range includes single-variety apple juices, blends of apple varieties, pear juice and apple & berry blends.Owlet Juices are also available in a one-litre range packed in cases of 12, a 25cl range packed in cases of 24, as well as a five-litre catering pack.The company, based in Lamberhurst, Kent, supplies the Houses of Parliament and is a previous gold medal winner at the Great Taste Awards.[http://www.owletfruitjuice.co.uk]last_img read more

Barley is back

first_imgGerman milling company Kampffmeyer Food Innovation has reintroduced an ancient barley variety Stone Age barley flakes.The grain contains high levels of cholesterol-lowering beta glucans, is easy to process and, due to its high amylopectin content, also extends the shelf-life of baked goods.Barley has been out of favour in the bakery sector for many years, according to the firm, having been pushed aside by wheat and rye varieties that were superior in taste and higher-yielding. However, barley is one of the healthiest grain types and has a much lower fat content than other grains. Its mild aromatic taste and light colour go down well with consumers, says Kampffmeyer.Product manager Bettina Zeuch added: “The rediscovery of this ancient barley variety offers the baking industry the ability to produce healthy yet tasty baked goods with a high barley content.”last_img read more

In Short

first_imgReggae Reggae rangeReggae Reggae sauce creator Levi Roots has launched a new sandwich range in Morrisons. The range consists of sandwiches, wraps and sub rolls, which have been developed by Roots, including a Jerk Steak Sub, ’Dub Up’ Cheese Cheese Sandwich, Jerk Chicken & Mango Sandwich and Chicken & Pineapple Wrap.Budgens ups bakeryBudgens has grown its bakery range, with new items in its tortilla wraps, pancakes and crumpet lines, produced by Honeytop Speciality Foods. Other bakery goods have also been rebranded to complement the new range, including its ’Best’ crumpets and naan bread.Premier contractsPeter’s Foods has just signed 10 new contracts with major professional football and rugby clubs to sell its Premier line of pies, pasties, rolls and slices in their grounds. The firm now supplies 28 clubs and said the new signings, which include Birmingham City, West Ham United, The Ospreys and London Wasps, would push sales of its products in UK stadia to more than one million.Exporting YorkshireDeliciouslyorkshire has joined up with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to launch the first tailored export service for the region’s food and drink SMEs. It has put increased resources in place to help deliver the service, including the appointment of Kate Baumber as international trade development manager.Mozambique demoAccording to www.iol.co.za, the price of bread in Mozambique will now be subsidised, said a government minister this week. Following protests over high bread prices, rioting broke out in the capital earlier this month, with 13 people killed and hundreds wounded.last_img read more

Cupcake bakers urged to support children with cancer

first_imgBritish Baker is urging bakeries, coffee shops and retailers across the UK to raise money for children with cancer, as part of National Cupcake Week, 12-18 September.This year National Cupcake Week, organised by British Baker, will be partnered by CLIC Sargent, Britain’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. Every day 10 children and young people in the UK are told they have cancer, and diagnosis usually comes as a shock. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people up to the age of 24. It provides clinical, practical, and emotional support to help the whole family cope with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement. There are two simple ways you can get involved during the week: bake and make a difference to children with cancer by selling cupcakes in aid of CLIC Sargent: make a percentage donation from sales of a dedicated cupcake during National Cupcake Week; and/or stock cupcake pin badges: apply for 100 cupcake pin badges and sell them for a suggested donation of £1 each.By taking part, not only can you increase your cupcake sales and help raise vital funds for children with cancer, but you could also get an upturn in sales of other lines due to the fantastic eye-catching displays in store.For more information about CLIC Sargent’s work click here or call 0300 330 0803.To read more about National Cupcake Week and the National Cupcake Championships click here.last_img read more

Caught in the Web

first_imgNeed a large cake to feed 40-50 people. How about a stop by the desert and we mean desert aisle online for this novelty camel cake tinyurl.com/3ftbcp8Cakes that look ready to bite back (right). These are actually not cakes, but foam art, by US West Coast artist Scott Hove, created for an exhibition, Your Deadly Desserts, running from October 8 to November 6 at a gallery in San Francisco tinyurl.com/6g5exffRemember that 104-year-old biscuit from the last issue of STW? Well it sold for £1,250 ($1,950)! tinyurl.com/64lapfmlast_img

Act on age

first_imgEmployers can no longer ask older applicants about their age. Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to offer an applicant a job because of a “protected characteristic” namely age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.However, when the Act was first introduced, protection from discrimination on the grounds of age did not extend to those applicants who were:l Older than the employer’s normal retirement age (assuming this was 65 or greater);l Six months away from the employer’s normal retirement age;l Aged 64½ and over, where the employer did not have a normal retirement age.This was due to an exclusion under the default retirement age provisions and the statutory grounds, which allowed employers to lawfully reject someone on those grounds.Now that the Default Retirement Age has been abolished, where does that leave employers in terms of recruitment procedures? Employers no longer have the right to reject anyone applying for a job because they are 64½ or over. They cannot even ask an applicant’s age on the application form. Make sure you delete it if you have not already done so.This means that all applicants must be treated fairly and on their merit. If you refuse somebody the job because they are 65 or over (or near that age), it will be regarded as direct discrimination on the grounds of age. There are a couple of theoretical exceptions to this although they have not been tested.Employers may be able refuse a job on health and safety grounds but, in practice, this will be difficult for the majority of employers to substantiate. Alternatively, if the training costs required for the role are going to be “excessive”, you may also have an argument for rejecting an application. These situations will work on a case-by-case basis and you should take legal advice if you are unsure.There is, however, news relating to group risk insured benefits for example, sickness absence and accident assurance. As the cost of these rises with age, you can legitimately refuse to provide them to, or even withdraw them from, any employees who have reached 65 or the state pensionable age. In other words, in this area, you can lawfully discriminate against older employees and there is little, if anything, they can do about it.l For a free sample ’application form’, members can contact the NAMB on 01920 468061.last_img read more

Elkhart woman arrested after vehicle is struck by train

first_imgIndianaLocalNews WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ Twitter Twitter Pinterest A 23-year-old Elkhart woman was arrested after her vehicle was hit by a train at the crossing in the 500 block of East Lincoln Avenue in Goshen.Police were called to the crossing around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, on the report of a disabled vehicle on the tracks.Upon arrival, police say the driver, Marie Mendoza-Medina, has safely gotten out of the vehicle, however, the vehicle had been struck by the train.Mendoza-Medina was found to have been operating while intoxicated and submitted to a certified chemical test and provided a breath sample showing .202 BrAC, according to Goshen Police.Mendoza-Medina was taken to the Elkhart County Jail. Google+ By Jon Zimney – March 8, 2020 0 380 Elkhart woman arrested after vehicle is struck by train Facebook Facebook WhatsApp Previous article14-year-old killed, other injured in DeKalb County car crashNext articlePerson of interest named in shooting of Taco Bell employee Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more