The feeling among millers is that this year’s crop is very good but, to mix farming metaphors, you should never count your chickens. Two years ago a month-long August downpour put a dampener on what in June-July was a great crop, leading to low Hagberg, low protein and quality issues. But the weather is just one of a panoply of problems set to affect wheat supply and the price of bakers’ flour.Volatility in UK and global breadmaking wheat, not least from the use of grain in the rapidly emerging bio-ethanol markets, could see millers having to compete to secure their supply, with the cheaper-to-grow and more profitable feed wheats increasingly favoured by growers.Though quality milling wheat represents just a sixth of the total UK crop – the rest largely made up of feed wheat – the reduction in overall wheat growing rates, which sets the underlying price for breadmaking wheat used, is in decline. The market is already pricing in a smaller crop for this year than last year, and the total UK crop is forecast to be down some half a million tonnes. Dwindling cropsThe UK has seen its quality wheat crop dwindle by around 15% over the last five years. Coupled with a reduced global wheat crop, due to planting decisions and the impact of unfavourable weather in key wheat growing areas – notably the USA, Ukraine and Russia – this could cause a “sharp reaction on wheat prices”, says Ian Pinner, MD of ADM Milling.The Group 1 milling wheat crop used by bakers is forecast to fall by 3% in the UK this year from 1.8 million tonnes last year; the American wheat crop will be down from 57m/t to 49m/t; Europe will be down 4m/t to 118m/t; while the US Department of Agriculture recently pegged global wheat production at just under 600m/t – down from 622m/t. “It doesn’t take much in the global wheat complex for a sharp upwards reaction on wheat prices in the UK,” says Pinner. “Globally, we are seeing smaller supply and consumption than last year, but consumption is forecast to be higher than the overall supply.” In 2003, a poor wheat crop in Europe saw price hikes of up to £30 a tonne. Prices approaching the 2006 UK harvest are already £12/t higher than last year for breadmaking wheat. Meanwhile, energy costs and prices for other ingredients, such as gluten, continue to rise.Bio-ethanol boomMeanwhile, plans already announced for industrial use of wheat, including the opening of new plants producing bio-ethanol, will reduce the export surplus from around 2m/t to 700,000t over the next three years alone, and more could follow. “That will have an impact on price, because of supply and demand, and on what the farmer decides to grow,” comments Pinner. “Bio-ethanol could prove a better market for the farmer than breadmaking wheat because the feed wheat used gives a higher gross margin.”So closing the chasm between farmers and bakers has been one major aim of ADM to “join up the supply chain”, says Pinner, thereby securing quality wheats for the future. ADM Direct, a farm procurement business set up in 2001 to improve the chain of information from baker to farmer, has grown significantly, he says. “We have expanded ADM Direct rapidly this year, taking on more grain originators to source and supply the wheat we need in the locations we need it,” says Pinner. “We’ve recruited buyers to source locally from farmers around those mills, which will continue to highlight where the demand from millers will be to the local farmer, and communicates what wheat the miller needs in future years.”Millers still have to compete with other commodities through ADM Direct and the grain is no cheaper; but the improved communication means that millers – and the facility is not exclusive to ADM – are not faced with unexpected future shortages, while shortening the supply chain means improved traceability, he adds.Pinner says consolidations have brought “tremendous changes” in milling over the last three years, and five mills closed in the last 12 months alone, so future planning is critical. And with Smiths Flour Mills’ three sites up for sale, that trend is set to continue. “We are rationalising our business to stay strong and competitive in a fiercely mature marketplace,” he says.ADM tightened its operations in May, shutting down its Newcastle mill as a “responsible move to reduce surplus capacity in the north-east of England and Scotland”, explains Pinner. “We are saying, very loudly, that this is not an industry that will sit and wait for things to creep up on it. There is consolidation in farming, merchanting, milling and in our supply base, and ADM is looking far ahead to stay in front of that curve.”Newcastle was one of the original mills acquired by ADM in 1999 and a further six mills were acquired from Associated British Foods in 2003. The ensuing restructuring and integration, has been a “great success”, he says. “Our business has gone through a lot but we’ve tried to ensure a seamless transition for our customers and we’re grateful for their patience; our customers still get a service that, in our opinion, is second to none in the industry.”The company shares market information through regular bulletins to its customers on issues affecting wheat, via its website. Meanwhile, the firm’s NPD hub – its Technical Centre at Avonmouth – has been boosted with investment in technology, allowing bakers to look at new grists for flour applications, analyse bread structure with C-Cell equipment, and measure the quality of wheat and flour with FOSS technology – the latter installed at a cost of around £250,000. ADM has also invested in baking equipment for use in pilot bakery applications.ADM’s own product development has focused on both the ethnic food and traditional bread market, and it has recently received grant funding from the HGCA to develop products. “We have an ideal route to market for ADM Bakers Mixes products,” says Pinner. “We’re committed to the craft sector and we’ve got the sales and distribution channels.” Although ADM in the UK is a subsidiary of its US-based multinational milling parent group, Pinner is keen to stress the firm’s independent credentials, saying that freedom from being tied to a vertically integrated business means there is “absolutely no conflict of interest within our customer base”. “That is a strong selling point for us because it allows us to not compete with our customers in industry-sensitive areas, such as NPD,” he says. “While we have a commitment to our customers’ brands, we are an honest broker out there in the industry and that is still key to our strategy.” ADM – at a glanceOwnership: Founded in 1902, Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is one of the world’s largest processors of soybeans, corn, wheat and cocoa. It also produces soy meal and oil, ethanol, corn sweeteners and flour, as well as value-added food and feed ingredients. ADM has over 25,000 employees worldwide, more than 250 processing plants and net sales of $36 billion.UK subsidiary: ADM Milling Ltd established as independent subsidiary in 1999UK staff: 630Mills: Nine: Edinburgh; Knottingley; Castleford; Seaforth; Liverpool; Corby; Tewkesbury; Avonmouth; TilburyKey locations: Avonmouth, nr Bristol (Technical Centre); Head office, Brentwood, EssexProducts: White, brown, wholemeal, organic and speciality flours, bakery mixes, ingredients, bran and germ Supplies: National food manufacturers, speciality bakers, in-store bakers, craft bakers , wholesalers and caterers
A double-wall packaging system that prolongs the shelf-life of part-baked bread and reduces the quantity of additives required for its preservation has been awarded patents in the UK and France.The system seals a layer of modified gas around the bread, but the gas does not come into contact with the contents. Taste and quality are both said to be safeguarded.Initially the bread is wrapped with a biodegradable micro-perforated film before being placed into a larger bag. The gas system is then injected, stabilising humidity and preventing moisture from affecting bread quality.According to the system’s inventor, Joel Gourlain, it is suitable for French breads, croissants and paninis. He hopes it will be introduced in 2007.
Our Fruit Frangipane won us the New Baked Product Award at the Baking Industry Awards a few years ago. This simple recipe is a variation of a classical fruit and almond tart and has a shelf life of two or three days. A selection displayed in a shop window makes for a very attractive seasonal display.IngredientsSweet pastry (enough for an 8-inch flan case)Frangipane mix (see recipe on pg 28)Apricot jamFruit (plums)Flaked almonds to decorateMethod1. Line an 8-inch ring or flan case with sweet pastry (about 3mm thick.) Trim off the excess with a knife.2. Fill a piping bag with apricot jam and pipe out a thin layer. Use bake-stable jam if possible.3. Fill piping bag with the frangipane mix and pipe out an even layer about two-thirds the depth of the ring. This prevents spillage during the baking process.4. Slice the fruit (plums) in half and remove the stones. Slice as shown, from approximately two-thirds the way through to the tips. This makes the fruit “fan” when baking.5. Lay out the fruit in concentric circles, bedding down only slightly. The plums will sink into the mix as the tart cooks.6. Make sure that the fruit is nicely covering the surface of the tart. In this picture, apricots are used.7. Bake at 170ºC for approximately 35 minutes until the frangipane mix is golden. Leave to cool.8. Glaze with apricot glaze. You can either use gel spray or boil a little apricot jam and brush it over the surface of tart.9. Top with flaked almonds.VariationsWe use plum, apricot, fig, pear, apple, cherry, and rhubarb. They can also be made to any size or individually in foil tins (see below).Frangipane recipe ingredientsSugar 500gAlmonds 500gEggs 9Flour 300g1. Beat the sugar and ground almonds in a mixer, until creamy.2. Slowly add the eggs, beating continuously.3. Stop the machine and add the flour. Mix as little as possible until the flour is just absorbed. Any longer will toughen the mixture.
On March 30 British Baker will focus on the speciality breads market in a special supplement. We will analyse the latest market data, find out what the supermarkets are planning and profile bakers finding success in this profitable market such as Baking Industry Awards 2006 winners, Genesis Breads of Northern Ireland (pictured).
Jim Riedenauer, owner of bakery-café Eddie’s, enjoys a dream lifestyle. He spends most of his day indulging a passion for decorating beautiful wedding cakes, when not enjoying spending time with his young family or out and about in the Californian sun.Riedenauer, you see, is a very smart man. He’s built his inherited bakery business on the back of a reputation for quality ? with a minimum of stress and wasted energy. His secret lies in having the common sense to invest and innovate in the areas where margins are highest.The one-shop bakery business in Fresno, California, started by Riedenauer’s father Eddie in 1939, has adapted its offer to include premium bakery lines, a wedding cakes business and a café over recent years. Sales are now booming at the downtown outlet.The bakery specialises in cakes made to order, from ornate wedding cakes to more modern numbers festooned with pink chocolate swirls. Flavours range from dark chocolate to vanilla, with carrot and banana popular choices. The most expensive, with custom fillings, sugarpaste flowers and rolled fondant creation, costs $1,475, feeding up to 350 guests. Generally, cakes are priced at $2-$4 a portion.The company makes up to 20 wedding cakes a week, depending on the season, July to October being the busiest periods. The fanciest cakes are on display in its showroom at the downtown outlet. Riedenauer says he is embracing innovation in his business, as cakes can now be decorated by computer.Eddie’s also now has a café attached ? a response, says Riedenauer, to people’s changing shopping habits. It offers a lunch menu from 11am-2pm, which makes for “a very efficient quick turnaround”, and serves around 150 covers daily. A wide range of daily lunch specials are offered at the café, from clam chowder in a bread bowl to chicken pot pie with side salad; plus meatloaf, Asian coleslaw or macaroni salad.The café area has a wood-fired oven, which is used to make pizzas, and “impress customers” as Riedenauer candidly puts it.Earlier in the day, there is a breakfast menu including croissants or Granola cereal. And towards the afternoon, the café does a roaring trade in lines such as fresh fruit tarts, individual pastries, cheesecakes and chocolate mousse.Overall, the café accounts for 15% of turnover ? “a nice balance”, according to Riedenauer – but has a “symbiotic relationship” with the adjoining bakery, driving footfall.The bakery employs between 13 and 24 staff, depending on demand. These include four full-time bakers, two helpers, five in the cakes department, three chefs and 12 salespeople.Bread accounts for a small percentage of sales. Sourdough breads are the biggest sellers – this is California after all ? while spiral rye breads with dark and light ryes mixed together are also popular. Ever the realist, Riedenauer admits to using bakery mixes in the bakery. “I like good mixes; they can taste better than if I make them from scratch,” he says.Riedenauer knows how to keep his priorities straight – always go by what the customer wants. His father Eddie would surely be proud of his success. n
May14 – 16 Residential – multiple breads programmeLocation: Panary, DorsetContact, tel: 01722 341 447email: [email protected] – 18 Advanced Practical Cake TechnologyLocation: Campden & Chorleywood, Chipping CampdenContact, tel: 01386 84210416 Sugar Craft – Cake Decorators at Work: three-hour demonstrationLocation: The Slattery School of Excellence, ManchesterContact, tel: 0161 767930316 Federation of Bakers ConferenceLocation: Westminster, LondonContact, email: [email protected] bakersfederation.org.uk19 – 20 Basic BreadmakingLocation: Panary, DorsetContact, tel: 01722 341 447email: [email protected] – 22 Essential Skills For Working with ChocolateLocation: The Slattery School of Excellence, ManchesterContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] Advanced Skills for Working with ChocolateLocation: The Slattery School of Excellence, ManchesterContact, tel: 0161 767930323 – 24 Caffè CultureLocation: Olympia exhibition centre, LondonContact, tel: 020 7288 6176email: [email protected] Chocolate Wedding and Celebration CakesLocation: The Slattery School of Excellence, ManchesterContact, tel: 0161 767930325 Chocolate Desserts and Individual CakesLocation: The Slattery School of Excellence, ManchesterContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] Easy-to-Make ChocolatesLocation: The Slattery School of Excellence, ManchesterContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] Sugar Craft – Human Figure ModellingLocation: The Slattery School of ExcellenceContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] Sugar Craft – Character ModellingLocation: The Slattery School of ExcellenceContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] – 6 Going ProfessionalLocation: Cann Mills, DorsetContact, tel: 01722 341 447email: [email protected] – 10 British Traditional BreadsLocation: Cann Mills, DorsetContact, tel: 01722 341 447email: [email protected] – 15 Masterclass on breads: five-day courseLocation: Bread Matters, CumbriaContact, tel: 01768 88189912 Basic Bakery Processes, CCFRALocation: DublinContact, tel: 01386 84210413 Sugar Craft – Simple Cake Decorating SkillsLocation: The Slattery School of ExcellenceContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] One-Day Basic BreadmakingLocation: Cann Mills DorsetContact, tel: 01722 341 447email: [email protected] – 17 Italian BreadsLocation: Cann Mills DorsetContact, tel: 01722 341 447email: [email protected] – 19 Sugar Craft – Simple Cake Decorating SkillsLocation: The Slattery School of Excellence, ManchesterContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] Continental, Italian and French breadsLocation: Cann Mills, DorsetContact, tel: 01722 341 447email: [email protected] Half-Day Chocolate WorkshopLocation: The Slattery School of ExcellenceContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected] Sugar Craft – Creating Shaped CakesLocation: The Slattery School of ExcellenceContact, tel: 0161 7679303email: [email protected]
Sponsor of National Doughnut Week, BakeMark, is encouraging all bakers to get involved and help raise money for The Children’s Trust. The next fundraising week will take place from 9-16 May 2009 and will be the 25th anniversary for the charity which raises money to help provide specific care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities. National Doughnut Week has raised £630,000 in its history and the aim this year is to raise over £50,000.Each participating baker will have the opportunity to boost profits, involve the local community and media, and raise money for the charity with every doughnut sold. Anyone who registers will receive posters, balloons, collection boxes and PR support, as well as the chance to be promoted on the National Doughnut Week website. BakeMark is offering a complimentary bag of Craigmillar Doughnut Concentrate or a box of Readi-Bake Topped Ring Doughnuts, to businesses that register by 3rd April 2009. Bakers can also receive £2 off Craigmillar Doughnut Concentrate and £1 off Readi-Bake Topped Ring Doughnuts at participating wholesalers throughout May. “The monies raised help a really worthwhile cause – and with The Children’s Trust celebrating its silver anniversary this year, there will be quite a bit of media interest in the event, all of which should help drive sales for bakers throughout the UK,” said Lisa Boswell, marketing manager at BakeMark. Liz Haigh-Reeve, director of fundraising at The Children’s Trust, adds: “Whatever size your bakery is, however much or little you raise is invaluable, as all registered bakeries help to fund specialist services, equipment and staff – which in turn helps these children enjoy a better quality of life. We are very grateful to everyone who takes part.” Christopher Freeman of Dunn’s Bakery in North London launched the first National Doughnut Week.To register, email [email protected] or check out the National Doughnut Week website – www.nationaldoughnutweek.org.
With National Doughnut Week (NDW) not far off (9-16 May) sponsor BakeMark UK is urging craft bakers to get a head start and make the most of the charitable week with a great giveaway.Since National Doughnut Week began, it has raised over £630,000 for The Children’s Trust, the charity which provides specific care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities. This year is the 25th anniversary of The Children’s Trust and NDW aims to break all previous records by raising more than £50,000. In celebration of the anniversary, BakeMark UK is offering each baker who registers for NDW the chance to win either five bags of Craigmillar Doughnut Concentrate, enough to make 4,500 doughnuts, or five cases of Craigmillar Thaw & Serve doughnuts, which totals 450 topped iced ring doughnuts.To be in with a chance of winning the competition and kick off your week with a bang, bakers need to register online at www.nationaldoughnutweek.org and they will be automatically entered into the draw. For terms and conditions, visit www.bakemark.co.uk and follow the links from the home page.National Doughnut Week is a fantastic opportunity for bakers to increase profits, and raise their own profile, by involving the local community and media, as well as to raise money for charity; for every doughnut sold by registered participating bakers, money is donated to The Children’s Trust.
Hovis hopes that a new marketing campaign will attract an extra one million households to its 400g range.The company’s on-pack promotion offers consumers 20p off their next purchase, while money-off coupons will run in 15 publications, including The Radio Times, and vouchers will be door-dropped to 2.2m households.Hovis reports that 400g loaves are predominantly bought by consumers from one- and two-person households, with 80% of the spend coming from consumers who are 45 and over.Edward Milner, Hovis head of category management, said: “The 400g category is a crucial part of the bread market. Due to changes in consumption and household demographics, it has been in growth for many years. For a large proportion of the country, 400g is more relevant than a larger loaf, so it is important that we provide for them.”
UK food and drink manufactu-rers have reduced their carbon emissions by 19% equivalent to one million tonnes since 1990, announced the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).As it launched its progress report for the second year of its Five-Fold Environmental Ambition, the FDF said its members are “well on track” to achieving their goal of cutting CO2 emissions by 20% by 2010, as well as being on target to meet its long-term target of a 30% reduction by 2020.Among its members is Premier Foods, of which the Hovis arm has purchased 187 new vehicles that meet the new Euro emissions standards. Hovis has also worked on optimising its vehicle fill, with a 13% volume increase in products carried saving 1,679,037 miles annually.Burton’s Foods has conducted a full-scale water investigation across its sites, relative to the tonnes of product baked. By the end of the year, the com-pany expects to have saved around 73,000m3 through greater efficiencies. United Biscuits has also been working to save water and, last year, achieved a 17% reduction. Its ultimate goal is to achieve a 25% reduction by 2020 compared with 2007 usage.