FACE TO FACE – MERVYN HEMPTON, Operations executive, Allied Bakeries, Belfast President, IAMB

first_imgQ. How did you get involved with the Irish Association of Master Bakers (IAMB)?A. When I was chairman of the Northern Ireland Bakery Council I was put forward for the presidency of the IAMB. The association represents three organisations: the Northern Ireland Bakery Council; the Irish Bread Bakers Association, which represents the plant bakers in southern Ireland; and the Flour, Confectioners & Bakers Association, in association with the Institute of Irish Bakeries, also in the south. The president is elected for two years and, as each of the three bodies nominates a president in rotation, it means the presidency only comes to Northern Ireland every six years. I am three-quarters through my term in office, having been elected in October 2004. The IAMB will be 100 years old in 2008.Q. What would you be doing if you were not in your present position at Allied Bakeries Northern Ireland?A. I would be working somewhere as an electrical engineer. I had a technical education at a college of technology in Belfast and moved into electrical engineering, starting with an apprenticeship. I joined Allied Bakeries, Belfast, then known as Sunblest, as an electrical engineer in 1971, becoming engineering manager in 1979. In 1986 I became chief executive of Allied Bakeries, Belfast, reporting to the MD of Allied Bakeries, Ireland. In many respects, I am still in the same role, now termed operations executive. I’m responsible for bakeries in Belfast and Coleraine.Q. What are your main duties as IAMB president?A. Representing the interests of Irish bakeries at conferences and similar gatherings is an important function. I am also closely involved with helping to raise money for the Irish Bakers Benevolent Society (IBBS). The organisation was only formed five years ago and its fund-raising had been limited to southern Ireland until I held a golf day in the north recently. With the support of 26 sponsors, this raised E3,500. In the south, a similar golf day raised E8,000 in May and a gala ball last November contributed E20,000 to the society’s funds. There is no equivalent organisation to the Flour, Confectioners & Bakers Association in Northern Ireland and, through functions such as the golf day, I hope to get some of the smaller bakeries in the north involved with the IBBS and help to create greater unity within the industry.Q. What issues are plant bakeries facing in Ireland and how can you help to resolve them?A. It’s very difficult to escape from the price pressures being put on plant bakeries by the large retailers. This is worse in the north than the south at present, but I’m sure more big chains will move into southern Ireland in the future. Companies need to be slicker in their operations to stay profitable and have money for capital investment in projects such as automation that will lower the overall head count. As IAMB president I try to encourage bakers to share their experiences in dealing with the pressures they find themselves under. Price is an obvious one, but we also like to discuss issues such as the salt content in bread and how we can prevent so many bread trays from constantly disappearing.Q. How do you view the craft bakery sector in Ireland?A. I have worked in plant bakery all my life, but I think I still understand the needs of the craft sector. One reason for this is that I used to have a small business selling and refurbishing machinery for craft bakers, so I was able to see first-hand the life they led and the pressures they faced. Theirs is a hard life with early starts and a need to produce a wide variety of goods. We don’t compete with each other and I’m sure there is a place for craft bakers. People like to go to their corner shop for pastries and their wee rolls, and plant bakers cannot fulfil that function. Life is just as tough for craft bakers as it is for the plant bakeries; we will all have to continue to work hard.Q. Do you have a vision for the baking industry in Ireland?A. I see further rationalisation of bakeries across Ireland, with more plant and craft bakers going to the wall. There are now only three plant bakers in Northern Ireland (British Bakeries, Allied Bakeries and Irwin’s) and the reduction in capacity has introduced a bit of sensibility into the market. There’s less need to attack each other than in the past!I would expect more rationalisation in the south as big supermarkets start to wield greater influence. There are no issues between the plant and craft sectors however. We will continue to work side by side.Q. What do you like to do in your leisure time?A. Last October, at the age of 60, I completed a business management degree at the University of Ulster, graduating with a 2:1. There were 18 modules to the course and this enabled me to bring back some new learning to the company in areas such as quality management and operations management. I like to think this played a significant part in Allied Bakeries winning a Northern Ireland Quality Award last year. Away from Allied Bakeries I sit on the board of Belfast Cathedral and also of East Belfast Enterprise. This is an incubator for start-up businesses in the area, which has been hit badly in terms of skills and employment by the demise of the shipyards. On the leisure front, I play the Scottish bagpipes, competing in the world championships each year, and enjoy my golf, although my handicap is moving in the wrong direction!last_img read more

CSM purchases Harden

first_imgBradford-based Harden Fine Foods, which supplies mini-bite flapjacks, brownies and cakes to in-store bakeries in supermarkets as well as restaurants and coffee shops, has been bought by CSM for £6.4 million. The Netherlands firm already owns BakeMark UK and Kate’s Cakes.Welcoming the latest acquisition, Marco Bertacca, CSM European vice-president for frozen and bakery foods, said: “We firmly believe that the market for premium convenience products is here to stay.”Harden has been at the forefront of this trend through the development of its market-leading range of mini-bites.”We believe Harden complements our existing UK operations, and will consolidate and drive our strategic position as the number one partner of choice for sweet bakery products in the in-store, artisan and out-of-home markets.”Harden Fine Foods managing director Andrew Higgins told British Baker that while the company had grown strongly “from nothing in the last 10 years or so, to sales of £11m”, CSM’s level of investment and expertise would be vital in further growing the firm.He said: “I believe the business needs to be taken to the next level. CSM came along at the right time.”Harden will continue to operate as a standalone manufac- turing operation and will not be integrated into either BakeMark or Kate’s Cakes.last_img read more

California Raisins Innovation Award winner announced

first_imgBrambles Foods has been announced as winner of the 2008 California Raisins Innovation Award. The company was awarded 1st prize for its range of sandwiches containing raisins. Brambles Foods’ range includes a coronation chicken with raisins and sunflower seeds sandwich and a Cranks sticky toffee toastie, which is made using sweet sticky toffee cheese on honey and seed bread with raisins. Cranks sandwiches are produced by Brambles Foods under licence. “Regular development and creativity is an essential element of the Brambles philosophy and it’s great to get recognition for all our hard work,” said director Guy Truman. Peter Meadows, marketing director of the California Administrative Committee, said: “In the five years that the competition has been running this is the first time we have received a sandwich as an entry, and it was worth the wait.”Middlesborough-based Brambles Foods formed in 1990 and supplies a range of sandwiches and salads. Currently employing around 400 people, it has two sites: a head office in Middlesborough and a production facility in London.last_img read more

Potential job losses at Elisabeth the Chef

first_imgAround 200 jobs are potentially at risk after Elisabeth the Chef announced it is to create a new facility in Leamington Spa, which will result in the merging of staff from two existing sites.The bakery and dessert manufacturer plans to create a new facility next to its head office, which would become the sole dessert production site for the business.The transfer of dessert operations from its site in Southam and in St Mary’s Road, Leamington, to the new facility is expected to be completed by the middle of next year, said a spokesperson for the firm.Currently around 100 full-time staff are employed at its Southam premises and around 250 full-time at its site in St Mary’s, with additional agency and temporary staff employed in periods of peak demand. The company has confirmed that the new site will only require around 150 staff, meaning a potential 200 or more job losses.“The skills required to operate the new site will be different to those needed for the existing factories, so a consultation process is required to check which of the current employees are able and willing to transfer across, with training if necessary,” said the spokesperson. Consultations with employees are due to begin this month and are expected to last up to 90 days, with no redundancies expected before spring 2010.Operations at the company’s Broadheath bakery site in Worcester are said to be largely unaffected by the plans, with a £3m investment planned for the coming 15 months. The business, which has a turnover of around £90m, was acquired last year by family-owned French dairy concern, The Senoble Group, and the multi-million pound investment is planned to expand its desserts manufacturing capability. Chief executive Bill Haywood said the company will be looking to add new lines, with a Continental influence, and is looking to increase the shelf-life of its range.last_img read more

Irish bakery products see positive export boom

first_imgExports of Irish bakery products increased by more than 20% in 2009 despite difficult market conditions.Bord Bía (Irish Food Board) told British Baker it estimated that bakery exports were worth E30.84m (£27m) for 2009 compared to E25.7m (£22.5m) in 2008. Products showing growth potential were morning goods (muffins), rolls and innovative breads (e.g. seeded breads). Key markets were the UK, which takes 80% of total exports, followed by the US and Denmark. Much product for export is par-baked.Exports were helped by increased capacity in Ireland, according to Bord Bía in its Performance and Prospects 2009/2010 report. While Bord Bía could not comment on individual companies, industry sources said Aryzta (Cuisine de France’s) new facility, at Grangecastle in Dublin, with an investment of around E195m (£171m), was one of the most efficient and modern of its kind in Europe.Bakery product exports bucked an otherwise downward trend. Overall food exports to the UK were down by 15% or E400m (£351m). A key factor was the decline in sterling against the euro. Bord Bía told British Baker that, in 2010, it expected the market environment to remain difficult.last_img read more

Jiffy introduces ’no frills’ choice for mobile vendors

first_imgJiffy Trucks has unveiled a new mobile catering van for 2010. The Panino has been designed to appeal to new entrants and smaller businesses in mobile retail catering.The firm says that with the right vehicle and training, food and drink businesses can achieve a highly profitable operation. It features the core essentials required by mobile hot and cold food vendors, but is a “no-frills choice for businesses seeking operational essentials and excellent customer service support”.There are new design features incorporated into the Panino, which maximise space and accessibility for efficient operation. For example, the warming cabinet and chiller cabinet both benefit from new double-glazed units.Price: £22,995 + VATwww.jiffytrucks.co.uklast_img read more

Wheat prices set to match previous records

first_imgUK wheat prices are poised to match levels last seen in 2007/08, as the latest delivered price hit £229.50 per tonne in the north west this week. It had reached its highest point for the current crop year before Christmas at £219.Prices stand at £220.50/tonne in East Anglia/London, £221.50/tonne in Northamptonshire and £224/tonne in Avonmouth this week. But contracts due to end in May are trading at £237/tonne.Alex Waugh, director general, National Association of British and Irish Millers, said future pricing would depend on the harvest situation in the southern hemisphere, with floods in Australia and very dry weather in Argentina expected to have an impact. He said: “Bad news stories are keeping the market firm and it will stay that way until there are indications of what the 2011 harvest in the northern hemisphere are likely to be. The expectation is that the winter crop in North America will have been damaged by the cold weather.”>>Wheat prices hit new high for crop year to datelast_img read more

AG Hill: Governor does not have authority to make it a crime to not…

first_img WhatsApp Twitter (Photo supplied/Curtis Hill for Indiana) Does the governor have the authority to make it a crime to not wear a mask during this pandemic? Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill says “no.”On Wednesday Governor Eric Holcomb announced he was be rolling out a statewide mandate requiring you to wear a facemask in public. It makes it a Class B misdemeanor to be out in public without a mask on.“Our order will require masks or face coverings for anyone 8-years or older while you are in public, indoor places,” Holcomb said in his announcement. “While not wearing a mask is a Class B misdemeanor please now that the ‘mask police’ will not be patrolling public streets.”In an advisory opinion, Hill says the governor lacks the authority to make it a crime to not wear a mask. He said instead of an executive order of the mandate, Holcomb should have called a special session of the state legislature in order to pass a law.“The wisdom of wearing masks — or of laws requiring such measures — is not the issue here,” Hill said. “Rather, the issue is whether we are following the proper and constitutional processes for enacting laws and whether we are respecting the distinct roles of each branch of state government.”But, some legal experts argue the state is still under an emergency declaration because of the pandemic, so that give Holcomb the authority to enact the mandate. State law says a state of emergency in Indiana can only last as long as 30-days unless it is renewed by the governor.Holcomb has renewed an emergency declaration every month for the last four months since the pandemic started. The current renewal expires Aug. 3. Previous articleElkhart police investigating after body found on Beardsley Avenue ThursdayNext articleMichigan tops a list of states in terms of quick unemployment recovery Network Indiana Google+ AG Hill: Governor does not have authority to make it a crime to not wear mask By Network Indiana – July 23, 2020 2 565 CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Twitter Facebook Pinterest Pinterest Google+ WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more

South Shore tickets purchased for September valid through October

first_img (“The South Shore Line” by railsr4me, CC BY-ND 2.0) All monthly South Shore Line tickets purchased for the month of September will remain valid through October.The decision was made to show continued understanding of the ongoing impacts from COVID-19.Passengers purchasing a paper September monthly ticket should plan to keep that ticket and use it through October.Passengers purchasing a digital September monthly ticket via the mobile app will see an October ticket uploaded to their account prior to October 1, 2020.For passengers who receive tickets through an employer benefit program such as Wage Works and Commuter Benefit Solutions, these passengers should not order their October tickets if they receive a September monthly ticket.For more information or assistance, contact SSL through the online contact form at mysouthshoreline.com/contact.Riders are required to wear masks at stations and onboard train cars, practice social distancing when possible and take advantage of sanitation stations in each car.Each train does offer a “mask optional” car, which is the second car of every train.In addition, doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, other medical personnel and law enforcement are invited to ride for free on all trains through October. South Shore tickets purchased for September valid through October Google+ Facebook Twitter Pinterest Facebook Google+ WhatsAppcenter_img WhatsApp Twitter By Brooklyne Beatty – August 14, 2020 0 336 Pinterest TAGS20/20coronavirusCOVID-19monthlyOctoberpandemicseptemberSouth Shore Linetickets IndianaLocalMichiganNews Previous articleMichigan’s longest garage sale on U.S. 12 Friday through SundayNext articleFood Bank of Northern Indiana releases mobile food distribution schedule, August 17-20 Brooklyne Beattylast_img read more

South Bend man accused of killing puppy scheduled for court

first_img Google+ Twitter IndianaLocalNews WhatsApp Facebook Facebook By Network Indiana – August 25, 2020 2 407 Twitter Google+ WhatsApp (Photo supplied/St. Joseph County Jail) A South Bend man accused of killing his family’s puppy by putting it in a dryer was due in court on Tuesday, Aug. 25.Police say 18-year-old Jeremy Lindsey admitted to putting his family’s 3-week-old puppy in a dryer and turning it on.According to court documents, Lindsey was home alone at the time.Lindsey faces animal cruelty charges and could spend up to six years in prison. Pinterest Pinterest South Bend man accused of killing puppy scheduled for court Previous articleNotre Dame and St. Mary’s release their latest COVID numbersNext articlePurdue head coaches volunteering to take pay cut Network Indianalast_img read more