Happy families

first_imgAn association dedicated to assisting Scotland’s vast number of family businesses has officially come into being, thanks in no small measure to the drive of a prominent craft baker. George Stevenson, MD of Falkirk-based Mathiesons Bakers, has been a leading light in the development of the Scottish Family Business Association (SFBA), which aims to provide a forum for sharing family business issues and practical help in resolving problems. It will also be a source of information, best practice and learning materials, and a conduit for conveying the family business view to government.Practical experienceThe SFBA’s top tier comprises family business leaders with considerable practical experience of family business issues including succession, inheritance, the involvement of non-family members, and improving family communication. Mr Stevenson becomes SFBA chairman, while the eight-strong board also includes Graeme Ross, commercial director of Inverurie-based JG Ross. SFBA launches in six Scottish cities are being headlined by TV personality Kaye Adams, whose own family runs a business. According to Mr Stevenson, these events have attracted representatives from a broad spectrum of industries and have highlighted issues common to many family firms, such as how to manage sensitively a senior member’s withdrawal from a business without losing what they have to offer. He adds: “It’s a relief for people to hear that others have similar problems.” The facts and figures emphasise not only the scale of family ownership across Scotland’s business base but also the extent of unresolved, family-related issues. Almost 70% of Scottish companies describe themselves as family businesses, broadly in line with the European average of 75%. Research shows that 73% of these firms want to keep the business in family hands from one generation to another, and yet 57% have no defined plan for succession.Initial aimsThe SFBA’s first year will focus on building credibility and a membership base, says Mr Stevenson. Longer term, his aim is to involve 500 companies in the SFBA, within the first two years, and possibly 1,000 firms within five years. To date, those joining the association’s ranks have included eight bakery firms.SFBA membership will afford exclusive access to: peer-to-peer networking forums; one-to-one mentoring; business education; personal development; professional advice; a quarterly newsletter; email updates; research resources; and also social events and conferences. Based on his own experience, Mr Stevenson says many firms could gain from the appointment of a non-executive director, who is not a member of family; not least because they can act as an impartial chairman in the board room. “The association is looking at short courses to train senior executives to be non-executive directors for other businesses,” he explains. For more information, call 01698 427653 or visit www.sfba.co.uklast_img read more

Newcastle bakery under review

first_imgRHM-owned British Bakeries is nearing the end of a two-week review of production at its Newcastle bakery, which produces Hovis and Mother’s Pride bread.The Westerhope bakery’s 250 staff have been told the company is looking at shifting production to its other bakeries in the south, to reduce supply chain costs. They have been told that redundancies may be made.A spokesman said: “RHM regularly reviews its manufacturing capacity and supply chain and, as part of that review, is assessing production at its Newcastle bakery. RHM is liaising with trade union officials and will keep all parties informed.”last_img

Don’t disparage ’cheap’ bread

first_imgThe baking industry has been criticised for trying to make bread cheap. On these pages, organic campaigner Andrew Whitley dismissed as “myth” that low price is compatible with quality. Elsewhere, Craig Sams, founder of Green & Blacks organic chocolate, has said that “the price we pay [for cheap bread] is irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac’s disease and wheat and gluten allergies”. Such views are the result of prejudice against the application of engineering and science to food production.Low price and high quality are not mutually exclusive. If you do not aspire to cheap mass production of quality foods, you will inevitably end up denying people access to the foods they want and need.I work as an academic chemical engineer, and much of my time is spent thinking about food processing, including bread baking. One of the historic roles of engineers has been to deliver things more cheaply, while maintaining – if not improving – quality. For example, mechanical engineers have helped to make transport faster and cheaper, allowing me to eat fresher and more varied vegetables than I could a decade ago. We should aim to continue doing the same in baking.The effects of inflation and changing incomes make it difficult to actually put a price on how much cheaper bread is today than in the past. US authors Michael Cox and Richard Alm overcame this in their 1999 study of relative affluence, Myths of rich and poor, using the basis that “the real price of whatever we buy is how long we have to work to earn the money for it”. As such, they calculated that the average American work time required to buy a 1lb (450g) loaf of bread has decreased from 16 minutes in 1910 to 3.5 minutes in 1999.In principle, this means that we can all work that little bit less than our parents did and enjoy consuming just as much. Measuring efficiency in this way, as output per man per day, is a useful progress chart. Comparative cheapness has helped make food scarcity rare in most developed countries. Indeed, health problems are often associated with over-consumption of food, particularly refined foods.There has never been a golden age of food production. Before industrialisation, agriculture in Britain was at the mercy of nature, resulting in periodic famine. In Victorian cities, adulteration of flour with alum, to bolster loaf weight and make expensive flour go further, contributed to widespread malnutrition. Our current ability to produce bread cheaply, while meeting strict regulatory standards, should be celebrated.We can appreciate the qualities of labour-intensive ’artisan’ bread, but this does not mean that we have to be disparaging about bread that has been produced efficiently. Standards of living and nutritional advances have seen the average height in the UK increase by three quarters of an inch each generation and the average life expectancy of a 65-year-old increase by four to five years over the past century. So long as hunger and starvation still afflict much of the world’s population, producing cheap, quality food must remain a priority.? Peter Martin is a lecturer at the University of Manchester’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciencelast_img read more

Proving a point

first_imgDramatic developments in both technology and consistency of results have encouraged bakers to embrace the world of retarder provers and the benefits they can bring, according to manufacturer Williams Refrigeration.The firm explains that the latest models on the market use sophisticated controllers and refrigeration advances for the production of almost any kind of baked good in any situation. “This has lent itself to more flexible production runs, the ability to plan for potential production bottlenecks, faster overall production, lower production costs and, above all, improved quality of product,” says the firm. “Retarder provers should have an adjustable airflow pattern, checked and adjusted at the time of commissioning, suiting layout changes to suit the working environment and production requirements of the baker. For perfect results, the airflow should be as gentle as possible and not directed straight at the product,” it adds.The firm’s recently launched DoughMaster controller has introduced an energy-saving ’economy mode’ to its Modular range of retarder provers. As well as regulating the steam generation, it calculates what exact inlet is required, thus only supplying this amount and dramatically reducing lost energy.Lillnord’s Flexbaker now offers bakers a unique freezing and proving system, which allows them to store ready-proven dough pieces for up to 10 hours on standby, without detrimental effects on the bread quality, according to Norbake sole agent for Lillnord in the UK. “Lillnord, in co-operation with European bakeries and raw material specialists, has succeeded in creating a sequence that will handle the entire process from start to end, with no need to move the racks from a freezer to a storage chamber and then, finally, to a recovery unit,” says Norbake. The key advantages of the Flexbaker, says the firm, are that only a single chamber is needed for six different processes, the development process of the dough results in an intensified taste and aroma, and the equipment is flexible. The Flexbaker also features a vertically and horizontally controlled airflow system, ensuring a perfect climate for all products made with yeast.Netherlands-based manufacturer Koma supplies chillers and refrigeration units to bakeries of all sizes. Sales manager Richard Lyon says retarder provers are a big thing for bakers, as they help give them a better quality of life through friendlier shift patterns, and make their production more efficient. All equipment supplied by Koma comes fitted with modems, which enable 24-hour remote monitoring of the equipment through the firm’s TeleGuard system. Its SunRiser retarder prover can operate at temperatures between -20C to -40C, with adjustable humidity in 1% steps up to 99%. It has specially designed evaporators, with a large surface area to give maximum airflow capacity. Its fully automatic retarder prover, Populair, is a plug-in system, more suitable for bakeries with space constraints. It features an evaporator system, exclusively designed for Koma, which ensures ideal evaporator surfaces and avoids quick icing-up, says the firm. Both systems feature the TeleGuard monitoring system.Keith Stalker, MD, European Process Plant (EPP) says that as proving is fundamental to the quality of baked products, refrigeration, freezing technology and air conditioning systems have come to play a key role in the modern baking industry. EPP supplies dough retarding and proving systems from German manufacturer MIWE, including the firm’s GVA model. These can cope with production requirements from a few trays up to 200 or more racks, and have the necessary components to meet any temperature range required, says the firm.With the ability to give bakers more control of the production process, prepare dough in advance and produce a consistent proof time after time, it’s no wonder retarder provers are fast becoming one of the baker’s best friends.last_img read more

Mickey Mouse magic

first_imgKicking off the Unreal Cake Campaign for 2011 is Disney, which has developed a cake technology so clever that it will no doubt prompt your photo cake printer to wave the flag and commit digital suicide. Disney was recently awarded a patent for interactive cakes using small pico projectors. Or to give you the full mouthful: “Projector Systems and Methods For Producing Digitally Augmented, Interactive Cakes and Other Food Products”.While the system would be able to project images on to the surface, it would also detect the topography of the cake. For example, each slice cut out could develop a story; if there’s a simulated lake image projected onto the cake, slicing into it would create a waterfall of projected water flowing down the missing section. Props could also be programmed to trigger projections, such as if Aladdin’s lamp were to be rubbed, a genie could be projected coming out. Or waving a wand might make Tinkerbell appear. Cute.It might be Stop the Week’s sick penchant for horror cakes, but we’re already thinking of some of some gruesome applications for a Halloween cake, where you literally stick the knife in.last_img read more

Brace’s in Welsh deal

first_imgCaerphilly-based baker Brace’s Bakery has teamed up with independent food wholesaler Castell Howell Foods, in a deal that will see its bread supplied to several organisations across Wales.Castell Howell supplies over 4,000 customers across various organisations, including hospitals, hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafés and schools, as well as operating its own cash and carry. Brace’s bread lines have now been added to its catalogue of products.Scott Richardson, sales and marketing director, Brace’s Bakery, said: “It is always rewarding to be given the opportunity to distribute Brace’s products more widely, especially on our home turf. This is an ideal partnership.”last_img

Bettys receives consent for Jubilee Cake

first_imgBettys Craft Bakery in Harrogate has received consent to create a celebration cake for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.Confectioners at the bakery are enlisting the help of local schoolchildren to inspire its design.Budding bakers and creatives from primary and junior schools across Yorkshire are being invited to send in their ideas to Bettys, which may be used in the creation of a four-tier, hexagonal cake.Those whose designs are used in some way will be invited to the bakery to see them brought to life when the cake is created.Bettys has previously made cakes for the Queen’s Silver and Golden Jubilees.last_img

Two injured in Elkhart double shooting Wednesday night

first_img Facebook Google+ Twitter By Tommie Lee – February 20, 2020 0 357 Google+ Pinterest Pinterest WhatsApp IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Facebook Twitter Two injured in Elkhart double shooting Wednesday night (“Guns & Ammo 1” by Ken, CC BY 2.0) Police in Elkhart are investigating a double shooting Wednesday night.It happened in the 800 block of Pearl Street shortly before 8:30 p.m.A 25 year-old woman and 36 year-old man were found on the porch of a home, each of them suffering a gunshot wound to the leg. The victims claimed one or more black males was responsible for the shooting.No other information has been made available. WhatsApp Previous articleIbrahim Parlak once again fighting to stay in the U.S.Next articleBenton Harbor begins decision process for medical marijuana facilities Tommie Leelast_img read more

Extra-curricular activities begin again at some Indiana schools

first_img Pinterest Extra-curricular activities begin again at some Indiana schools CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Twitter WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest Twitter Facebook Facebook WhatsApp Previous articleKroger workers to receive at-home coronavirus testing kitsNext articleIndiana gas price in limbo thanks to the COVID effect Network Indiana By Network Indiana – July 7, 2020 0 351 (Photo Supplied/IHSAA) Monday, July 6, marked the first day where high school student-athletes in Indiana could start conditioning with their teams, under the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s three-phase plan to return to sports this fall.Under this first phase, all workouts are voluntary.“If families don’t feel safe or they’re not interested in sending their kid to work out with us, we totally understand,” says Joe Bronkella, the athletic director at Madison Consolidated High School.He says some athletes have been working out and training on their own, maybe at a gym, during the coronavirus pandemic, but the majority of athletes have not.“Phase One is more of a time, of a couple weeks, to ease back in to the flow, to ease ourselves back in to conditioning shape,” he said.Bronkella says there are still many restrictions during the IHSAA’s first phase. For example, athletes are limited to just 15 hours of conditioning per week. Locker rooms remain closed as well, which has created a bit of a challenge for athletic directors.“So we’ve designated areas where they can come in, and designate areas where they go out,” Bronkella said. “We are also not utilizing our drinking fountains, so they have to bring in their own water bottles.”Bronkella says he is also alternating which sports can come to campus to have training and conditioning, to help limit the number of people at the school. So some teams and sports started Monday, while others won’t start until Tuesday, and will go back-and-forth throughout the week on which days they have athletes come in for workouts. He knows of other schools and athletic directors around the state that have similar plans.He has also been coordinating with the janitorial staff at the school on when they come in to clean and sanitize different equipment and areas. To help with that, Bronkella says he’s having most, if not all, workouts be outdoors.The hardest challenge for athletic directors during the coronavirus pandemic? Bronkella says it’s all of the unknowns that still exist.“When you have symptoms pop up, or you have new numbers, or you have a potential of an outbreak in your community, how does that change things? What do we need to be prepared for?” he said. “Because this is something that none of us have been prepared for.”As for the idea of high school sports returning in August, Bronkella says he’s trying to remain positive.“I sure hope so,” he said. “I know everyone is itching to get to do their sport, and everyone is itching to watch something. I’m hopeful that we’re going to have a fall season, but, you know, at the same time, I was hopeful that we would’ve had a spring season, and it didn’t turn out that way for us.” Google+last_img read more

WorkOne to host drive-thru job fair next week

first_img Google+ Google+ Pinterest Facebook Facebook IndianaLocalMichiganNews WhatsApp TAGSCenter Six One Fivedrive-thruemployersemploymenthiringIndianajob fairMichianaMichiganSeptember 29WorkOne Are you looking for a job? Several companies are looking to hire.WorkOne is hosting a drive-thru job fair next Tuesday, September 29 at Center Six One Five in Elkhart.The event will run from 12-4 p.m., and all attendees must wear a mask. Attendees are also encouraged to bring several copies of their resume.The following employers will be at the event:CarpenterDaystar StaffingD&W IncorporatedFairmont HomesGenesis ProductsHeartland RVPeopleLinkProAirSpeedway Gas StationStallion Courier ServicesStoutco Custom Metal FabricationsTrilogy Health ServicesUtilimasterWaterford CrossingWire DesignFor more information, call the Elkhart WorkOne Center at (574) 237-9675, ext. 3030 or click here.center_img Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest WorkOne to host drive-thru job fair next week By Brooklyne Beatty – September 21, 2020 0 419 Twitter Previous articleMore Michiana students return to classrooms on MondayNext articleSouth Bend VPA annual Holiday Ornament Contest underway Brooklyne Beattylast_img read more