The Secretary of State’s visit also comes as UKHO continues to contribute to the UK Government’s Geospatial Commission, an expert committee with the Cabinet Office set up to maximise the value of all UK Government data linked to location, and to create jobs and growth in a modern economy.Drawing together the combined expertise of HM Land Registry, the Ordnance Survey, the British Geological Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, and the Coal Authority – as well as UKHO – the Geospatial Commission will drive the move, to use this data more productively – which could unlock up to £11 billion of extra value for the economy every year.Rear Admiral Tim Lowe CBE, Acting Chief Executive, UKHO, said: The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has today welcomed the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, to its Taunton headquarters.The Secretary of State met with UKHO staff to talk about its role in supporting maritime navigation, safety, security and marine development around the UK and worldwide, and was given a tour of its new office.As a leading hydrographic office and marine geospatial information agency, the UKHO plays a critical role in supporting the UK government’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and in fulfilling the Government’s obligation to provide navigational charts and publications to ships transiting UK waters.Working with several UK and international partners, the UKHO also carries out work under government programmes such as the Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme and the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme to improve global standards in safety, hydrography and navigation. This includes collecting and processing marine geospatial data to help governments protect the environment, develop infrastructure (such as ports) and support disaster planning and resilience. These factors support the sustainable economic growth for coastal states across the world including Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, St Helena, Guyana, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, Secretary of State for Defence, said: We are delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Defence to visit UKHO, meet our expert staff and see first-hand the important work that we are doing. As a world-leading Hydrographic Office and marine geospatial agency we are continuously working to enable the maritime and marine sectors for the UK Government, as well as our friends and allies around the world. This is an exciting time for UKHO as we build on a strong legacy of support to the mariner and continue to diversify and transform the way we develop and deliver our products and services. Last year we invested significantly in both our technology and our people – as evidenced by our expanding science and technology teams, which comprises experts across data science, scientific analysis and software engineering disciplines. Hydrographic and marine geospatial data is fundamental to anyone operating in the marine and maritime domain and can hold the key to increased prosperity for the UK and our Overseas Territories. We hope that this visit continues to raise awareness of the important role that UKHO has to play in the sustainable development of our oceans at home and abroad. For 200 years UKHO has been central to trade and commerce across the globe, supplying over 90% of the world’s ships with the products they need to navigate international waters safely. The UKHO embodies the spirit of a Global Britain – sharing the UK’s world leading expertise to develop relationships and trade with partners around the world. With 95% of the UK’s trade carried by sea, the work done at this facility is vital to not only supporting safety of our ships but supporting the UK’s thriving ocean economy.
Dunkin’ Donuts is to open a new store in Hounslow, as part of its newest franchise agreement.The restaurant will be opened as part of the Ghataaura Group, which has called for the development of 25 restaurants in the UK over the next five years. The brand currently has four shops; in Harrow, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Woolwich.To celebrate the opening, Dunkin’ Donuts will hold a family fun day on 29 July, where there will be activities and an NYPD police car with two policemen.Jim Johnstone, general manager UK for the brand, said: “We’re pleased to announce the opening of our new Hounslow restaurant, in agreement with Ghataaura Group, whose leaders have a wealth of experience in the local area, to develop the Dunkin’ Donuts brand in West London.“We look forward to keeping even more guests in the United Kingdom going with Dunkin’ Donuts’ delicious range of hot and iced beverages, sandwiches and baked goods.”Ghataaura Group is a family business, which has recently opened an ice cream parlour with Baskin-Robbins, sister brand of Dunkin’ Donuts.Ash Ghataaura, director of Ghataaura Group, said: “Dunkin’ Donuts is known around the world for its wide selection of high-quality food and beverages, as well as its speed of service, so we’re proud to bring the Dunkin’ Donuts experience to Hounslow“We look forward to becoming a destination of choice for our busy, on-the-go guests in the area.”Dunkin’ Donuts was founded in 1950 and currently has nearly 11,000 restaurants in 33 countries.
The world faces a chocolate shortage with demand outstripping supply as prices have already risen 25% this year. Reports have stated the shortfall will rise to one million metric tonnes by 2020 – and as much as two million by 2030. Paul A Young, master chocolatier and owner of four self-named specialist chocolate stores in London, told British Baker: “There is no easy answer. The big multinationals have created some of the problem by not paying the growers what they should be getting, so there is little incentive for the growers to keep cultivating cocoa.”Other factors impacting supply include the rising average age of farmers, the ground becoming tired, crop disease and – essentially – consumers eating more than is being produced.According to Mintel, 76% of UK consumers eat some type of chocolate at least once a week with 16% munching daily and 27% indulging two to three times a week.“We pay very high prices from smaller producers so it won’t hit us initially. We haven’t changed our prices but may have to review that next year,” added Young.“There is a lot of hype about running out of chocolate; that may not be the case, but it will become more expensive and more of a luxury item, as it was 60 or 70 years ago.”Young pointed to carob as a possible alternative, which is used in dogs’ chocolate and has “improved” in recent years.*Look out for a deeper analysis of the chocolate shortage in the next issue of British Baker, out on 28 November.
New research by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) has suggested customers will simply opt for cheaper, poorer quality alternatives if a tax on sugar is introduced.The report by the IEA said that customers would simply choose cheaper, higher-calorie options if faced with a sugar tax. It said that demand for sugary drinks, snacks and fatty foods was inelastic – people tended to be unresponsive to price hikes and did not significantly change their shopping habits.Christopher Snowdon, director of lifestyle economics at IEA and author of the report, said that evidence from Denmark, Hungary, Finland and the US showed levies on fat and sugar changed consumers’ shopping habits, but had very little effect on obesity.He said: “In Denmark a 13.1% increase in the price of butter resulting from the Danish fat tax was associated with a modest 5.5% decline in sales, and in Finland, when the price of soft drinks rose by 7.3%, consumption fell by less than 1%.”Snowdon also said it was worth noting that Denmark later dropped the tax – he suggested that the same effect would be mirrored here.Low income households hit hardestHe said: “Not only would it [a sugar tax] do little to deter individuals from buying unhealthy items but low income households that spend a higher proportion of their income on food and drink would be hit particularly hard.”The Taxpayers’ Alliance agreed – it said that a sugar tax would “hit those on a lower income hardest”, and has called the idea “regressive”.
West Yorkshire-based Spiffing says its new range of sprouted flours uses “natural technology to put bread back on the table for healthy eaters”.The grain used in the flour is soaked for 24 hours and maintained at a temperature of 20 degrees for five days. The grain and sprout are then milled to create an end product that looks the same as other flour.Spiffing Sprouted claims its flour is easily digestible, rapidly absorbed and kind to the stomach (unlike some raw grains). It also claims it has increased bioavailability of key nutrients including Vitamins B and C, folate, fibre, essential amino acids and increased anti-oxidants, as well as an enhanced taste and texture.Bakers and consumers can now buy the sprouted flour across the UK. It was previously only available in health food shops.Jason Bull, MD of Spiffing, said: “We have witnessed a huge appetite for sprouted from British consumers. It turns bread back into the healthy staple that it should be.“It brings together two exciting trends, our love of baking and our desire to eat healthily. The fact it is also easily digestible will put bread back on the table for healthy eaters.”“At a chemical level, Spiffing Sprouted has a higher phytase activity and lower levels of antinutrient compounds that pave the way for the gut to absorb more nutrients,” said the company.There are three products in the range:· Sprouted Wheat Flour – 500g – RRP £3.99· Sprouted Wholemeal Spelt Flour – sweet and nutty – 500g – RRP £4.49· Sprouted Buckwheat Flour – 500g – RRP £4.49
Think you’ve got what it takes to please Cherish Finden and Benoit Blin? Then Channel 4 wants to hear from you.It is looking for the next raft of contestants from the nation’s pastry chefs, chocolatiers and pâtissiers to take part in the fourth series of Bake Off: The Professionals, which will air next year.The teams must consist of one team captain and an assistant pastry chef. The captain must be of a senior/head pastry chef level, while the assistant can be working at any other level such as sous chef or chef de partie.“Are you a highly skilled and creative pastry chef? Are you passionate about creating the best desserts, cakes and pastries in Britain? Bake Off: The Professionals follows the elite from the world of professional pastry as they compete to become Britain’s best pastry chefs,” the advert stated.“We are looking for teams of two to take part. Whether you’re from a five-star hotel or a high-end patisserie supplier – we want to hear from you.”The deadline for applications is midnight on Monday 27 August and interested parties can apply via this website.This year’s series, which recently wrapped up, saw pastry chefs Emmanuel Bonneau and Sam Leatherby from London Hilton on Park Lane crowned the champions. They fought off teams from the likes of the Savoy, Silverstone and Hotel Café Royal.
Greggs is expecting to make a full-year profit of £86m following strong trading in October and November.Total sales across the food-to-go firm’s 1,900 retail outlets rose 9% year-on-year in the eight weeks to 24 November 2018, compared with an 8.2% rise in the same period last year. Like-for-like sales in company-managed shops increased 4.5%.In the year to date, total sales were up 6.6% and like-for-likes up 2.5%.Greggs reported that improved trading in its third quarter had strengthened further during October and to date in November. “This stronger trading in October and November is particularly encouraging as it builds on good comparative sales in the same period last year,” stated the business in a trading update today (27 November).“Operational costs have been well controlled and, while there is still much to play for over the final few weeks of the year, the board now anticipates that full year underlying profit before tax (excluding exceptional charges) will be at least £86 million.”Greggs this month announced a trial partnership with Deliveroo from two shops in London that will enable menu items, including breakfast, coffee, savoury pastries and sausage rolls, to be ordered via the Deliveroo app or website.
Homebaked, a community bakery in Anfield, Liverpool, has received £61,000 in investment to fund a dedicated cookery unit and ramp up production.The funding was secured from First Ark Social Investment (FASI), which provides finance for social enterprises and charities.FASI said the investment, which is made up of a grant of £15,500 and a loan of £45,500, would go towards helping Homebaked become a larger wholesale producer, expand the café, attend more markets, create new roles and offer more volunteer placements and training courses.The bakery currently produces 3,000 pies, 300 sausage rolls, 250 loaves and 250 scones each week and provides Liverpool Football Club with 700 pies per game.It also won 10 medals at this year’s British Pie Awards.Its most famous pies are the Scouse and the Shankly. The Scouse is a pie containing beef stew, while the Shankly pie is filled with steak, bacon, mushroom and onion.“Our prized pies are famous throughout Liverpool and if we want to continue making 3,000 a week, we need the right equipment and premises to do it,” said Sally-Anne Watkiss, treasurer of Homebaked.“The funding from First Ark Social Investment has made a huge difference because we need to expand our premises to cope with demand. We’re now renting an industrial space in Bootle, which was previously a food business, so the right kit is already installed.“We’ve also been able to buy extra tables, shelves, a mixer, an oven, a fridge and freezer, as we want to scale up production and extend our café to welcome more customers.”
Source: Henry KenyonRob Allcock, owner and head chef of The Longs Arms in WiltshireA publican who transformed his business into a bakery post-lockdown was crowned overall winner at the 2020 Tiptree World Bread Awards Heroes with Brook Food.Traditionally, the awards celebrate the bread, but this year’s accolades recognise the bakers, millers and farmers behind the loaves.Rob Allcock, owner and head chef of The Longs Arms in Wiltshire, was forced to close his pub in South Wraxall due to Covid restrictions but decided to convert the premises into a bakery to serve the local community.Allcock said: “It’s simply very humbling that the village and our customers thought us worthy for nomination in such an amazing award.”Charli Boddington, one of Allcock’s nominators, described the entire village as being “reliant on his delicious output”. “He has certainly kept the village smiling,” he said.According to the organisers, hundreds of nominations for ‘Bread Heroes’ were sent in from across the UK.“All the nominees in this year’s awards truly deserve recognition for their generous, considerate and often altruistic initiatives to help others,” Stephen Hallam, chairman of the judges, said.Twelve regional winners were selected by the judges.Here’s the full list of winners:South west (and overall winner): Rob Allcock, The Longs Arms, South Wraxall, WiltshireNorth east: Andrew and Sybille Wilkinson, Gilchester Organics, Stamfordham, NorthumberlandNorth west: Daniel Nemeth, Seasons Bakery, Ingleton, North YorkshireYorkshire and Humber: Fosters Bakery, Barnsley, South YorkshireEast Midlands: Green’s Windmill Trust, NottinghamWest Midlands: Curtis Stewart, Trentham Bakehouse, Trentham, StaffordshireEast: Steven Winter, Bread Source, NorwichSouth East: Ruth Macintyre, Ruth’s Little Kitchen, Brockham, SurreyLondon: Liz Wilson, Ma Baker, FulhamScotland: Mungoswells Malt & Milling, North Berwick, East LothianNorthern Ireland: Cathy Stevenson, The Daily Apron, LisburnWales: Osian Jones, CRWST, CardiganAn exhibition of portraits by photographer Henry Kenyon of the 12 Bread Heroes will be touring the UK, including a display at the City Food Lecture 2021, the annual lecture on the future of the food industry, organised by the seven food-related City of London livery companies.
Source: Getty ImagesThe UK’s branded coffee shop market has suffered a sales decline of nearly 40% over the last year, according to an industry report.The World Coffee Portal’s Project Café UK 2021 report revealed that disruption caused by Covid-19 has set sales in the sector back to 2013 levels, wiping nearly £2bn from market value.Figures contained in the report show the UK branded café segment posting negative sales and outlet growth – down 39% and 1.9% respectively – for the first time in over 20 years.The total UK branded coffee shop segment currently comprises 9,159 outlets, a net decrease of 182 over the last 12 months.However, the UK’s three largest branded café chains, Costa Coffee, Greggs and Starbucks, added 56, 28 and 30 stores for a total of 2,681, 2,078 and 1,025 outlets respectively. Caffè Nero now operates 648 UK stores after a net drop of 16 outlets.Greater London, which accounts for more than a quarter of all UK branded cafés, saw the number of outlets in the sector fall for the first time in 20 years, down 1.9% on 2019 to 2,330.Negative outlookAgainst a backdrop of trading restrictions and reduced footfall, 59% of industry leaders surveyed by World Coffee Portal reported a year-on-year loss exceeding 5% over the last 12-months. Those loss-making operators report an average negative financial impact of £27,650 per store, per month.Just 15% of industry leaders surveyed were positive about the current trading environment, down from 69% from a year ago.According to Allegra research, 85% of UK consumers typically visit coffee shops at least once a week, but just 56% maintained this frequency during the pandemic.A number of operators, including Costa, Greggs, Starbucks and Caffè Nero, have responded to restrictions by offering delivery, and 26% of UK consumers surveyed said they would use such a service if it were more readily available.Pandemic restrictions have also seen a growth in drive-thru coffee outlets. Costa, Starbucks and Tim Hortons have the largest UK presence in this area, with 200, 109 and 10 sites respectively, having added a combined 76 locations during 2020.“We anticipate further casualties over the next 12 to 18 months and further government assistance may well be required”Despite strategies to mitigate the effects on business from Covid-19, World Coffee Portal forecasts it will take at least three years before the segment returns to pre-pandemic levels.“While there’s no doubt the UK’s branded coffee shops are here to stay, Covid-19 has had a devastating impact over the last 12 months,” said Jeffrey Young, Allegra Group founder and CEO.“Recovery will require significant innovation, discipline and leadership, with successful operators adapting to ongoing trading challenges with smart, technology-led solutions and new store formats.“Unfortunately, we anticipate further casualties over the next 12 to 18 months and further government assistance may well be required to ensure the short-term viability of many coffee shops and the wider hospitality industry,” Young added.