Family firm to close doors as Inter Link consolidates

first_imgInter LINK Foods is to close the recently-acquired Hoppers Farmhouse Bakery in a bid to consolidate operations. The 16,000sq ft factory in Herne Bay, Kent, will shut its doors early next year, with the loss of 130 jobs, when production will transfer to Inter Link’s highly automated 70,000sq ft Blackburn bakery.Chief executive Paul Griffiths told British Baker that the factory was too small and would have needed modernising and further investment to make it more efficient. He insisted that it was a very good business which made 120 million mince pies last year – one of its specialities. However, this meant it had always been seasonally-biased and brought in the bulk of its profits in the run-up to Christmas. Said Griffiths: “We laid people off in January, but that happens every year because of the nature of the business.”Inter Link bought the family company in 2004 for £5 million, saying it was confident that it would grow rapidly with the greater resources of the Inter Link Group behind it. Two years on, it was working to see if it could mitigate the closure. “Some employees may choose to move up to the northern factory but it won’t suit everyone, which means there will be redundancies. We are working with the union and local representatives to come up with a plan of action for them.”The cake giant suffered its first major setback earlier this year, blaming unsuccessful promotional activity for a surprise profit warning. Like-for-like sales were up by 8% at £130m – £10m less than forecast. “This is all about consolidating our manufacturing operations, which is as important to us as acquisitions,” said Griffiths, “although if the right deal came along, we would look at it.”last_img read more

Finsbury Food Group reshuffle

first_imgA new commercial team has been unveiled at Finsbury Food Group following a staff reshuffle. Four members of staff have been repositioned in an effort to strengthen the company’s sales and marketing teams. The UK premium cake manufacturer has made Mark Bruce the new brand director. He was most recently sales and marketing director for Lightbody’s Celebration Cakes, a cake brand in Finsbury Food’s portfolio. He will be in charge of developing and driving forward brand plans for the various licenses held by Finsbury. John Steele has been appointed brand manager, and will be responsible for overseeing all Disney and Nestlé brand activity. Steele was previously national account manager for Lightbody. Joining the team will be Jo Fraser and Jim Dobson who have been appointed commercial controllers, and will oversee a team of national account managers and account executives. Fraser was most recently commercial manager for Lightbody, and Dobson was previously Finsbury Food’s general brand manager.“Each of these strategic positions is key to Finsbury Food’s determination to sustain and build upon success,” said Finsbury Food’s chief executive, Dave Brooks. “They show our commitment to investing in a team that can meet the needs of both retailers and end consumers.”last_img read more

Festive biscuits

first_imgSeveral Cadbury’s biscuit products and a new Maryland cookies tub will be available from Burton’s Foods for Christmas. The company has re-introduced a seasonal range for Maryland, with a 675g sharing tub and a White Choc Chip Mini Cookies carton (150g).Three seasonal collections from Cadbury have also been launched: In-home sharing, which includes a new Cadbury Cookie Assortment; Gifting, which includes its Heritage barrels and tins; and Novelty, which features its Cadbury Mini Fingers van and Cadbury Festive Friends.”Burton’s has ensured that, despite the recession, consumers are well catered for with a range of products to suit all budgets,” commented Sue Garfitt, head of insights, category and marketing planning at Burton’s read more

Industry veteran sets up consultancy

first_imgBrian Clarke, who has over 30 years of industrial and instore bakery experience including international consultancy work in Europe and Australia, is now heading up a consultancy: European Food Consultants.He told British Baker: “I have developed expertise in technical, product innovation, process development and implementation of environmental policies and particularly in business turnaround.”He said he was instrumental in the acquisition of the three Harvestime Bakeries by overseas investors, turning around the business in administration from a significant loss to break-even in less than 12 weeks.He added: “With experience working at director and board level in major plcs I’d like to think I can bring immediate results with no long-term commitment to recruitment for companies having to fill a gap in their senior management team short-term.”He said his service would be cost-effective for a struggling business, those with a particular skill shortage or those wanting to identify a business opportunity.last_img read more

Bakery focus for Tesco jobs push

first_imgTesco will put bakery at the forefront of its extensive two-year recruitment drive, which is expected to create 20,000 new jobs.A company spokesman confirmed that a large proportion of the new jobs will focus on bakery, in addition to fresh produce, fresh meat and counter services.The supermarket chain released a statement this morning (5 March) saying it would “invest significantly in additional staff hours and training to boost the customer experience”. Tesco is the country’s largest private sector employer with over 290,000 staff and 70,000 young people under the age of 25 – almost a quarter of its workforce.Richard Brasher, UK chief executive, said: “In unprecedented economic conditions like these, major businesses have a big responsibility to step forward, invest and create jobs.  Today’s announcement is a huge shot in the arm for the UK economy. “At the core of this investment is our determination to deliver the best shopping experience for our customers, bar none.  We will invest in more staff on the sales floor at busy times, greater expertise and help in the crucial areas of fresh food, and enhanced quality and service across our stores at all times.The supermarket chain is also looking to tackle the country’s high youth unemployment rates by more than tripling current vacancies on its apprenticeship programme – from 3,000 in 2011 to 10,000. Brasher added: “With youth unemployment at record levels, we’re determined to target many of our new jobs at young people currently out of work – so that in this difficult jobs market those who need help the most will get it. Our investment is a win-win for customers, unemployed young people and the UK economy as a whole.”Tesco launched its first bakery apprenticeship scheme last year – designed in partnership with Improve, the Sector Skills Council for food – in a bid to train existing staff already working at its in-store bakeries. In total, 225 apprentices studied for 12 months for a City & Guild Level-2 Certificate for Proficiency in Baking Industry Skills.Speaking to British Baker last year, Nick McGlashan, apprenticeship manager at Tesco, said: “The apprenticeship schemes we’ve had in other sectors have proved to be a good springboard into management. This is an end-to-end scratch bakery apprentice-ship with 12 different workbooks. It’s a robust qualification.”last_img read more

Specialty crop grant program accepting applicants in Indiana

first_img Twitter Specialty crop grant program accepting applicants in Indiana AgricultureIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Google+ WhatsApp By Tommie Lee – March 2, 2020 0 1140 WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Facebook Corn With Storm Clouds. Photo by Kim Closson. The Indiana Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for a special grant program.The USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is designed to fund better competition for specialty crops. Those are defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops. Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch says Indiana is home to a diverse agriculture industry that adds a lot to our state’s economy and society.Organizations, non-profits, trade associations, universities and others can apply through the Indiana State Department of Agriculture through March 22. Pinterest Twitter Pinterest Previous articleSouth Shore to expand bike-friendly programNext articleElkhart High School officially has a logo Tommie Leelast_img read more

Mishawaka finalizes small business loan program

first_img Previous articleAuthorities identify men involved in apparent murder-suicide in MishawakaNext articleMan, 19, charged with murder, robbery, in connection with teen accomplice’s death Brooklyne Beatty Twitter Google+ Mishawaka finalizes small business loan program Twitter Facebook Pinterest By Brooklyne Beatty – June 26, 2020 0 479 Google+center_img TAGScoronavirusCOVID-19Indianalake city bankloanMishawakaprogramsmall business WhatsApp Facebook (Source: License: The City of Mishawaka has finalized its small business loan program.The program is meant to provide loans to Mishawaka small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic on a first come, first served basis.Loans are 0% interest for the first six months, with a $10,000 maximum loan amount. There are qualifications to apply, including:The company/organization must be located within the corporate limits of the City of Mishawaka.The company/organization must certify that it believes funds from this program are critical in helping the company stay in business during the pandemic.The company/organization must have been in business and operational as of February 15, 2020.The company/organization must be an operating company/organization with annual gross revenues not in excess of $2,000,000 per year.Determination of ineligible applicants is based on the definition of ineligible applicants (borrowers) for the SBA’s 7 (a) Loan Program. Ineligible businesses include those engaged in illegal activities, loan packaging, speculation, real estate investment firms, multi-sales distribution, gambling, investment or lending, religious organizations, or where the owner is on parole.Charitable organizations, not for profits, service clubs, lodges and fraternal organizations are eligible only if they have a business address and commercial storefront and serve and/or are accessible to the general public.The company/organization must indicate if it received money from either the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Economic Impact Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. If the applicant did, its application will be held until all applicants who have not received other such financial support are processed.  The first round lasts through July 9, 2020.  After the first round, applications that were held may be considered if funds remainCredit worthiness will be verified by Lake City Bank. A minimum credit score of 620 is required to qualify.The City has partnered with Lake City Bank to administer the loan program. Applications are available at or at the bank’s Mishawaka branch (5015 North Main Street). WhatsApp Pinterest IndianaLocalNewslast_img read more

Indiana to remain at Stage 5 w/mask mandate, Indiana’s top doctor tests positive for…

first_img By Network Indiana – October 14, 2020 7 707 CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Indiana to remain at Stage 5 w/mask mandate, Indiana’s top doctor tests positive for COVID-19 Google+ Google+ Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Previous articleUPDATE: Wounded K9 officer Luna is expected to recover; cleared to go homeNext articleUPDATE: South Bend teen found safe, Silver Alert cancelled Network Indiana (Photo supplied) Governor Holcomb is extending Indiana’s mask mandate, but won’t reimpose restrictions on restaurants and bars.There are more Hoosiers in the hospital with coronavirus than at any time since mid-May, and Indiana’s five highest one-day totals for new cases have all come in the last week. The state has diagnosed 11-thousand new cases in that span.Holcomb says the problem isn’t the lifting of capacity limits on restaurants and bars, but too many people he says are “literally whistling past the graveyard” by holding big gatherings without masks or social distancing. He says he understands “mask fatigue” is setting in, but says capacity limits aren’t the issue. He notes the Indianapolis Colts and Indy Eleven successfully admitted thousands of fans to Lucas Oil Stadium by enforcing mask and distancing precautions.In contrast, he says, many new infections have been traced back to weddings or family gatherings where people failed or refused to wear masks. He says the virus’s resurgence across the Midwest is a reminder that people need to do what they can to reduce the odds of the virus’s spread, with masks being one of the main steps within people’s control. He says not masking up represents a disregard for fellow Hoosiers.Holcomb says he’ll reevaluate whether to reimpose restrictions in another week. And Indiana State Department of Health chief medical officer Lindsay Weaver says the department will consider imposing its own restrictions in counties categorized as “high risk” due to a combination of high numbers of cases and high positivity rates. Currently, only Fountain County is in that category, but 21 others are classified as nearing high risk. Weaver says the state will confer with local health departments on steps to control the virus. In high-risk counties, she says the state could restrict visitation at jails and nursing homes or order new limits on large gatherings, including school events.Weaver says contact tracers are finding higher numbers of direct contacts of infected patients, another indicator that people are letting their guard down. She says many people are refusing to cooperate with tracers, which she says makes it more difficult to track and control the virus’s spread.About 400 Hoosiers are in intensive care with coronavirus, the most since May. Weaver says it’s straining I-C-U staff and capacity in three of the health department’s 10 districts, in southwest and eastern Indiana, and in the Elkhart-South Bend region.The tally of new cases includes the official in charge of Indiana’s virus response: ISDH Commissioner Kristina Box. Box says she took a COVID test after two staffers at her one-year-old grandson’s daycare tested positive. Box says she has no symptoms, while her grandson and her daughter have tested positive with mild symptoms.Box says her contacts outside her family have been minimal, but Holcomb and other administration officials are getting tested out of what Holcomb calls “an abundance of caution,” with results expected Thursday. Pinterest Pinterest Facebooklast_img read more

News story: London VAPC respond to consultation on homelessness code of guidance

first_imgThe outcome of a closed government consultation on a proposed homelessness code of guidance for local authorities, is keenly awaited by London Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee (VAPC).The VAPC, had previously commissioned an independent review from the University of Kent, on how London’s councils implement housing policy affecting veterans, contributed to the consultation.It welcomed that guidance on dealing with veterans now forms a separate section within the proposed code.But London VAPC chairman Lynn Verity suggested there were several areas where further clarification was vital: Chief among these are that the code as currently written does not define either ‘veteran’ or ‘vulnerable’. We have pointed this out and, therefore, hope our concerns are acted upon.last_img read more

Speech: The UK and Nigeria will continue to be long term partners

first_imgYour Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Morning. I’m delighted to be with you here today at the London Stock Exchange in the heart of the City of London.I’m honoured to be alongside His Excellency President Buhari and many thanks to Yewande Sadiku, Atam Sandhu and their respective teams for organising what promises to be a really engaging day.As you know, the LSE has a great track record of supporting the development of African capital markets and supporting investment in African companies. Indeed, in parallel to today’s programme, the UK’s Development Secretary is speaking at another event at the LSE, celebrating the role of London’s capital markets in financing growth across the Commonwealth, and showcasing the UK’s commitment to driving mutual prosperity across the Commonwealth through investment, trade and jobs.The huge success of Nigeria’s recent bond listings is further testament to this and reinforces the City of London’s position as a leading partner for raising finance – laying strong foundations on which to build our economic and financial relationship.I’m delighted that the Lord Mayor will be speaking at this event this morning and spearheading a mission to deepen our relationship on financial and insurance services on his visit to Nigeria in a few months.Nigeria, economy and reformAs many of you will know, 2017 was a difficult year for the Nigerian economy. The slump in the price of oil in particular led to significant challenges in the economy, not least around the foreign exchange.But with each crisis comes an opportunity. And the Government of Nigeria has worked hard to turn back the tide and put in place measures to promote diversification and greater ease of doing business and to make further progress on key sector reforms.The Government has set up a new Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) designed to improve the ease of doing business. And this year, Nigeria rose by 24 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. It was one of the world’s top 10 performers.Consumer-facing industries such as telecommunications, banking, healthcare and real estate have experienced rapid expansion and can fuel the new engine of growth that Nigeria needs to take it to the next level.The Nigerian Government is committed to addressing the scourge that is corruption. His Excellency President Buhari is personally committed to this and we have seen notable achievements in the last few years, particularly through its active engagement in the Open Government Partnership. We know more needs to be done and the UK Government is working closely with the Government of Nigeria to make progress on this – both in Nigeria and internationally, for example through the Global Forum for Asset Recovery and through our own UK Unexplained Wealth Order.Firms often cite lack of infrastructure, red tape and high-entry costs as further obstacles to entering the market, but these are not insurmountable and the opportunities and rewards available to those who persevere are immense.Nigeria needs an investment of US$127bn in infrastructure over the next five years. We know the scale of this challenge can sometimes be difficult to determine when based in the UK or other European countries.Activating fresh sources of capital, both from within and outside Nigeria will be critical to help close this funding gap and the UK government is here to help.We all know of Nigeria’s great potential: the largest economy in Africa; set to be 3rd most populous nation in the world by 2050; fertile land; abundant natural resources; and a young, energetic upwardly mobile population, with a deserved reputation for creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.UK success stories and HMG roleUK businesses have thrived in Nigeria. Don’t take my word for it, speak to companies like BA, Shell and Unilever – who all have strong and long-established operations in Nigeria. Indeed, Unilever’s most successful global country operation is in Nigeria.And we have seen newcomers enter the market too. Just last year Prudential entered Nigeria in recognition of the huge opportunities for life insurance with a market of this size. We expect to see more partnerships as companies seek to work with and invest in what is Africa’s largest economy and as they better appreciate the opportunities, along with the risks of working in this market. Indeed, we are working hard to increase trade ties for long-term, sustainable and mutually beneficial growth.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Trade are working work with British businesses and investors to support the further strengthening and deepening of the commercial ties between the UK and Nigeria.Our teams in the UK and in Lagos can support British companies as they are confronted by information asymmetries: our teams can help you understand where the opportunities and risks are, help you identify local partners and support your efforts in due diligence to make your entry to market a successful one. We can help you with an honest assessment of the risks and opportunities.The UK is committed to doing even more to support the economic development of Nigeria, now and in the long-term. Our Department for International Development has an annual bilateral programme of £275m this year. Much of this is dedicated to supporting economic development and driving inclusive growth. DFID is providing support in a range of areas to reinvigorate the agricultural sector and domestic manufacturing base; boost employment opportunities and tax collection; increase transparency and remove constraints on the ease of doing business; attract quality investment and improve competitiveness.We also have a wide range of programmes under way through the UK’s Prosperity Fund, designed to support increased investment in to Nigeria, encourage economic diversification and ease the business environment by mapping the challenges at federal and state level.From a trade perspective, our export credit agency UKEF has an outstanding finance offer for Nigerian businesses wishing to buy British products. UKEF currently has up to £750million cover for Nigeria. Nigerian businesses can get loans or guarantees when they buy British products – and the share of UK content required is only 20%. And the tenure for such loans or guarantees can be up to 18 years. We think this offer is second to none. And recently UKEF has also announced that it will provide Naira-backed guarantees for Nigerian companies buying British products in Naira. So, these companies can buy British and pay local. We are committed to ensuring that no opportunity for increased trade is thwarted for want of export finance.As you can see, the UK government is serious about Nigeria. We are, and we will continue to be, long-term partners. Ministers from all three international departments: FCO, DIT and DFID are keenly interested in Nigeria and committed to ensuring that in Africa we continue to move from aid to trade and to contribute to job creation and wealth creation in the UK and in Africa.CommonwealthThis event is happening in the margins of CHOGM. One of the key issues that will be discussed is free trade. This is a key issue for the UK and for Nigeria. Global trade between Commonwealth states is expected to surpass 13 trillion US dollars by 2020. These numbers reflect the sheer scale and ambition of what is happening within the Commonwealth today in terms of trade, investment and job creation.There are huge untapped trading opportunities within the Commonwealth.With the UK/Nigeria trading relationship currently worth more than £3 billion and more than £5 billion invested in Nigeria by UK companies, Nigeria is a much-valued Commonwealth partner. Yet it’s no secret that these figures can be improved upon greatly.And speaking here earlier today, the UK’s Development Secretary spoke about the work SheTrades Commonwealth is doing in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Bangladesh to support women-owned businesses to participate in international trade, connecting female entrepreneurs to markets and helping them to export.This is a fantastic initiative and looking around the room I am convinced that UK firms can and will build even stronger partnerships with their Nigerian counterparts by harnessing the energy and dynamism that characterises Nigeria today.FutureAs we exit the EU, I want to make clear that the UK remains open for business and is the same outward-looking, globally-minded, big-thinking country we have always been. Rest assured our strong economy will continue. The UK has been, and always will be a trading nation, keen on entrepreneurship and innovation – values I know both our countries hold dear.The UK is wholeheartedly committed to supporting Nigeria’s continued ascent because a stable, secure and prosperous Nigeria means economic opportunities for British business; a safer, more secure UK, and a stable influence in Africa.I hope that we can all work together to strengthen our political, commercial and cultural relationship for the good of our mutual prosperity.All of us here today have a role to play in realising the wealth of opportunity and potential that Nigeria possesses, creating new markets for trade, investment and inclusive growth that will lead to a more prosperous world for us all.Thank you.last_img read more