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Party political punch-ups

first_imgBoth Tony Blair and IDS have battled cynical media coverage of the party conferences this week, struggling to retain focus on policy in the face of infighting and leadership controversy. Despite Tory hopes for an inspirational speech from their party frontman, Duncan Smith gave only a lacklustre performance, assuring voters that he would win the next election, but hardly appearing convinced himself; critics commented snidely that he had at last succeeded in unifying the party, but only in opposition to his leadership. Before IDS had even taken the stage, most attention was paid to speculation about possible candidates to succeed him, with former chancellor Kenneth Clarke casting the most threatening shadow over his pledge to remain in control. While warding off scepticism about his political competence, IDS threatened to sue the BBC should it broadcast allegations concerning the dubious payment of a secretary’s salary to his wife out of party finances, but he failed to prevent the rumours from clouding his conference agenda. The Independent even declared IDS’ leadership in crisis after its survey this week revealed that most people see the Liberals as Labour’s most serious opposition. According to electoral polls, the Tories remain in second place by five points, defying forecasts that they would advance on Labour following a recent slump in Blair’s popularity. The Prime Minister’s credibility was most dented in the past week by Channel 4’s drama, The Deal, which portrayed him as a wellspun actor on a ruthless quest for self-advancement. The programme purported to represent his rise to power, focussing on the friction between Blair and Brown, especially during the infamous Granita agreement supposedly promising the Chancellor leadership of the government halfway through his second term as Prime Minister. However, Blair managed to smooth over accusations of spin and deceit with a concerted campaign to promote Labour’s renewed efforts at transparency; his speech again proved his mastery of sincere performance, reasserting his authority as the party vote-winner and locking Brown back up in his little red box.ARCHIVE: 0th Week MT2003last_img read more

The ambient life Stuart Chadwick, bakery buyer for ambient packaged cakes with the Co-operative Group, talks to Hayley Brown about indulgence and USPs

first_imgStuart Chadwick has been with the Co-operative Group since 1996. Among other things, he was the buyer for horti-culture for four years and then joined the bakery team as category buyer for ambient cakes last year.He arrived in the bakery department just as his new team was working towards its recent overhaul, as part of a drive to make shops “more exciting” (see British Baker, 9 March, 2007). Co-op research had shown that while shoppers trusted the Co-op, they tended to only buy basics at its shops, not dinner-party and indulgent foods. The Co-op decided to fill in this gap by offering more premium products.”I am responsible for buying ambient packaged cakes,” says Chadwick. “Within this category, I am in charge of ranging, product development and terms for negotiations.”He says that the Co-op sources new products by firstly identifying a gap in their product offering. “Then we will approach current and new suppliers and set up meetings to discuss potential business opportunities. “I am conscious that we should have a good working relationship with our suppliers, based on mutual trust and respect.”This, he explains, is part of the Co-op ethos: “Our aim is to be the UK’s preferred community retailer and, as such, we appeal to a wide cross-section of consumers. However, as we have recently seen a shift in our customers’ needs towards more premium products, we are actively developing more indulgent goods to satisfy this requirement with our new Truly Irresistible premium range.””This year, we have revamped all Co-op own-label bakery products and introduced 15 premium Truly Irresistible bakery lines, which include loaf and round cakes, cup cakes and tarts.”Indeed, new ranges have rolled out in stores throughout the bakery area. In the bread sector, for example, plant bread was reduced and new premium products brought in. “With our current drive on premium,” says Chadwick, “we require quality products with named ingredients and provenance.”The new Co-op Truly Irresistible Pot au Chocolat, for example, is made with Belgian chocolate. Other lines in the Truly Irresistible range of desserts include the Chocolate Chip Muffin Dessert, which has layers of chocolate sponge, Belgian chocolate sauce, chocolate chips and chocolate mousse, topped with white chocolate cream and chocolate curls, Rich Fruit Cake, Chocolate and Brandy Truffle Torte, hand-baked Petit Fours and hand-baked Shortbread Rounds.Shelf space challengeChadwick says that one of the biggest challenges he faces on a day-to-day basis, is shelf space, “and ensuring that we offer a breadth of range across varying store sizes and formats”.”This makes ranging decisions more important and difficult,” he adds “particularly when coupled with the differing regional products that we stock. But it’s also the most rewarding part of my job. I enjoy the development of, and introducing, a new range of products. Delivering a finished product from plan inception to on-shelf delivery is very rewarding, and something I and the team are very passionate about. And I enjoy the buzz of presenting these products to colleagues and customers.”The way the Co-op judges the success of a product is by setting target rates for those products to hit. “The great thing is that we are in a position to be able to trial products and ranges in small numbers of stores,” says Chadwick. “Thankfully, I have never really been disappointed by any products that I hoped would take off. I have not experienced this in the last year and I keep my fingers crossed for our new product launches!””We are also looking to be market-leading in new product development and delivering unique selling points, such as Fairtrade,” adds Chadwick.And he has a message for potential suppliers . “For any bakeries or manufactures wanting to supply our stores, approaches need to be via phone in the first instance, followed up by emails, detailing company structure and financial information.” n—-=== Vital statistics ===WHO: stuart chadwickWHAT: bakery buyer, ambientpackaged cakesWHERE: the co-operative group—-=== What is the Co-op? ===The Co-operative Group has 3,000 outlets in its family of businesses with a turnover of £7.3bn in 2006. This includes the group’s biggest division, Co-operative Food Retail, with more than 1,700 food stores, which had a turnover of £3bn in 2006.last_img read more

ADM forced to raise flour price

first_imgADM Milling has announced a flour price increase of £18.20 per tonne. The rise will be effective from 1 September, 2008.Ian Pinner, ADM managing director, told British Baker that the increase was an essential requirement to address the significant rise in costs that had occurred since September 2005, when ADM Milling last sought to recover an element of increased operating costs.He said: “Over the past three years, our business has been faced with ever-increasing operating costs, particularly diesel fuel and electricity, as well as other general operating costs. The efficiency improvement programmes we have implemented have provided some shelter from these costs over the years, but we cannot continue to absorb them into our business.”The price of mineral oil alone has increased dramatically from $60 a barrel since July 2005 to the current price of $145. Subsequently, diesel fuel prices have increased some 50%, which considerably affects the cost of our deliveries.”He continued: “In addition to diesel fuel increases the cost of electricity over the same time has increased by a staggering 240%, with forward prices forecast to be higher still, which has had a dramatic effect on the conversion costs of flour manufacturing.”Pinner said that ADM Milling, with nine mills across the UK, would continue with efficiency improvements “to provide its customers with the highest levels of quality and service”. The increase translates to around 29p on a 16kg sack of flour.Two weeks ago, Alex Waugh, director general of the National Association of British and Irish Millers, said that steeply rising energy prices and other costs had impacted seriously on the grain and milling industries.—-=== In Short ===== Research prize ==Students from across the globe were given the opportunity to present papers and posters about their research at the recent ICC Cereal and Bread Congress 2008, in Madrid. Student Emma Lynch (pictured), from University College, Cork, received BakeTran’s prize for best student poster from Stan Cauvain, director of BakeTran.== More PR for Drench ==Britvic is launching a PR campaign to drive further awareness of its spring water brand Drench. The drinks company is launching the Drench Brain Gym – designed to give the brain a work-out and “enhance mental fitness”. The website – at [http://www.staydrenched.co.uk] – will pick up on the Thunderbirds theme from the brand’s television ad campaign.== Bakery fined ==The owner of Burgate Bakery in Faversham has been fined £7,250 plus costs after Environmental Health Officers found it breaching food hygiene regulations. It was also convicted of nine offences at Sittingbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, 14 July, following an inspection in February this year.== Tony Phillips ==British Baker columnist Tony Phillips has been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Full tests are being carried out this week. Readers are asked not to phone but to send any cards for Tony and his wife, Barbara, to their home address if known or get in touch with British Baker.last_img read more

Fords Bakery is rescued from administration

first_imgScullions Wholesale Bakery, a subsidiary of the McGhee Group, has bought fellow Scottish firm Fords Bakery out of administration, saving 87 jobs.The East Lothian bakery faced severe cash flow problems and found it hard to cope with rising costs for raw materials, said administrators KPMG. As a result, 26 staff at the company were made redundant along with another 41 who worked at its stores.Fords – which had an annual turnover of £5m – supplies supermarkets, foodservice companies and independent bakeries in East and Central Scotland with bread, cakes and confectionery. As part of the sale, all of its remaining employees will transfer to Scullions, which will continue to service Fords’ existing direct delivery customers and supermarkets including more than 100 Co-operative stores.Scullions Wholesale Bakery employs 220 staff at its site in Glasgow and said the sale would strenghten its presence in Scotland.For the full story see the 2 July issue of British Baker.last_img read more

Rank Your Top 10 Fave Performances from NBC’s Hairspray Live!

first_img View Comments The Broadway.com staff is crazy for Culturalist, the website that lets you choose and create your own top 10 lists. Every week, we’re challenging you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank.NBC’s Hairspray Live! broadcast was big, blonde, beautiful and full of legendary performances! Harvey Fierstein’s triumphant return to the role of Edna, the entire cast’s marvelous moves and, of course, the new songs and homage paid to old favorites were just a few of the highlights from the eagerly anticipated televised event. Before you watch it again, begin the quest for your own version of Jennifer Hudson’s gold jumpsuit or start obsessing over mastering all of the choreography, we want to know which musical number you loved the most. Broadway.com Editorial Assistant Lindsey Sullivan started the Culturalist Challenge beat with her top 10. Run and tell us your picks!STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites.STEP 2—RANK & PUBLISH: Click “rearrange list” to order your selections. Click the “publish” button.Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list.Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results next week on Broadway.com! (Photo: Brian Bowen Smith/NBC)last_img read more

HARD EXERCISE WORKS: It never gets easier, it gets better!

first_img I am 49. For the greater part of my life, I was fit. I averaged about 5-6 mile runs four days per week, taught tons of boot camp-style classes at various gyms and did a ton of core. But at 38, I tore my Posterior Cruciate Ligament and started a PhD program. These two events interrupted my exercise regimen, to say the least, and I basically quit doing everything besides an occasional hike. I gained weight, lost muscle and lived for pumpkin bread and cappuccino. What motivated me to sign on with BRO for the fitness challenge was when a dear friend and avid runner was diagnosed with cancer and unable to work out because chemotherapy made her so sick. I decided I could do anything if she could endure cancer, and I signed up for a month at Hard Exercise Works (HEW) in Asheville, North Carolina.Old, out of shape, and addicted to Netflix marathons, I thought for sure I was out of my league when I entered the gym. The only thing I knew about the place was that my daughter had trained at HEW religiously before attending plebe summer at the United States Naval Academy to prepare for military-style workouts, and she LOVED it! I started the class the day after Memorial Day weekend. I was terrified on Day 1. Steps, kettle bells, jump ropes, weight balls and rowing machines lined the walls, visible signs of what was in store! Along with a pre-workout waiver I was asked to submit a food diary of what I had consumed the previous three days. As it was a holiday, I was horrified as I documented the disgusting things I put in my mouth over the weekend. The staff reviewed the information and offered some nutrition counseling after the workout that was well received, despite my utter horror that someone actually knew how unhealthy I could be! When Kelly asked to take my measurements—a great way to gage the impact of the program—I refused since I had engaged in extremely unhealthy holiday celebrations. She was so forgiving and accommodating and offered to take measurements later. This relieved my anxiety and ramped up my enthusiasm for the workout.MY FIRST CLASSThe HEW workout facility is bright, open and clean. Part of the warm up takes place outside on a marked asphalt course behind the building marked at 100, 200, 300 and 400 meters. The gym is split into two levels to accommodate large classes. There are typically four circuits set up so that everyone is able to do a station without having to wait. It looks like a traditional gym but with tons of light and mirrors across the walls. During my first class there were over 20 people in attendance. It was an evenly split between males and females. Most were in their 20s-40s and ranged from super fit to beginners.  There were two men over the age of 60. The class lasted about one hour and was set up as four circuits that included sit-ups, kettle bell swings (various weights are set up to accommodate the different levels of fitness), barbell dead lifts to curls (various weights again), and squats with one arm held straight overhead with a weight.There was a huge timer set to accommodate 30-second cycles where eight reps of each exercise were expected. After each circuit, the class went outside for 400-meter sprints. The sprint was very difficult for me.At the end we stretched. During the workout, numerous people encouraged me with chants of “you got this” and “great job” that made the experience much more enjoyable. The best part of the class was the timer on the wall that beeped when the circuit set was over. It allowed me a few seconds of rest before the next set began.The most unique aspect of the fitness program was the lack of monotony and the speedy nature of the workout. It was over in what seemed like a few seconds!My friend Chakara Dickerson was in the class. She had attended HEW for six weeks and lost over 2 inches in her waist. She also completed the MURPH challenge over Memorial Day Weekend. This is a HEW annual event where the individual runs 2 miles, does 100 pull ups, 200 sit-ups and some other terribly hard things. She completed it and felt amazing! The instructor was terrific! Arnauldo Alvarez, the owner of HEW, met with me prior to class and explained what I would be doing. During the class, he talked to individuals, checked on form, encouraged the stragglers and really motivated the class to reach its potential. He was helpful as I struggled to do all of the circuits and often yelled, “great job, Mary.”His assistants were exceptional as they walked about checking on form and bolstering enthusiasm by turning up the music and engaging with clients. Luke Kimlinger and Jesse Redinger assisted with the class, demonstrated proper form and checked to make sure participants used correct technique, consumed plenty of water, and had a great time. “You want to push yourself but not push past yourself, meaning you want to be the best version of yourself,” states Redinger, who has worked at HEW for the past four years. “The coaches are here when you’re not quite sure on form or technique. The support of the coaches will give you that extra confidence that you need to kind of tackle things that you typically wouldn’t.” According to Redinger, the most rewarding part of her job is empowering people through fitness and watching individuals transform with the support of the HEW community. HEW holds events where members meet for trivia nights at local bars and other social gatherings. It is a community where members support and encourage each other to reach their potential. HEW offers ten classes per day during the week, two classes on Saturday, and is closed on Sunday, so there is really never an excuse not to go. It is a weighted/cardio mix that is managed by an instructor who constantly switches up the circuits, so you really feel like you have accomplished something without being too exhausted at the end of the workout. The pre-workout nutrition counseling and measurement review was extremely helpful as I moved forward into this month-long fitness program.Anyone who is interested in building strength while gaining a huge community of fellow fitness friends and cardio will love HEW. It is not easy and there are no shortcuts, but the instructors are engaged and encouraging.Never will you do the same workout twice. Modifications are demonstrated and encouraged, especially for beginners. Everyone’s level of fitness at HEW is different in every class. No matter your fitness level, the group encourages each other, and the instructors support and assist you the entire time. What I have learned is that I am not as out of shape as I thought and that community definitely matters. last_img read more

Hundreds line up outside Endicott DMV

first_imgSpeaking to those waiting, several complimented the efficient and helpful manner of DMV employees checking on people in line. “They’ve been looking at our paperwork, making sure we fill it out right, and I appreciate that because I did mine wrong, but they fixed it for me,” said Kayla Schermerhorn. Many people waited well over an hour in line, some saying they arrived as early as 6:30 a.m. ENDICOTT (WBNG) — Hundreds of people lined up outside the Endicott Department of Motor Vehicles office for its reopening Monday morning.center_img The Endicott location opened after being closed for in-person transactions due to the coronavirus. Broome County Clerk Joseph Mihalko asks if you don’t need to go to the DMV right now, please wait, this way those who have been waiting for months can process their transactions first.last_img read more

At Liberty

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​Asset managers must align with shareholder interests on ethics – survey

first_imgThe survey said there was “little doubt” that sincere attempts were being undertaken to bring about change in the way the financial industry conducts itself – largely led by industry-wide bodies.“A number of deep-rooted tensions, however, will make creating a strong culture a big challenge for the industry over the coming years,” the survey added.“While executives champion ethical conduct, they struggle to see the benefits of greater adherence to ethical standards, reporting that, in reality, it can hamper career progression in the industry as well as the firm’s competitiveness,” it said.The survey concluded executives still did not see the benefit of regular inter-departmental understanding as a means of improving performance.John Rogers, president and chief executive at the CFA Institute, said the industry still had “further to go on its journey” to improve ethical standards.“If we are to move the industry forward, it is incumbent upon everyone within the industry to align their personal and organisational values with those that serve client, shareholder and societal needs,” he said. “Aspiring to adopt these values will create more resilient firms and a stronger future for finance.”,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to ‘A Crisis of Culture’ report More than half of executives at asset managers, insurers and other institutional investors believe flexibility on ethical standards is required to guarantee career progression.A survey sponsored by the CFA Institute found that more than two-thirds of respondents – working also in the banking and fund management sectors – said their companies had raised awareness of the importance of ethical conduct by all its employees.It also found that 56% believed improved ethical conduct would enhance the firm’s ability to withstand “unexpected and dramatic risks”.However, almost the same amount of respondents – 53% – agreed with the statement that adhering to technical standards too strictly risked stunting career growth.last_img read more

Offshore Wind Consultants coming to South Korea

first_imgAs reported in 2018, South Korea’s Renewable Energy 3020 Implementation Plan calls for the development of 12 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. “Offshore wind is not a major energy source in South Korea today, but we see huge opportunities within both fixed and floating offshore wind installations. Our presence here reflects our ambitions to support the country’s green energy drive,” Cleverly added. Park comes from sister company AqualisBraemar’s Singapore office, where he held a project director role for the past six years. Before that, he spent four years as a project manager at DNV GL and almost 20 years with Hyundai Heavy Industries. The government announced it aims to reach 30-35% of renewables in its energy mix by 2040, which translates to installing almost 130 GW of renewable energy, compared to the current capacity of around 11.3 GW. “We continue our expansion into key emerging markets such as South Korea. We believe a local presence is central to leveraging our global expertise and providing the best possible local support to wind farm developers,” said Will Cleverly, OWC Managing Director. Offshore Wind Consultants (OWC) is setting up an office in South Korea to support the local offshore wind market. OWC appointed Noh Joon Park to head up its operations in South Korea, based out of Seoul.last_img read more