Great Taste Deli opens at Speciality & Fine Food Fair

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Last year the Great Taste Deli was a honeypot for buyers so this year it has been extended and there will be more tastings over the course of the three days at Speciality & Fine Food Fair at London Olympia on 7th to 9th September.

The most important show in the calendar for buyers of speciality food and the producers who make it, Speciality & Fine Food Fair is a hive of activity over three days with the world’s finest food and drink on offer. One of the most respected logos at the show is round, black and gold with stars emblazoned on it – the Great Taste logo.

John Farrand, MD of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, says, “We had such a great response from buyers and producers last year that the Great Taste Deli has gone big this year! With many more producer tastings taking place and much more space to display Great Taste award-winning products. We are most grateful to www.wbc.co.uk for supporting us again and for allowing us to showcase its latest range of BRIX modular display system.”

Buyers, producers, chefs and everyone working in the speciality food trade is welcome to drop by the Great Taste Deli to taste some of the 3-star Great Taste winners and on Tuesday 9th September. Plans are afoot to have the Great Taste Supreme Champion product on the Great Taste Deli, offering visitors to the show an opportunity to taste the very top product of Great Taste 2014.

European food suppliers reeling from Russian embargo

In reactions to US and EU sanctions against certain Russian goods, the Russian Government in Moscow has imposed a one year trade embargo on a number of specific farm and food products. The effects of which many suppliers across the EU are feeling most keenly.

With the Russian market accounting for a significant percentage of exports, the sudden ban has left many companies in situations where they have a large amount of stock that now needs to be sold to someone else before it rots. What’s worse is that suppliers are unlikely to be able to claim anything back from the Russian companies who have terminated their contracts – because it was due to forces outside those companies’ control.

For many however the loss of long term clients will be the worst aspect. Although the embargo is only planned to be in place for a single year, there is no guarantee the situation won’t worsen. What’s more even after the embargo is over the companies who have lost customers might face stiff competition from other suppliers. In the meantime Russia will no doubt be seeking more goods from Asian or African nations, which could end up replacing EU goods on a long term basis.

What is apparent though is that EU food suppliers affected by the embargo will need to step up their trade relations within the EU and to other continents they might not have entered before. The emphasis for the coming future might come back to “buying local.”

Whisky firm eyes expansion with support from Clydesdale Bank

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Independent Scotch whisky firm JG Distillers is targeting increased growth with support from Clydesdale Bank.

The whisky blender, bottler and exporter, which trades through its wholly owned subsidiary Campbell Meyer and Co, Ltd is investing in new stock after obtaining significant funding from Clydesdale Bank’s West of Scotland Business and Private Banking Centre in Glasgow. The bespoke package includes a revolving credit facility together with general day to day banking support.

Founded in 1991 by Colin Barclay the JG Distillers Group employs 40 staff at its bonded warehouse facility in East Kilbride. The business exports a range of single malt, blended malt and blended Scotch whisky to over 40 overseas markets, including its best-selling blended Scotch whisky brands Barclays, Highland Chief and McIvor. It also supplies a range of Hart Brothers single malts featuring whisky from some of Scotland’s most acclaimed distilleries including world famous Islay distillery Ardbeg.

According to figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association in April of this year, Scotch whisky exports increased by 3% last year and were worth £4.3bn to the UK economy. The fastest growing markets were the US, India and Brazil.

Gerry McSherry, group managing director, says: “Scotch whisky continues to be one of the UK’s major export success stories, accounting for 85% of Scottish food and drink exports and nearly a quarter of the British total.”

“As demand continues to grow overseas we aim to develop new markets and expand within existing markets. Campbell Meyer is currently seeing strongest demand in the US, the Middle East and Latin America, but we supply to many more markets around the world.

“Maintaining our maturing stock portfolio is crucial to building on our success. We are delighted that Clydesdale Bank’s knowledgeable team took time to fully understand the very specific dynamics of our business and tailored a bespoke funding package that will support our growth ambitions over the years to come. The revolving credit facility gives the group medium term funding which marries well with the aging process and forward commitments required to maintain and grow our inventory.”

Neil Berry, West of Scotland Business Development Manager at Clydesdale Bank, said: “We are proud to support JG Distillers Ltd, a thriving, independent Scotch whisky group supplying blended whiskies and malts from its bonded warehouse in East Kilbride to countries all over the world.

“The company’s success is a testament to the experience, drive and expertise shown by Gerry and his team. With a track record of growing exports in key markets such as the US they are in a fantastic position to expand and develop new markets.

“We look forward to working in partnership with JG Distillers and helping the group to achieve their substantial growth plans.”

Brand new ultra-clean cookstove technology due to launch in Europe

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A British family-run start-up is seeking crowdfunding in order to launch brand new eco-technology in the UK and European market.

Fresh from a successful launch in Africa, the Biomass Cookstove is a smokeless cooking contraption, ideal for busy domestic kitchens through to outdoor camping trips, festivals and impromptu barbeques. The device has roots grounded not only in sustainable cooking technology, generating electricity from heat energy which can power a lamp or charge a mobile phone, but was also contrived in order to solve the problems of carbon poisoning, which claims lives widely throughout Africa, where cooking on open flames is a way of everyday life.

A family-run start-up, based in the UK, is looking to introduce its brand new eco-cooking technology to the UK and Europe, after successfully launching the product across Africa in order to provide a clean, cheap and sustainable way to cook without requiring a power hook-up or an expensive fuel supply.

African Clean Energy, the British family-owned start-up which engineered the technology and developed the product, is looking to bring the ACE 1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove to the UK audience as a top-end cooking facility, available for both indoor and outdoor use without any worries about smoke, fuel costs or the negative environmental effects.

Throughout Africa, the product also gained popularity as a means of cooking without the risk of smoke inhalation, a common problem which kills four million people every year, equating to one person every eight seconds. In addition to a life-or-death health solution, the Biomass Cookstove presents a solution for the problems posed by open stove cooking for the environment; a year of cooking on an open fire is the equivalent of driving a large SUV vehicle. When considering the scale of open fire cooking in the third world, this problem becomes very real.

Two thirds of sub-Saharan Africa also has no modern energy, so any new cooking technology intending to address the problems of the region is required to function independently and sustainably, in a cheap and efficient manner with safety at the forefront of the design. Many poor families in the region spend up to 25% of their income purely on fuel, with women and children bearing the brunt of sourcing the fuel, often taking up to three hours of their day.

Siblings Judith and Ruben Walker saw an opportunity to develop a stove which would create an accessible and clean solution for these problems, by burning biomass. Anything from sticks and cow dung to specially designed biomass pellets would be considered a compatible fuel source, and the heat would be strong and effective. Not only this, the heat energy would also convert the Cookstove itself into a source of electrical power.

Not only has this revolutionised cooking throughout the sub-African continent, the opportunity to bring the Biomass Cookstove to the UK has now arisen. With a sleek and modern contemporary design, the stove can be used indoors or outdoors, in public areas such as festivals or on patios for effortlessly smoke-free barbeques.

In order to fund this expansion, Judith and Ruben are set to launch the venture on Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding platform, on 1st September.

Judith says: “Initially, we put all of our time and effort into working out exactly how we could develop this technology which would really apply to everyday use for people in sub Saharan Africa. We didn’t want to come up with a short term fix; we wanted to create something that would trigger change for these people and make an honest difference to help them break the cycle of poverty. We’re proud to have found an outcome that means we aren’t asking people to change their own culture or lifestyle, just creating an option that removes the damage being caused now.”

She continues: “What we have subsequently realised is that we have actually got some great technology here which doesn’t just have to be limited to those in poverty in Africa. It can work over here in the UK; there’s world-wide appeal for a cool, sleek, eco-cooking gadget which means you don’t have to spend the summer coughing over a smoky barbeque. You can even plug in your phone charger or lamp at the same time!

“It’s ideal for camping, festivals or even just as a spare cooking appliance to keep around the house. We feel that there’s definitely a huge potential to bring it back to the UK and let the British market enjoy it! We just hope we can get some great investors on board, as that is what will make or break this new venture and give us a chance to really get this off the ground.”

Cobalt Systems

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Part of the Harland Systems Group, Cobalt Systems provide print and apply excellence.

New feature rich Cobalt Nexus Printer Applicators are backed by a comprehensive three year warranty on component and consumable parts. The advanced functionalities include…
Label formats and data stored locally – an integrated colour touch HMI has label print software and stores a full product database.
Barcode quality verification on print – Sentinel onboard for barcode verification during print cycle and post application validation
Improved Operation & Support – advanced web control and intelligent liner rewind. Connected for remote diagnostics, service monitoring and active adjustments from behind a desk

Join the Cobalt Systems team at the PPMA Show for a demonstration.

Cobalt House, Arden Square, Crewe Business Park, Crewe CW1 6HA
Tel: +44(0)1270 539800
Email: sales@cobaltis.co.uk
www.coballt-hsg.com

Stand G50

Atwell Labellers

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Established in 1988, Atwell’s have grown over the years to be the UK’s leading independent supplier of self-adhesive labelling systems. Atwell systems are engineered to be easy to operate whilst being reliable and efficient.

Atwell invest a considerable amount of time and energy into understanding their customers’ needs so they can support them to the best of their ability, combined with a program of system development and re-investing in the future. Atwell build label applicators to suit pretty much any environment and application, including one off bespoke machines incorporating fully programmable IP55 & IP65 label heads available for the UK and export marketplace.

For more information, visit the new website at www.labeller.co.uk and see why Atwell’s are the country’s leading independent supplier in their field.

Tel: 01444 239970
Technical Helpline: 01444 237804
Email: sales@atwell-labellers.co.uk
www.labeller.co.uk

Stand F43

Advanced Engineering

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With in excess of forty years’ experience, AE Mixers are established as a leader in the design and manufacture of mixing equipment for fluid processing applications. Their range of mixers include top entry batch, sealed bearing, bottom entry, single stage and three stage inline high shear rotor stator mixers and fluid mixers.

Manufactured at their purpose built factory in the UK, these mixers are designed to meet specific customer requirements and are available with a selection of precision interchangeable mixing heads to perform essential processes including homogenisation, emulsification, blending, dispersion, solids suspension, solubilisation and particle size reduction. Mixers can be supplied as individual units or integrated with skid mounted process vessels, lifting frames and control panels.

Advanced Engineering offer free on site trials with purpose built test rigs. With off-the-shelf spares, machine repairs and on-site service, AE Mixers provides dedicated support throughout the operational life of the product.

Tel: 01706 759003
Email: info@aemixers.com
www.aemixers.com

Stand D11

Adpak Machinery Systems

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Adpak Machinery Systems are recognised as one of the leaders in packaging technology. Standard shrink wrapping machinery installations are their bread and butter and their reputation for these systems is well respected within the industry. Adpak deal in both new and second hand machinery, and provide full after sales back up for all systems sold.

The speciality of Adpak, however, is in applying the latest technology and innovations to unusual and sometimes difficult packaging problems that arise due to the changing nature of today’s consumer market. All their machines, such as the new BP600 sleevewrapper, offer the versatility and reliability that has become Adpak’s trademark.

Adpak’s pioneering involvement within the packaging industry over the last few years has led to a long list of satisfied clients – large, medium and small.

Tel: 01282 601444
Email: info@adpak.co.uk
www.adpak.co.uk

Stand C10

Contract catering firm scoops gold

East-Anglian contract catering firm Edwards & Blake are delighted to have won a Gold Food for Life Catering Mark Award for their catering at Neatherd High School, Dereham, Norfolk.

The Soil Association’s Gold Food for Life Catering Mark Award is presented to caterers who demonstrate they meet the high standards of provenance, quality and preparation and provide food that encourages pupils to eat healthy, fresh food on site.

By being an accredited Catering Mark holder, Edwards & Blake has made a key contribution to Neatherd High School becoming one of only four secondary schools in England to achieve the wider Food for Life Partnership Gold award, which acknowledges provision of quality food as well as cooking, growing and farm-linked education to pupils and the wider community.

Shirley Edwards, Managing Director of Edwards & Blake says: “We pride ourselves on offering extremely high standards to every school we work with, sourcing all produce as locally as possible and ensuring that a freshly-prepared, healthy meal is available to all pupils who take school meals. We have worked closely with Neatherd High School to develop menus and food that will encourage pupils to eat well and enjoy their food and we are delighted that we have both reached the ‘Gold’ standard”.

Rob Sexton, Chief Executive of Soil Association Certification, says: “The Gold Catering Mark is a fantastic achievement on this scale so it’s brilliant to see Edwards & Blake gaining recognition for serving great fresh meals made with seasonal, local and organic ingredients. Serving menus to Gold Catering Mark standards can significantly reduce carbon emissions and supports local businesses so this is a win-win for planet-friendly food and the local economy. Edwards & Blake is leading the way in the drive to improve food culture in the UK.”

Owned and managed by Shirley Edwards and Caroline Blake, the company is based in Swaffham in Norfolk. It looks after over 85 contracts and has over 500 staff. Edwards and Blake has a turnover of over £14m.

Elegant beverage cups reinforce brand and reduce environmental impact

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Printed in one colour but with an embossed pattern and message, the Invercote cup is extremely elegant and has a far lower environmental impact than plastic cups.

Iggesund Paperboard wanted to test the limits of what is possible and decided to create a large cup with a double-walled construction that is fairly common on the market. The double-walled construction means it is possible to use one material inside the cup and another for the outer wall, which functions as both a heat shield and a brand carrier.

Anna Adler, who is in charge of the project for Market Communications at Iggesund Paperboard, says, “For the cup’s inside we chose Invercote coated with polyethylene and for the outside we used Aluvision, which is Invercote extrusion coated with a thin layer of aluminium foil plus PE on top of the foil. We wanted the metallic feature in order to achieve elegance and shine even though we only printed with one colour, vintage orange.”

The project used an ornamental pattern that framed Iggesund’s Invercote brand. The plan was to cover everything except the pattern with the orange colour and then get the pattern and product name to shine by giving them a raised embossing. The Swiss toolmaker SMR Stanztechnik AG supplied the high-precision embossing tool and the printing was then done by the Italian paper cup specialists SDG.

Iggesund’s Technical Service Manager Alex Guglielmi says, “We did a number of tests to find out how much we should emboss but finally decided to emboss the entire pattern and brand name. It was interesting to see how the embossing made the metallic tones that weren’t overprinted with orange really shine. A real eye catcher.”

Matching the printed and embossed areas was a real challenge. To be certain of avoiding any misregister, it was decided to reduce the number of cup blanks per printed sheet from 27 to 24.

Alex Guglielmi says, “Invercote has fantastic dimensional stability but sometimes it’s better to be on the safe side. Instead of going with 27 we decided to be cautious and only do 24. It’s still a fantastic result for anyone who wants elegance and a visual impression that can convey a brand.”

The paperboard’s printability and ability to be finished to a high level of elegance are not the only reasons why Iggesund believes in a renaissance for paperboard-based beverage cups. Competing materials such as traditional plastic or polystyrene foam cups create a much higher carbon footprint than a cup made of paperboard with a thin PE coating.

Anna Adler says, “A cup made of PE-coated Invercote has a carbon footprint that is scarcely a quarter the size of the one left by the same cup made of plastic – just comparing the weight of the materials used. By that measure alone, the paperboard cup is the clear winner. If you add the existence of efficient recycling systems and the fact that the stored bioenergy can finally be recovered, paperboard is an outstanding choice of material.”

Iggesund perceives long-term business opportunities for such a product, not least in the US, where debates are currently raging over the environmental aspects of polystyrene foam cups. A number of American cities are trying to forbid the use of polystyrene foam materials in beverage cups and catering packs.