Bakers Journal

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Industry News


September 23, 2008
By Bakers Journal

A look at some of the top industry news stories.

Fleischmann’s introduces price changes
Fleischmann’s Yeast introduced price changes effective the beginning of August, or as contracts expire. Due to ongoing cost increases from its raw material suppliers, the company will guarantee pricing and terms to customers for no more than 90 days. It’s also requiring minimum purchase amounts per order to reduce delivery frequencies.

Fleischmann’s has raised the per-pound price of fresh yeast by $0.10 US and dry yeast by $0.18 US. The company says unprecedented input cost increases on energy, distribution, phosphoric acid and fermentable substrates are the main drivers.

In addition, due to continuing, dramatic increases in raw material costs, Fleischmann’s has increased calcium propionate pricing by $0.12 US per pound. The two primary suppliers to the mold inhibitor industry recently announced dramatic increases on propionic acid, the main component of calcium propionate. The suppliers cited surging energy, feedstock and transportation costs.

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“We are continually working to implement cost control initiatives to minimize customer impact. However, we cannot absorb these unprecedented and unforeseen increases and unfortunately will need to pass along some of the costs to ensure that we do not sacrifice quality or service,” said Greg Strauss, vice-president of sales and marketing, Fleischmann’s Yeast.

Survey to look at Canadians and food allergens
Researchers have launched a national survey project to determine how many Canadians suffer from potentially fatal food allergies.

The survey of 9,000 Canadians across the country will also delve into how effective food labels are in warning consumers about such allergy-causing ingredients as peanuts.

Co-principal investigator Susan Elliott of McMaster University says results of the survey will help Canadian policy-makers take steps to prevent, diagnose and manage allergic diseases.

Elliott says the survey findings will also help companies develop clearer and safer labelling for food products.

The prevalence of serious food allergies is known to be rising in Canada and elsewhere in the world, and scientists are trying to figure out why.

Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and sesame seeds can cause a potentially fatal reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Master-Bilt appoints new reps
Commercial refrigeration manufacturer Master-Bilt has announced the appointment of five additional manufacturer representative groups throughout Canada. The company has also added a new, fully stocked warehouse in Mississauga, Ont.

Joining forces with Master-Bilt to provide additional support in the Canadian marketplace are: The BASK Enterprises in Vancouver; Brent Wells Sales in Edmonton; Copperfield Agencies, Ltd. in Nova Scotia; Simpson Wilson, Ltd. in Winnipeg; and STL Marketing in Quebec. Master-Bilt has had a presence in Canada since 2003 with its current manufacturer representatives: Trillium Sales Marketing, based in Ancaster, Ont.; and Bill Smith Marketing, Ltd. in Calgary, Alta.

“Each of our new Canadian rep groups brings the experience our customers rely on when purchasing refrigeration equipment,” says Bill Huffman, vice-president of sales and marketing for Master-Bilt. “We welcome them to our family and are excited to see how they will strengthen our operations throughout Canada.”

bill_milesIn Memoriam
The Mimac Glaze family lost company founder Bill Miles in July. Bill was a long time member of the Canadian baking industry, serving as both president of the Bakery Production Club of Ontario and chair of Bakery Showcase (from 1970 to 1972). He founded Mimac 30 years ago, after working for both Weston and Standard Brands. He retired from the company in 1990, passing over control of the business to his son Dave, who still runs Mimac, with daughter Marion. A memorial service was held August 1. Expressions of sympathy may be made to a charity of your choice.

Chocolate show set for Montreal
The fourth annual Salon Passion Chocolat & Cie will take place this fall from Nov. 7 to 9 at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal. Quebec’s top artisanal chocolatiers will be present to tempt the public with their exquisite creations.

This year, the exhibition will feature world-famous chef Gérard Joël Bellouet all the way from France. This culinary star, who is a member of the Académie culinaire de France, holder of the Grand Cordon d’or award for French cuisine and author of many books of international acclaim, will preside over the jury in the chocolate pieces competition. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet Bellouet during the various presentations he’ll deliver throughout this three-day extravaganza.

The Salon Passion Chocolat & Cie is a once-a-year event, where chocolatiers from around the province unite under one roof to offer the public an array of exclusive chocolate products.

“On top of the tastings and the opportunity to buy some sumptuous products, the Salon Passion Chocolat & Cie delivers one-of-a-kind activities in a fun and lively atmosphere,” said Isabelle Racicot, spokesperson for the event. “Among them is a chocolate hat fashion show, clothing and accessories made from chocolate, other innovations in chocolate, live demonstrations, competitions, seminars, contests, famous guests, and the list goes on. Suffice it to say, visitors will be treated to plenty of pleasant surprises over the course of three full days.”

To find out more, go to www.salonpassionchocolat.com.
Ottawa threatens enforced trans fat regulations
Fast-food chains are cutting trans fats under voluntary guidelines, but the federal government is threatening to force suppliers of fat-packed baked goods to find a healthier alternative.
Junior health minister Steven Fletcher calls the latest trans fat statistics from Health Canada “great news for Canadians.”

But Fletcher, speaking at a fast-food restaurant in Ottawa, said more must be done.

In June 2007, Ottawa asked the food industry to voluntarily reduce trans fat levels to five per cent of the total fat content of food products and two per cent in vegetable oils and margarine.

Health Minister Tony Clement gave the industry two years to reach these targets and said regulations would be considered if they fell short.

But while restaurants are falling into step, the baked-goods sector remains a challenge. Only a few pastry manufacturers have made strides to reduce trans fat in their products.

“There is a possibility of regulation if industry doesn’t meet the goals that have been outlined by the trans fat task force,” said Fletcher.

“It’s important to highlight the fact that the industry is doing this voluntarily.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation criticized margarine and doughnut manufacturers for their lack of effort to develop healthier options for consumers.

Stephen Samis, the group’s director of health policy, targeted producers of soft margarines, some of which have up to 30 grams of trans fats.

“There is no reason for that and it really is a lack of will, not a lack of ability,” said Samis, who acknowledged that healthier alternatives can come with a price tag, but says the short-term cost is necessary to ensure the health of Canadians.

“The cost of reformulating your product is there and we salute those companies that have made the difference and we’re really concerned about those who are just not moving on it.”
Popular doughnut chains Coffee Time, Robin’s Donuts and Dunkin’ Donuts also made the list of companies The Heart and Stroke Foundation rated as not doing enough to curb trans fats in their products.


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