Sunday, 29 July 2012

Food Business Start-up Boot Camp: London, 15-16 September 2012

Food business expert Monique Borst
Food business expert Monique Borst
A brand new workshop for people dreaming, or at the early stages, of running their own food business comes to London on September 15-16, 2012.

Led by food industry expert Monique Borst, the Food Business Start-up Boot Camp is touring the country this year and comes to Wallacespace Covent Garden at the end of September.

London is home to many innovative and entrepreneurial food businesses from individuals making cakes, pickles and jams to sell at farmers markets to success stories like Neal’s Yard Dairy and The Monmouth Coffee Company.

But starting a food business can be a daunting task ... you need to be aware of all the rules – environmental, health, licensing and insurance – competition is fierce and profit margins are small. You also need a marketing strategy to give your business the best chance of being seen and heard and a realistic business plan.

For anyone starting that journey, or people with a fledgling business who are wondering ‘where next’? this Food Business Start-up Boot Camp will be a practical, inspiring and fun weekend. A combination of talks, exercises and a glimpse behind-the-scenes of a local food producer and retailer.

Delegates will:
• Increase awareness of their own business environment, including generating a business idea, the best legal structure for your business and understanding what skills, knowledge and personal qualities you need.

• Find out how well they know their market. Learn that your customers really aren’t ‘everyone’.

• Look at costing and pricing their product or service. How do you work out how much to charge? Whether you are selling a product or providing a service this session helps you to decide on a clear structure for your pricing policy,

• Take the time to learn about ways of financing their business and work out when their business will break even? In this session you will complete a personal survival budget and test the financial viability of your business.

• Learn how to stay on the right side of the law: the minimum standards for premises, personal hygiene and food safety, licensing, insurance.

• Learn how to control your business: get a grip on the records you need to keep and how to manage overheads

Monique is a great facilitator: calm, funny & credible. I thoroughly enjoyed and benefited hugely from her "Food Business Start-up Boot Camp"!

Food Business Start-up Boot Camp, 15-16 September 2012
£295 per person including all refreshments and a delicious local lunch
Venue: wallacespace, 2 Dryden Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9NA

About Monique Borst
Monique is passionate about good food, made and sold with integrity and imagination. She brings a practical, business focused perspective on the niche food sector and start-up knowledge. She has over 20 years experience in the food and retail sectors and worked with companies like Harrods, The John Lewis Partnership, Waitrose and clients including House of Fraser, Blenheim Palace and Knebworth House as well as a number of smaller, independent food retail and food service clients on food strategy, improving sales and profitability, developing products ranges and menus. Monique’s clients are very honest about the fact that the reason they chose to work with her is because they either simply don’t have the time, expertise or confidence as an owner to make the decisions to really drive their businesses forward on their own. Monique is an independently selected member of The Future 500, a network for rising stars across the UK.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Louis Tomlinson Birthday Cake for Eleanor

London cake makers The Cake Store got overloaded with Twitter followers after Louis Tomlinson, from One Direction, ordered a cake for his girlfriend Eleanor Calder, who was 20, yesterday.

He ordered it last week and they delivered it at 12 noon, yesterday, and the happy couple answered the door to their delivery driver.

The amazing Birthday cake was presented to Eleanor, who was reportedly overwhelmed.

Louis Tweeted a big thank you to The Cake Store who have since been inundated with interest.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Swap your burger for a bag of nuts and help save the planet!

The UK is being urged to go nuts for the environment by swapping burgers for bags of nuts on Monday October 22nd to celebrate National Nut Day.

National Nut Day in the UK is promoted by Liberation Foods CIC, the pioneering farmer-owned Fairtrade nut company. October 22nd is well-established as National Nut Day in the USA and the organisers want Britain to ‘go nuts’ in the same way!

This year’s focus is on switching to nuts to help the environment.  If we in the UK eat less meat and highly processed veggie foods – our planet will benefit.. This will keep a lid on greenhouse gasses and won’t use up our valuable land resources.

For people who already eat plenty of meat and dairy products such as most people in rich countries, nuts and ‘nutty’ legumes – like Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts and walnuts - are a good nutritional alternative to meat says Dr Donal Murphy-Bokern, independent agri-environmental scientist and author of several studies on food system impacts. 

“One of the keys to sustaining our planet is for those of us in the richer half of the world to switch some meat consumption to relatively unprocessed plant-based products such as nuts,” says Dr Murphy-Bokern.

“For every calorie consumed, the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of the meat and dairy component of our diets is nearly four times that of plant-based components. 

“Cattle and sheep release large quantities of methane gas as they digest their feed. And livestock generally require 4 – 8 kg plant protein in their feed for every kilogram of protein produced.  The overall result is that much more resources are used in meat-based diets, and very significant pollution problems are caused to our air and water by livestock farms.”

Dr Murphy-Bokern believes that when we reduce our meat consumption we often tend to replace some of it with other high protein foods such as nuts.

Both meat and nuts have the pleasant savoury taste described by the Japanese as umami – the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

“Just as we seek some sweetness in diets, it is reasonable to speculate that people naturally migrate from one ‘umami’ taste to another, so when cutting down on meat they are likely to transfer to nuts or another umami food,” says Dr Murphy-Bokern. 

“Using plant-based ingredients high in umami is a feature of traditional cuisines which are low in meat.  Reducing meat consumption by half in the average ‘western’ diet is not difficult - and nuts are a high protein and environmentally friendly option.”

National Nut Day celebrates all that is great about eating nuts. As well as being a delicious snack and cooking ingredient, nuts are:
  • Highly nutritious – a source of vital fatty acids, omega fats, protein and many vitamins and minerals.
  • Good for the environment – switching our main source of protein from meat to nuts whenever we can helps to reduce carbon emissions. In addition the trade in Brazil nuts helps to preserve the Amazon rainforest.
  • Good for the soil - legumes such as peanuts bring vital nitrogen to replenish  the soil as they grow.
  • Good for our health – the UK Government’s Chief Medical Officer says 18,000 premature deaths from heart disease would be avoided every year if we cut our meat consumption by half. Nuts are a good value form of protein which can help us do this.
  • –Available as Fairtrade! UK nut lovers can now buy Fairtrade Brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts, walnuts and almonds in many supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose plus other outlets.. This means the farmers and gatherers are protected by the guaranteed fair deal which comes with Fairtrade.
Visit the UK National Nut Day website for more information about our activities:

National Nut Day is supported by The Vegetarian Society, The Vegan Society, Sustain – the alliance for better food and farming, the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and more.

Celebrity supporters include chef, broadcaster and food writer Allegra McEvedy, foodie and home expert Aggie MacKenzie and peanut devotee Harry Hill.

(EDITOR: That's Food and Drink would like to add a word of caution: If you have a medical condition (diabetic, an allergy condition, etc.) it is advisable to seek medical advice before commencing on any dietary change, no matter how well-meaning, as outlined in this article.)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sainsbury's Increases Price Paid To Dairy Farmers

Sainsbury's is bucking the trend by increasing the price paid to British dairy farmers through the sustainable Cost of Production (COP) model. From 1st July, the standard litre price will rise to 30.56ppl.

Following a majority vote in April, the model is designed to reward Sainsbury's Dairy Development Group (SDDG) farmers for outstanding animal welfare and environmental standards. With the price currently sitting at 30.30ppl, one of the unique elements of the COP is the quarterly review of feed, fuel and fertiliser. This will ensure that the most volatile elements of costs will be reviewed every quarter and the COP milk price changes to reflect these varying costs, in turn ensuring a fair deal for the 324 farmers involved.

Alice Swift, Agriculture technologist at Sainsbury's said: "While input costs continue to be so volatile for farmers, we're pleased to show that the model is delivering a fair price for everyone whilst most importantly being sustainable for the whole supply chain.

The COP model was developed to be transparent and robust for our farmers however this is also good news for customers who want Sainsbury's to do the right thing on their behalf."

Mansel Raymond, NFU Dairy Board Chairman continues: "Farm gate costs of production are currently over 30ppl, and rising. With this in mind I'd like to congratulate Sainsbury's, whose cost of production model, which reflects feed, fuel and fertiliser inflation, will be awarding a price increase to farmers from 1st July.

"Dairy farmers need a sustainable future; further price cuts will jeopardise this and be met with real anger."

The first quarterly review uses data from Dairy Co Datum which will affect the Sainsbury's milk price from 1st July 2012. The model was developed with independent consultants to suit all Sainsbury's farm types and sizes and ensure their sustainability and profitability in the long term.

Sainsbury's 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan
  • By 2020, Sainsbury's will source all key raw materials and commodities sustainably to an independent standard. The plan also includes doubling our British sales, being number 1 for animal welfare and putting all waste to positive use.
  • Sainsbury's has supported British farming for 140 years and we continue to work collaboratively for the best solutions on price, animal welfare and carbon efficiencies. This year marks the 5th anniversary of Sainsbury's Dairy Development Group. Sainsbury's now also has farmer Development Groups across Pork, Beef, Lamb, Cheese and Wheat
  • The model is implemented across farmers of Wales, England, Scotland.