All through the summer I kept receiving offers from my gas company to sign a two-year deal for a fixed gas price, which would allegedly guard me against any price increases. Being a naturally suspicious person all I could think of was ’what’s in for them?’There were rumours that gas prices would fall and as I would rather believe a rumour than a utility company, I did not sign. Well, as predicted prices have plunged (pg 5). Not that you are seeing the benefit yet. And I am sure they will think of reasons to temper reductions. I expect to see phrases such as ’guarding against the volatility of the market’ or ’demand is keeping prices high’. Yes, greed has the same effect.This week I asked Bev Hughes, MP for Stretford and Urmston, Greater Manchester, to give her view of the Northern Foods bakery closure at Trafford Park where 690 jobs are going. The bakery falls within her constituency and she has been talking to the people affected (pg 11).She makes a point that successive Tory and Labour governments have ignored – “manufacturers cannot sustain current downward pressure on prices without serious impact on jobs and pay”.On the other hand, while governments support supermarkets charging consumers low prices, the supermarkets are inevitably going to keep as much of that low price for their own profit, especially when they are competing so hotly against each other and their results are under such intense scrutiny by the national press, not to mention their shareholders.The government and the Office of Fair Trading must decide: do they want a Supermarket Code of Practice with any teeth or do they want to listen to the heavy lobbying of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents the supermarkets, and continue to do nothing? And MPs, with the exception of Bev Hughes who speaks honestly, must stop wearing two hats on this issue, nodding duplicitiously to both manufacturers and the BRC. There should be enough profit for everyone to make a decent living.Also in this issue Igor Bekaert take us step by step into making a delicious chocolate cake with healthy profit margins (pg 21). And BHS joins the coffee shop boom (pg 14) – with sandwiches made from scratch!
Family-run operation Welsh Hills Bakery triumphed at the South and Mid Wales Chambers Welsh Business Awards in the Success in Overseas Trade category and went on to be named overall winner on the night.The Hirwaun-based business, which supplies gluten-, dairy- and wheat-free cakes and biscuits to countries including Australia and the Middle East, triumphed in the Success through Overseas Trade category for the second year running, before being named overall winner at the ceremony last week (23 February).The 60-year-old bakery was started in 1956 by Aberdare baker Ernest Rule and his wife Ruby. It is now run by the third generation of the same family, employs 82 staff and produces over 80 product lines.Last year the business sold around £5m-worth of products, 20% of which were exports. The first company to supply two major UK supermarket chains (Sainsbury’s and Tesco) with their own brand of gluten-free products, it has since added others to the portfolio including Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons and Holland & Barrett.“Last year, at these awards, we were privileged to win the Success through Overseas Trade Welsh Business Award,” said Julian Cruttenden, commercial head of Welsh Hills Bakery. “To win it twice is overwhelming. The acknowledgement that we were doing a great job encouraged us to focus our efforts even more on the export sector.“In 2016, 20% of our sales were in exports. We are currently in talks with Japan and Dubai and planning to increase that figure by a further 50% in the next 12 months. All this and we are about to appear in a Morrisons advert. This support and validation means the world to us.”
The FMCG Games commenced in 2013 and has featured the biggest companies in the FMCG industry and this year will be no different as companies like Unilever, Nestle, Friesland Campina, Dufil and BUA Group will be participating.This year’s games will last six weeks (weekends only) and will see teams compete for medals in Football, Table Tennis, Athletics, Chess, and Scrabble.The tournament was designed to bring together employees of the FMCG Industry as well as their families and friends in an atmosphere of fun, sporting competition and networking.The FMCG Games is the brainchild of MediaVision Limited – Nigeria’s Leading Sports Marketing Company.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The opening ceremony of the 2016 Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Games will hold on Saturday, May 28, 2016 at the Digital Bridge Institute, Cappa, Oshodi, Lagos.The 3rd edition of The Nigeria FMCG Games is the flagship sporting event of the FMCG sector. The opening ceremony will feature March Past, side-attractions, fan engagement activities, football matches and other sporting events.Speaking on the upcoming event, Chief Operating Officer of MediaVision Limited (Organisers of the event), Jimmy Sogbesan, said: “This year’s edition of the FMCG Games will exceed expectation as several elements have been added to make it more rewarding for the teams, fans and supporters.”