Finsbury Foods (FF) has seen sales increase by 53.9% to £169m during the year to 30 June 2008.FF’s preliminary results for the year show the company has achieved strong growth in each of its subsidiaries, with like- for-like sales up 13%. Adjusted pre-tax profit stood at £7.7m compared to £4.6m last year.Dave Brooks, who stepped down as chief executive on 29 September, said it had been “a year of achievement” for FF, despite inflationary pressures, with highlights including the acquisition of Yorkshire Farm Bakeries and A&P Foods to form Livwell Ltd, and the transfer of the California Cakes operation to the Hamilton site of the Lightbody Group in July 2007. It was also a year that saw United Central Bakeries return to full operation, following a fire in October 2006.”The future looks challenging, with many macro-economic conditions, such as world commodity prices, exchange rate movements (particularly the euro), and the economic downturn, generally affecting business,” said Brooks. “Challenging periods also provide opportunities for businesses, particularly those nimble enough to react to changes in consumer trends.”Brooks said that, from the beginning of July this year, the company was split into three distinct divisions – cake, bread and free-from – each having its own management team.Newly-appointed chief executive Martin Lightbody agreed with Brooks that, “Challenges such as the current economic climate bring opportunities.”Chairman David Marshall added that the first 10 weeks of the current financial year have seen the upward sales trend continuing.—-=== In Short ===== Balchem opens innovation centre ==New York-based ingredients company Balchem Corporation has expanded its applications laboratory with the addition of a bakery innovation centre. The company said it hoped that the centre in New Hampton would significantly increase its ingredient delivery technology opportunities.== PGI reassures on milk contamination ==Members of the Philippine Baking Industry group have assured anxious consumers that its bakery products don’t contain milk ingredients from China. A number of infants have died and tens of thousands have been hospitalised in China, after drinking milk that contained the toxic chemical melamine.== Giant steps in to recall food items ==US-based Giant Food – which is owned by Amsterdam-based Royal Ahold NV – is voluntarily recalling a number of Giant bakery products, as they could contain nut allergens that have not been declared on the label. The items, including Giant Rainbow Cake and Giant Mundel Bread, were manufactured by Grandma Taylor and sold in Giant’s Bakeshop. To date, no consumers have reported any ill-effects from the products.== Bimbo fined over diesel emissions ==US company Bimbo Bakeries has been fined over $300,000 (£168,600) for failing to test its diesel trucks for excess emissions at 58 of its fleet facilities. The bakery, based in Texas, must send employees to a mandatory class on diesel emissions testing. The company, producing more than 100 branded products, has an exclusive licence to distribute Entenmann’s products in the western regions of the USA.
Coming to the Prowse Farm in Canton, MA, just outside of Boston, the new Festival On The Farm has just announced their initial lineup. The festival is a benefit for the B. Good Foundation, and will run on Saturday, July 30th.The lineup features a number of jam scene favorites, like Turkuaz, The Ryan Montbleau Band, The Motet, The Soul Rebels, The London Souls, Jesse Dee, Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band, Muddy Ruckus and Josh & The Jamtones. There will be a ton of local food and drink vendors on site, as well as plenty of activities for kids to enjoy themselves!For tickets and more information about this new event, head here.
[photo by Sidney Smith] Brandon “Taz” Niederauer has been gaining the momentum he deserves since before even entering middle school. The guitar prodigy was initially recognized by the Internet for his Allman Brothers Band covers when he was only eight years old. When he was nine, he attended a music camp called Roots Rock Revival with founding member and drummer Butch Trucks and then-current bassist Oteil Burbridge. It was there that he impressed the right group of people with his performances of songs like “Stormy Monday” and “Southbound.” Just a few months later, he was invited to sit in with The Revivalists at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York City and wowed the audience with a blistering version of “Whipping Post.” In that same year, he performed for Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen Show, playing a few popular snippets including the Allman Brothers Band’s “Jessica.”When founding member, lyricist, vocalist, and organist Gregg Allman caught site of these videos, he invited the ten-year-old to join him and his band in early 2014 at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida. The plans were initially for Brandon to sit in for “Hot Lanta,” but after a successful soundcheck, Gregg Allman invited Taz to return for a “Whipping Post” encore. See why in the video below:The day after this performance, Brandon Niederauer embarked on his first and only appearance to date on Jam Cruise to perform alongside a boat full of even more of his idols. It was on Jam Cruise that he met Col. Bruce Hampton, a friend and collaborator of the Allman Brothers Band since the very beginning, earning his guidance and mentorship. Niederauer’s success story ever since has been a direct result of these experiences.Stranger Than Fiction: The Cosmic Curtain Call Of Col. Bruce HamptonWhile performing a lead role as guitarist “Zack” in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock The Musical for the last two years, Brandon Niederauer’s name has circulated the jam scene for many more reasons than that. His fate became clear earlier this month when he performed the final solo of “Turn On Your Lovelight” at Hampton 70, while Bruce majestically laid beside him. In what was initially interpreted as a Zambi prank, time made it clear that the “Grandaddy of Jam” had passed the torch to Brandon on that very stage.Brandon’s relationship with the Allman Brothers Band goes far beyond their music. Now engrained as an official part of the band’s history, the fourteen-year-old is utilizing the last several years of mentorship to the best of his ability. See below for some of the posts he’s written since the passing of Gregg Allman, Col. Bruce Hampton, and Butch Trucks.