Fresh produce

Ocado has reported a pre-tax loss of £12.5M for the year to December 1 2013, despite boosting sales by 17.2%

Ocado profit doubt ‘casts long shadow’ as losses rise

By Michael Stones

Rising pre-tax losses at Ocado, the online grocer and logistics business, are casting “a long shadow over the firm”, according to one retail consultant, as the firm’s commercial director announces his decision to leave the firm.

Lack of investment threatens the UK's leading position in plant science, warns a new report published today

UK plant science in crisis because of skills shortages

By Rick Pendrous

The UK’s world leading position in plant science is in jeopardy from funding shortages and a lack of stable investment in essential skills, a new report from the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF) released yesterday [January 28] warns.

Greencore ceo Patrick Coveney told this website the firm had targeted US sales of $0.5bn by 2019

Greencore benefits from UK convenience and US sales

By Michael Stones

Strong UK convenience store sales and surging US growth have helped chilled food manufacturer Greencore achieve revenue of £320.5M for the 13 weeks to December 27 2013, up by 7.2% on the previous year.

The injured 67-year old worker had been employed by the Mann family for more than 50 years

Potato business pays £4k costs after accident

By Michael Stones

A workplace fall suffered by a 67-year old employee – who had worked for the company for more than 50 years – has led to a £4,000 bill for a Suffolk potato business.

The Watch Out campaign aims to stamp out illegal pesticides in Britain

Illegal pesticides pose serious risk to food businesses

By Rick Pendrous

A campaign was launched last Friday (January 17) to raise awareness about the risks posed by illegal pesticides sold to farmers in the EU, often by organised criminal gangs from eastern Europe that pass off imports from China masquerading as products...

SH Pratt managed to reduce job losses

SH Pratt cuts 86 jobs at Luton fruit plant

By Rod Addy

Fruit firm SH Pratt has confirmed 86 jobs will go at its Luton plant in Bedfordshire after the loss of a major contract to supply supermarket chain Morrisons.

Bakkavor has sold its Spring Valley Foods business in South Africa for an undisclosed sum

Bakkavor sells South African fruit business

By Michael Stones

Fresh prepared foods manufacturer Bakkavor has sold Spring Valley Foods, its South African prepared fruit business, to In2food Group for an undisclosed sum.

Low fruit prices have helped keep consumer price inflation down

Inflation kept low as food price rises slow

By Rod Addy

Low fruit and meat prices between November and December 2013 have helped dampen consumer price inflation, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Continued strong demand for British dairy expected

British dairy ingredients boost Meadow Foods profits

By Nicholas Robinson

Business from food manufacturers has boosted performance at Meadow Foods, executive chairman Simon Chantler said, as the firm revealed 2% growth in the firm’s annual operating profit.

Coveney has faith in the future of Greencore's food-to-go products

Greencore sees growth in ‘food-to-go’

By Rick Pendrous

Greencore is expected to improve its financial performance over the coming year as its new focus on ‘food-to-go’ products both in the UK and US gathers momentum. Most City analysts have predicted a positive outlook for the Irish own-label convenience...

An apple a day keeps the doctor away … and the undertaker, according to new research published in the BMJ

Eating an apple a day could cut 8,500 deaths

By Michael Stones

Eating one apple a day could prevent 8,500 deaths a year from heart attacks and strokes in the over 50s age group, according to a new report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Meat-free meals are on the rise

Flexitarianism to be next ‘mega trend’

By Laurence Gibbons

Flexitarianism will be the next ‘mega trend’ leading to sales of vegetarian foods in the UK to grow by 10% by 2016, according to food trends agency The Food People.

Freeze-drying fruit and vegetables preserves their nutritional benefits

Freeze-dried strawberries keep nutrients, says study

By Rick Pendrous

A study carried out by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, in collaboration with Chaucer Foods – which claims to be the world's largest supplier of freeze-dried fruit – has found that freeze drying strawberries had no significant impact on...

Beware unlicenced gangmasters offering Bulgarian and Romanian workers, food firms have been warned

Beware unlicensed gangmasters employing Bulgarians

By Rick Pendrous

Food and drink manufacturing employers across the UK employing temporary staff have been warned about employing Bulgarian and Romanian workers from unlicensed gangmasters, ahead of immigration rule changes that come into effect in 2014.

Vegetable producer's new pump's attractive advantages

More slurry flow, fewer blockages

AB Produce supplies prepared vegetables to the food wholesale, retail, catering and processing sectors. It decided to install a third EZstrip cake pump from Nov Mono when it was having problems with its system of screw augers, steel collection bins, macerators...

Salad factory to provide 'latest technology' for Worcestershire firm

State of the art salad factory

Equipment supplier Lingwood Food Services has been involved in the development of a state of the art salad factory for Kanes Foods.

The Food manufacturing excellence awards were attended by hundreds of industry professionals

Food manufacturing excellence awards

Food manufacturing excellence awards 2013 – video highlights

By Laurence Gibbons

Hundreds of food and drink industry professionals gathered at the Park Lane Hilton, in London to celebrate the 13th annual Food manufacturing excellence awards, last week (November 21).

Food and drink industry people on the move – in November

Food and drink industry people on the move – in November

By Laurence Gibbons

Len Wardle’s decision to quit his role as chairman of the Co-operative Group this month, amid drug revelations about a former colleague, leads our selection of people on the move in the food and drink industry.

2 Sisters hopes the new vacuum pumps will speed-up cooking time of its ratatouille

2 Sisters to cut energy use at Carlisle site

By Laurence Gibbons

2 Sisters Food Group has installed two new vacuum pumps, designed to cut energy use, at its Cavaghan & Gray ready meal manufacturing facility in Carlisle.

The need for GM crops will be hotly contested as MPs investigate food security

Food security to be investigated by MPs

By Rick Pendrous

The need for genetic modification (GM) is set to be hotly contested, as the House of Commons (HoC) Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee begins a new inquiry into food security.

All the major grocery retailers are working hard to crack down on food waste

Tesco lags rivals in food waste crack down

By Rod Addy

Tesco has moved to crack down on food waste as it emerged it is lagging behind other grocery retailers in the crucial area of bagged salads, according to its own data.

Wingland Foods makes a variety of prepared vegetables and salad dishes

Waitrose demand prompts Bakkavör to create 200 jobs

By Rod Addy

Chilled food manufacturer Bakkavör Group plans to create 200 jobs at its Wingland Foods salad factory at Sutton Bridge, Spalding, in Lincolnshire, prompted by increased business with supermarket chain Waitrose.

SH Pratt distributes conventional, Fairtrade and organic bananas

100 jobs threatened at fruit plant

By Rod Addy

Fruit importer and ripener SH Pratt has begun a 45-day consultation with staff and trades union GMB over proposals to axe more than 100 jobs at its Luton plant in Bedfordshire.

The latest research suggests consumers are buying and eating less fruit and vegetables

UK consumers buying less fruit and veg: IGD

By Rod Addy

Sales of fruit and vegetables continue to go down, despite efforts to encourage shoppers to cut fresh produce waste and eat more cheaply, according to the IGD’s chief economist James Walton.

Fruit processing plant's new solutions

Solution slice and dices aseptic strawberry in syrup

HRS Process Technology has supplied heat exchanger and pump solutions for an aseptic fruit processing plant in California. The system, which includes a DTA-series heat exchanger and a BP8 and BP10 pump, will process four tonnes of aseptic sliced and diced...

Conway: ‘You don't need large-scale private funding to do GM’

Former government advisor backs intensive farming, GM

By Gary Scattergood

The “sustainable intensification” of farming – including the use of genetic modification (GM) – is vital for feeding the developing world and enabling global manufacturers to secure enough raw materials to feed a growing population.

Caiman in Costa Rica could prove a casualty of the world's £10bn banana trade

Bananas could be croc killers in Costa Rica

By Mike Stones

The globe’s £10bn banana market could be threatening crocodile species in central America, warns new research published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Packaged strawberries have yielded fresh results backing the It'sFresh system

Packaging breakthrough hikes fruit shelf-life

By Rod Addy

Retailers and fresh produce processors can obliterate rubbish and extend the time packaged fruit can be displayed in shops by two days, according to research unveiled this week.

US vegetable processor maximises potato output

Get a grip on global supply chain

US vegetable processor Lamb Weston has used SignalDemand’s EnterpriseOptimizer software to maximise output and visibility of its potato supply and capacity.

One Scottish firm has been fined £2,000 for supplying staff to a potato processing and packaging plant without a gangmaster’s licence

Six charged in unlicensed food workers case

By Rod Addy

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) has assisted in the prosecution of six people believed to be involved in human trafficking to supply flower packing and meat processing workers.