06 July, 2007
As the saying goes 'it never rains, but it pours'. Or if June is anything to go by, it rains, pours, storms and floods, non-stop and without an end in sight.
For a depressingly autumnal mid-summer month the elements have taken their toll, with forward wheat prices rising steeply this week (pg 4). A further increase is nothing to be sniffed at, with breadmaking wheat some £25 over and above last year's price peak.Elsewhere, the disruption to distribution and production of baked goods manufacturers has caused further headaches in those areas worst hit.Maybe the rumbling from the skies could be explained by the switchover from Mr Blair to Mr Brown in the Prime Ministerial hotseat somehow angering the gods. A more plausible, if by no means conclusive, explanation might be the onset of global warming wreaking extremes of weather in the UK.Climate change continues to dominate the corporate agenda and many businesses have their calculators at the ready, totting up the carbon output of products. Fast food chain McDonald's announced that it will be converting its 155-strong fleet of lorries to run on oil used to make Chicken McNuggets this week, potentially reducing carbon emissions by 75%, though hopefully not filling the air with chicken-smelling burps from their exhaust pipes.Private equity has also been in the spotlight of late. Brakes Group, which owns Country Choice, added £1bn to its price tag in just four years - a quite handsome profit margin for its owners, by anyone's standards. Meanwhile, it is revealed that eating a cup of blueberries a day improves your motor skills (Health Watch, pg 6). Anyone who values their brain cells that highly would do well to eat such quantities. But they might suffer a similar fate to Violet Beauregarde from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate factory, who turned into a blueberry.And finally, we are excited to announce that actress Joanna Lumley will be hosting this year's Baking Industry Awards. We hope to see you there.