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  • Press release: David Mundell to promote Scottish interests abroad

    first_imgIn Hong Kong, Mr Mundell will meet Scottish companies seeking to develop business interests in Hong Kong and the region, Scottish students studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as meeting winners of the annual UK Government’s Hong Kong FinTech Awards.In Japan he will meet with life sciences investors, host a roundtable with Japanese MPs on LGBT issues, and meet with senior Government ministers. Scotland has long established connections with Hong Kong and Japan and I am looking forward to building on those ties and forming new partnerships as I meet a variety of stakeholders throughout this trip – from businesses and opinion formers to Scottish students abroad. I am particularly keen to promote the UK Government’s GREAT Festival of Innovation taking place in Hong Kong in March offering the latest thinking on innovation across industry, society and community, building life-long partnerships. I will also be promoting Scottish produce, such as Scottish craft gin which has been a global success story, and is extremely popular in Japan, and meeting with the Japanese investors in Scotland. Scotland’s skills, products and services are highly regarded globally, and we can build on that as we leave the EU and strike ambitious new trade deals around the world. Mr Mundell will meet senior political and business figures, to promote Scotland as a great place for investment, business and study.Mr Mundell said:last_img read more

  • Press release: Minister hears from farmers at Royal Cornwall Show

    first_img Farmers and food producers value this opportunity to voice the challenges and opportunities that leaving the EU will present direct to the heart of government. The recent Health and Harmony consultation looking at the future of agricultural policy in the UK has highlighted the role that farming plays in producing food, maintaining and enhancing the environment and contributing to the rural economy, but a viable and profitable sector depends on much more than this. Clarity on the future of seasonal and permanent workers within the supply chain, certainty about trade deals within the EU and beyond, and meaningful measures to support top quality, traceable and dependable domestic food production are all needed. Alex Stevens, regional policy manager for the South West NFU (National Farmers’ Union) said: It was great to visit the Royal Cornwall Show today and see the very best of what this impressive county has to offer. I listened to farmers and fishermen about the challenges and their hopes for the future. I assured them that this Government is working hard to make sure the labour needs of the agriculture sector are met once we leave the EU and that we will deliver a profitable and sustainable fisheries industry in the best interests of the whole of the UK.center_img Minister without Portfolio Brandon Lewis met with farmers at the Royal Cornwall Show today (Thursday, 7 June) to discuss the impact and opportunities of Brexit on the farming industry.Leaving the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allows us to decide our own farming policy for the first time in more than forty years, including a new system of paying farmers for protecting the environment and investing in sustainable food production.The Royal Cornwall Show is one of the biggest agricultural events in the area – showcasing the best in local produce and local business. The Minister heard firsthand from farmers in the county who are often reliant on seasonal workers due to a large number of market gardens and flower farms. The Government recognises the concerns of farmers as we prepare to leave the EU, given the current reliance on EU workers, and is working closely with industry to monitor the latest data on labour supply and demand, including both permanent and seasonal labour.Fishermen and fishing industry representatives also spoke to the Minister on his visit to Cornwall’s second largest port, Newlyn, about how they think the fishing industry in the area may be affected by the UK leaving the EU.Brandon Lewis, Cabinet Office Minister without Portfolio, said:last_img read more

  • Press release: FCO statement on UN action against breaching sanctions on North Korea

    first_imgAn FCO spokesperson said: Further information Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook For journalists Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIncenter_img Media enquiries Email [email protected] The UK welcomes the announcement by the UN’s 1718 Committee that it has listed three vessels for engaging in sanctions evasion. The vessels, the Shang Yuan Bao, New Regent and Kum Un San 3, are subject to deflagging and a port entry ban. Their activity demonstrates that North Korea continues to flout UN sanctions through prohibited ship-to-ship transfers. The UK is contributing to the enforcement of UN sanctions through monitoring and surveillance activities to detect and prevent illicit ship-to-ship transfers in partnership with Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. We are also concerned that recent US assessments indicate that North Korea has breached the UN-mandated cap on imports of refined petroleum through illicit transfers and we therefore call on all Member States to halt all sales and transfers of refined petroleum to North Korea. Full enforcement of UN sanctions is vital to ensure we achieve the goal of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea as agreed by the UN Security Council.last_img read more

  • Press release: Bristol car thief’s sentence ‘unduly lenient’

    first_imgA man who carried out a series of violent offences has had his sentence increased after the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred it to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient.Aaron John Scrase, 20, and an accomplice attempted to steal a Porsche from a drive in St Hilary Close, Bristol. When the owner confronted them, Scrase attacked him with a wrench. The pair later stole a Mini, and used this to rob a cyclist of his belongings. On another occasion, Scrase stole alcohol from a shop on a petrol station forecourt and, when a member of staff intervened, joined his accomplices in punching and kicking him. He was also sentenced for separate offences of car theft and a burglary at a newsagents.Scrase was originally sentenced at Bristol Crown Court in August, where he was given 1 year 11 months detention in a Young Offender Institution. Today, after the Solicitor General’s referral, the Court of Appeal increased his sentence to 4 years 6 months detention.Commenting on the sentence increase, the Solicitor General said:“Scrase carried out a number of offences, terrorising victims in the Bristol area. It is important that crimes like these are not taken too lightly. The Court of Appeal’s decision today makes that clear.”last_img read more

  • Press release: Readout of PM call with Prime Minister Modi: 25 May 2019

    first_img The Prime Minister spoke to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to congratulate him on his success in the election. The leaders agreed that the election was a significant exercise in democracy and that the authorities should be commended for delivering it so efficiently. They also discussed the upcoming Cricket World Cup which the UK will host in June and July, and the passion for the sport that is shared between our two countries. Both leaders looked forward to continuing the close cooperation between our countries, including at the G20 Summit in Osaka next month. A Downing Street spokesperson said:last_img

  • New look for Hovis as bread sales nudge up

    first_imgPremier Foods – the parent company behind the Hovis brand – said this morning its bread would soon get a new “packaging redesign” as it unveiled a first quarter increase in sales of 0.8%.The company, which has placed Hovis as one of its so-called Power Brands, said it was continuing with a major restructuring of its bread business and that its market share for bread was “broadly unchanged”.Premier said its total sales, excluding milling, were £327m, up by 1%, and that branded sales had increased by 2.2%. Its Grocery Power Brands increased 3.5%, and had improved for the fifth successive quarter.It said: “The bread business is focusing on a major restructuring programme during this year, with the closure of three bakeries, two distribution centres, a mill and a significantly reconfigured logistics network. This programme is on track, with the closures of the Eastleigh bakery and Glasgow mill having been completed in the first quarter.”It said that savings from the restructuring programme were expected to offset the margin lost from the previously announced £75m contract loss, which is expected to take effect by the end of April. Its bread business will also move to its High Wycombe offices in the third quarter of this year.Gavin Darby, chief executive, said: “I am pleased to report continued momentum in our Power Brands in the first quarter. This represents the fifth successive quarter of sales growth for our Grocery Power Brands, demonstrating that our strategies of investing in marketing and improving customer collaboration are working. Five of our Power Brands have been on TV in the past weeks, with more to come in the second quarter.“The restructuring of our bread business remains on track while the benefits of the previously announced £20m of overhead cost savings in 2013 are being delivered.“Despite a continued challenging consumer environment, I believe we have the right strategies in place to make further progress this year, with expectations unchanged.”last_img read more

  • Real Good Food Company dispute to be resolved in July

    first_imgThe dispute between The Real Good Food Company (RFGC) and British Sugar should be resolved by early July, British Baker has learned.The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is handling the complaint by RFGC, is still considering the issue and gathering information from the two companies.Earlier this year, Napier Brown, the refining sugar arm of RFGC, made a complaint “alleging an abuse of a dominant position by British Sugar”, to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).RFGC subsequently warned that the ongoing dispute would hurt its underlying profits.Details of the row were first reported on 22 February when RFGC said “there would be a significant impact on the company’s results for the 12 months” ended last March.As the matter remains unresolved, RFGC expects its EBITDA to be approximately £3.3m for this period.Maintain structurePieter Totté, the group’s executive chairman, said: “The CMA needs to act in order to maintain a competitive structure in the UK sugar market.”While the complaint is still under review by the CMA, Andrew Brown, the group’s brand and marketing director, told British Baker: “We are not expecting anything until a final decision is made. We have provided the CMA with all the necessary information and we believe we are in a very strong place.”Neither the RFGC nor the CMA were able to provide more information about the nature of the dispute with British Sugar.last_img read more

  • EPP appoints Nicholas & Harris baker as area sales manager

    first_imgEpsom-based bakery equipment supplier EPP has appointed Steve Russell as the company’s area sales manager.Russell, who has worked in the baking industry since he left school, will be responsible for looking after customers and developing the company’s business in the Midlands, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.He will join EPP from his role as an artisan bakery manager at Nicholas & Harris, part of Finsbury Food Group, producing speciality breads, rolls and buns for supermarkets and the foodservice sector.Russell said he is looking forward to the challenges his new role will offer and working in partnership with bakers and food manufacturers.After spending his early working life in a craft bakery, he set up Russell’s The Bakers in Tenerife with his father before moving back to the UK ten years ago to work in a supermarket in-store bakery.Steve Merritt, managing director for EPP, said his experience and knowledge will be of enormous benefit to current and prospective customers.“Our new colleague knows the industry inside out and has been recently involved in building a new artisan bakery,” Merritt said.“His experience of sourcing bakery machinery from silos and mixers to bread and roll plant, ovens, packaging machinery and blast freezers will mean he will be a great asset to our sales team and help us to continue to grow our revenues to record levels.”last_img read more

  • Campden BRI appoints new director of technology

    first_imgFood and drink research company Campden BRI has appointed Chris Huscroft as technology director for its Centre of Technical Excellence (CoTE).In his new role, Huscroft will be responsible for driving the development of technology research and services, and working with members of Campden BRI’s senior leadership team to develop and implement the company strategy. He will lead 70 staff across the technology departments of the company’s CoTE, which includes technology, regulatory and information activities. Huscroft has almost 40 years industrial experience of R&D and product development in bakery and food ingredients. He previously held senior innovation and research roles at CSM Bakery Solutions, British Arkady Company, Pura Foods and Procter & Gamble.last_img

  • Pladis factory staff test positive for coronavirus

    first_imgStock imageWorkers at a Pladis biscuit factory in Leicestershire have tested positive for coronavirus.The business, which owns brands including McVitie’s, is working with local authorities after a number of staff at the factory in South Wigston tested positive for Covid-19.Pladis said the safety and wellbeing of its employees were its number one priority.“We have been actively engaging with local health authorities who are confident that that our site is taking every measure to ensure robust hygiene and social distancing measures are in place,” a spokesperson told British Baker.“We will continue to work closely with local authorities and follow all guidance laid out by the government.”The company also specified the hygiene and social distancing measures that had been in place at the site since March, including:Reducing some production lines to ‘half-lines’ to enable social distancingScreening and social distancing measures, including plastic barriersSignage from entry to exit to remind staff about social distancingStaggering start times to avoid crowds of workers arriving at the same timeIncreasing the number of hand sanitisers throughout the siteEnhanced cleaning throughout the site, with a focus on key touchpoints and weekend closure for deep cleaningRegular staff communications in line with government advice and guidelines, including advising employees of local testing facilities and process for arranging a testAll staff are instructed not to enter the site if they have any symptoms. Pladis employees who are self-isolating receive full pay to ensure they feel no pressure to be at the siteFace coverings have been made available to all staffFour pop-up canteens opened to ensure social distancingAll non-essential meetings and visitors from the site have been cancelled.Last week it was revealed that almost 300 workers at a Greencore sandwich site in Northampton have tested positive for Covid-19.Like Pladis, the food-to-go business is working with local health authorities after the discovery of the outbreak, which follows a rise in cases in the Northampton area.last_img read more