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March 2021 Volume 22 Issue 2 gff.co.uk

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

Checking the pulses We look at refillables and other ways the food sector can be kinder to the planet


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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


CONTENTS 5

NEWS

I appreciate the irony of us delivering a zero-waste special to you in a plastic wrap. But it’s not that simple.

12 SHOP TALK 17 CHEESEWIRE

By Michael Lane, editor

24 ZERO WASTE 26 CATEGORY FOCUS: JAMS & PRESERVES, SAVOURY SNACKS, CHOCOLATE & CONFECTIONERY 41 FOODSERVICE 45 SHELF TALK 50 DELI OF THE MONTH 55 GUILD TALK

Something amusing happened while I was interviewing Richard Eckersley, co-owner of the zero-waste shop that is this issue’s Deli of the Month, surrounded by silos of wholefoods and discussing the need for us all to use less packaging. He was telling me about his plans for the trailblazing Devonbased business when in walked his young daughter brandishing a snack bar that most definitely was in some kind of plastic packaging. Rather than ignore it, he pointed it out to me and a nearby customer. Yes, it raised a smile but there was also a serious point. “Nobody’s perfect,” he said, adding that anybody striving for a plastic-free, zero-waste lifestyle is doing exactly that – striving. I know how he felt at that exact moment. It happened to me back in June 2019, the last time FFD tackled the issue of plastic waste. Having drilled down into

the issue and stressed its growing importance to consumers, and hence its importance to our sector, we then sent out the magazine to our entire readership in a clear plastic wrap. Several readers emailed me to point out that the magazine had arrived on their doorstep in it, rather than the compostable starch wrap that more and more publications have switched to. At the time, I held my hands up and acknowledged how we may have been offering mixed messages at best, and hypocrisy at worst. The truth of the matter is that FFD and its publisher the Guild of Fine Food had been looking into viable alternatives back then and we continue to do so. I appreciate the (ongoing) irony of us delivering a zero-waste special to you in a plastic wrap. But, like all of these things, it’s not that simple. One supplier recently told us that many publications are now

returning to the clear plastic that we use because it is better for the environment. Truthfully, it can be recycled, but I can’t endorse the other statement. Nor do I know how much to believe the rumour that starch bags are not being composted like we assume they are. Then there are paper envelopes... If finding the most eco-friendly solution for the magazine is difficult, then the challenges our sector faces are going to be even tougher. I’m not here to preach at you, but I do think it’s right that we’re focusing on the ideal (not the idea) of zero-waste. Throughout this magazine, you’ll hear the view of retailers and producers who are already converted to some degree. So, even if you find it hard to take my polythene-encased word for it, have a read about what people on the ground have to say about how we should all be trying to be a bit more zero-waste.

March 2021 Volume 22 Issue 2 gff.co.uk

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

Checking the pulses We look at refillables and other ways the food sector can be kinder to the planet

Cover image by Michael Lane

FFD’s ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL Wherever you see this logo in this edition, you’ll find articles that deal with topic of zero waste. There’s our main feature, starting on page 24, which is filled with examples of producers and retailers getting to grips with the concept – and making it work. We’ve also looked at zero-waste NPD in Shelf Talk and there are a couple of features looking at food waste, from foodservice and production perspectives (on pages 41 and 21 respectively). We hope this coverage helps to show you why we’re discussing the topic, what is achievable and how it can benefit your business.

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Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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NEWS

Indies hit with price rises and supply issues in the wake of last-minute Brexit deal By Greg Pitcher

Fine food retailers have faced supply problems and pressure on prices after the UK finally started life outside the EU. Firms across the country said they were struggling to get certain products on to shelves and were braced for cost increases after the Brexit transition period ended on 1st January. Jennie Allen, who owns Bayley & Sage in south west London, said she had seen “various issues” following the “very late date of the agreement”. “Some suppliers are playing catch up; one has decided not to bother with the paperwork and to stop bringing goods into the UK,” she said. “There have been some delays, and some lead times have been increased going forward.” Allen said suppliers were warning of future price rises but that Bayley & Sage hoped to keep its own prices stable through the pandemic, mitigating the higher costs through

Supplies have been delayed due to border hold-ups after Brexit

greater volume. Val Berry, owner of Haley & Clifford Delicatessen, said the Leeds outlet was struggling to get hold of various cheeses from the Continent. “They are sitting on lorries in ports and not getting to us,” she said. “I guess it is down to the paperwork. We are currently awaiting a mozzarella shipment and a couple of weeks ago it was brie. “We have to mark items as out-of-stock on

the website and explain to customers. We try to substitute where we can but how do you replace mozzarella balls? It is a lost sale, as customers will just go to a supermarket.” Although Berry is hopeful that the supply issue is merely a hiccup, she says a resolution is required soon. “We will ultimately have to start looking for more local supplies if it continues. For now, we cross our fingers.” Cheese prices have also risen and been passed on

to customers who have been “very patient”, said Berry. “Life is not normal and people are accepting of change.” Ian Comer, retail director at Birminghambased Becketts Farm, said the shop’s policy of prioritising British produce was paying off. “We buy local fruit and veg and it’s never been so cheap,” he said. “A box of broccoli last Christmas was £25 – this Christmas it was £10. Perhaps it is because the farmers are shifting volumes. “We import dried fruit, sugar and chocolate to our bakery and price rises have been bubbling away for 18 months but there has been no sudden jump.” A Government spokesperson said: “There is extensive advice available to support businesses as they adjust to the new arrangements. It is vital that traders ensure that goods have the correct paperwork to comply with new checks when they cross the EU border.”

Mounting import costs putting pressure on suppliers The administrative burden of the UK’s exit from the EU is adding costs to supplier businesses and prompting a rapid rethink of import strategies, according to a leading figure. Kamil Shah, co-founder of Olive Branch – which imports several products from Greece to the UK – said the Middlesex firm was being hit by charges of up to €120 for each shipment from each location. “We have a lot of products in our range made in different factories across Greece,” he said. “If we have a container with products made in 10 different locations, we will be charged 10 times, so €1,200.

“Where we were lean and agile – consolidating goods from different suppliers on a pallet – that advantage has gone. “We now have to plan, so we have bigger volumes coming over to spread the charge over a larger number of products.” A requirement by UK customs for an environmental health certificate to accompany each shipment of food of animal origin – including cheeses and honey – will add further expense, Shah added. “We are planning to swallow these costs ourselves and not pass them on but time will tell.” Meanwhile importer and distributor, RH Amar said the costs of increased

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT... THE IMPACT OF LEAVING THE EU JENNIE ALLEN OWNER, BAYLEY AND SAGE

“We’re three weeks away from opening a new shop and there’s a delay in getting some equipment into the UK. Everyone is getting used to dealing with the additional paperwork but I think overall it has gone fairly well. We might need longer to assess the impact as suppliers brought in extra stock to cover this early period.” VAL BERRY OWNER, HALEY AND CLIFFORD

“Suppliers tell us they have pallets held up somewhere and they may take a week or longer to reach us. I hope it is a temporary blip while everyone gets used to the new requirements and things smooth out. Our concept is Yorkshire produce so we’re quite well protected. We’ve stayed busier than a normal January.” KAMIL SHAH, CO-FOUNDER, OLIVE BRANCH

documentation due to Brexit would “eventually have an impact on prices”. Chairman Henry Amar said: “Many of our suppliers are currently absorbing these costs in the short term. Others are seeking to charge us amounts up to €100 per

load, to pay for the time needed to process new documentation. “We are resisting these extra charges wherever possible, but eventually the higher costs of trading with the UK will be reflected in our suppliers’ pricing.”

“We are ecstatic that there was a free trade agreement as we can import our goods as normal with no tariffs but some issues have arisen. I feel the situation with extra paperwork has been thrown on us as it all happened at such a tight timeline. We have been thrown in the deep end to learn as we go.”

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NEWS

CYBER CRIME

Government commits to help food & drink SMEs win public sector supply contracts By Greg Pitcher

Ministers are working on plans to create more opportunities for small suppliers of regional produce to win public sector contracts – with a trial set to start in the next 12 months. An official from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told attendees at an online meeting held in January that the government had a “commitment” to increase its use of British small and medium-sized food and drink producers. The department said changes to how food was bought for institutions including prisons, schools and hospitals would remove “significant barriers” for small firms by reducing contract lengths and simplifying procurement processes. The Government is working with the Crown Commercial Service and community interest

Plans to help SMEs gain access to the public sector supply chain are currently being developed by Government

company the South West Food Hub on the Future Food Framework trial for the region. This will start early next year, looking to encourage small suppliers into bidding to provide food to schools and councils. A Government spokesperson said the trial would allow firms to bid to provide certain produce streams – such as fruit and vegetables – rather than all the food a certain institution needs. It will also remove the

Drive to encourage ‘buy-local’ message impacted by COVID A bid to encourage public bodies to buy from local suppliers in the North East has been damaged by the pandemic according to a key figure. Ken Henderson, fair trading officer at Northumberland County Council, said COVID struck just as the project was “getting off the ground”. With schools and office canteens closed during the latest lockdown, demand for food in the sector has diminished. Management of the virus has also taken up of time and energy for the local authority. However, the desire to support SMEs, including fishing firms hit by the pandemic and Brexit, has not diminished. “Once we are through COVID and get back to attending food festivals, we have volunteer chefs and 6

March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

producers who are prepared to make videos,” said Henderson. “This is vital as we know the main issue with seafood in this country is that customers do not know how to prepare things like crab and scallops when bought raw from the quay.” Henderson leads an initiative, which carries out audits to verify that organisations are producing and using the local food they claim to be. “We have done a lot of work with senior councillors to make them aware that local authorities need to look outside the box when it comes to cost,” he said. “We have explained that rather than paying pennies for sausages from a large wholesaler, they need to look at the quality and fact there is less waste if buying good quality food.”

requirement for suppliers to deal with the delivery of goods. If successful, the scheme could be rolled out nationwide from 2023. With the end of the Brexit transition period now complete, FFD understands the Government is considering widespread reforms to encourage public sector bodies to consider UK-based suppliers. Already many domestic opportunities previously published in the Official Journal of the European

Union have been moved to a new UK-based Find a Tender service. Procurement rules could ultimately change to prompt greater consideration of social, economic and environmental outcomes, steering buyers towards smaller, local suppliers. On the South West Food Hub website, the Future Food Framework trial is described as “a dynamic approach to public sector food procurement”. “The new approach, delivered via an online platform, will give public sector buyers a much wider choice of options to source local fresh food while redirecting public sector food spend into the regional economy,” adds the website. A Government spokesperson said: “Existing public sector guidance already encourages procurers to consider whether the food they source is in season, organic or local – and we would urge procurers to purchase local food where possible.”

IN BRIEF The DWP is amending its Kickstart Walter SmithScheme Fine Foods to retailersthe to hasallow announced apply from 3rd closuredirectly of three stores February, regardless in the Midlands. The of the number ofrevealed jobs to butcher chain be funded. The that Kickstart over Christmas its Scheme provides cash to Denby Village, West create newand jobsCoventry for 16-24 Bromwich year on Universal shopsolds would stop trading, Credit long-term leavingatit risk withof11 outlets – unemployment. Towithin apply, many of which are gardenfor centres. search the scheme on gov.uk Tracklements has hired Ben Hallam for A multi-group campaign theend roleharrasment of commercial to and manager, whichstaff includes abuse of retail identifying new #ShopKind hasmarket made opportunities. Hallam a call to retailers to joins the the Wiltshire-based endorse campaign condiment and attend specialist a briefingafter on 11 years at dairy Yeo 24th February at firm 14.00. Valley. To attend, please RSVP to eleanor.oconnell@acs. org.uk Health food retailer Planet Organic has moved into the hot food TV presenter Jeremy delivery market and for Clarkson has applied teamed high-end a licenceup towith sell alcohol service Supper, which at his Oxfordshire farm will courier a selection shop. The shop will of to-go in items sushi feature the and upcoming from two Central London Amazon Prime show, I stores. Bought The Farm

Cornish Kern takes Taste of the West’s top spot Lynher Dairies’ Cornish Kern has been crowned the Taste of the West Award ’s Supreme Champion Product of 2020. The cheese – famously served to British Airways’ first-class passengers – beat 20 other category winners to take last year’s crown, adding to success at the 2017 World Cheese Awards where it also took the World Champion title. The Taste of the West judges were blown away by its “sweet aroma, solid bite and healthy dose of rich dairy flavours”. Located between Falmouth and Truro, the producer of both the award-winning Cornish Kern cheese and nettlewrapped Cornish Yarg owns a herd of Ayrshires which provides the milk

The Lynher Dairies team has won another award for Cornish Kern

for their cheeses. The Reserve Supreme Champion has been awarded to the Baboo Gelato’s Salted Caramel Gelato. Made near Bridport in Dorset, the judges described it as “the perfect ice-cream”. “Smooth as silk and richly creamy with a

good balance of caramel and salt. It’s incredibly moreish and can be eaten straight from the tub or as a perfect accompaniment to a whole host of desserts.” Entries into the Taste of the West Product Awards 2021 are now open. tasteofthewest.co.uk


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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


Picture courtesy of Tourism NI: Harry Avery’s Castle, Co Tyrone

Northern Ireland. Open for Business.

Following the EU transition period, NI continues to be a great place to buy from if you are in GB: • No tariffs • No new customs checks • No new regulatory checks Just the same, Pure, Natural, Quality from our trusted food and drink manufacturers. World class products, service you can rely on. Invest NI continues to pursue new opportunities to bring innovative products to market. Contact our business development team for more information. E: Michelle.charrington@investni.com E: Drew.mcivor@investni.com

Northern Ireland. Altogether more.

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NEWS

Cottage Delight to distribute other brands as it broadens its offer to independents By Michael Lane

Cottage Delight has begun listing and distributing other fine food brands as it looks to broaden its offer to independent retailers even further in 2021. The Staffordshire-based producer, which is known for covering a wide range of categories with its own NPD, said that the move was part of a new strategy to think about Cottage Delight as a “family of brands” and to offer more categories to customers. Speaking exclusively to FFD, marketing director Sarah Williams stressed that this would not mean Cottage Delight’s own product development would slow down. Among the producers already featuring in the company’s catalogue are alcohol-free brand Drynks Unlimited, Just Crisps, hard seltzer producer Berczy and Flawsome, which makes ambient juices from ‘wonky’

Sustainability section at SFFF This year’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair is set to include a section showcasing sustainable products and businesses for the first time. The new area provides a platform for suppliers that can demonstrate a commitment to operating sustainably, reflecting growing consumer demand for ethically and sustainably produced products. Event manager Philippa Christer said: “This area will give suppliers a chance to demonstrate their sustainability credentials while offering buyers the chance to see the increasing diversity and innovation in this area of the market.” The fair is set to take place on 6th and 7th September at Olympia London.

Cottage Delight is now distributing Just Crisps, Flawsome and Drynks Unlimited with more to come

produce. These will be joined in April by exclusive lines from popcorn brand Joe & Seph’s, flour and cakes from Fatherson Bakery, and Cottage Delight is also close to striking a deal to include some home-baking kits made by a French cafébakery chain. “We have a relationship with the independent trade developed over several decades,” Williams told FFD.

“We have a field sales team out there face-to-face with customers and a reputation for quality that the trade trusts. So, we wanted to build on that.” Williams said this new approach would allow the brand to try out new categories in a more genuine way, rather than developing its own versions. “When we did our rebrand a few years ago, it

DOWN ON THE FARM A former haulier-turnedshopkeeper has stepped into the driving seat of the long-established Stallingborough Farm Shop after securing funding from Doncasterbased agency Finance For Enterprise (FFE). Michael Fisher make the career change when his father-in-law decided to hang up his apron at the popular farm shop. Fisher was awarded £40,000 of grant cash from two start-up loans and a top-up from FFE, which he and wife Maria used to purchase three vans, to expand the company’s home delivery service during COVID. facebook.com/ The-farmshop-stallingborough A new farm shop has opened its doors in

Michael and Maria Fisher

Somerset. Nestled on an old cider orchard, just metres from the A303, Teals Farm Shop hosts a deli, butcher, bakery, and a range of gifts. Its kitchen currently offers takeaways, serving seasonal food from local producers, all cooked fresh on the premises. Once lockdown ends, Teals can host more than 70 diners inside and has two outdoor courtyards. teals.co.uk

certainly came out of the research that we were too proliferated in too many categories and it didn’t all necessarily work.” While Cottage Delight has already limited itself to one brand per category, it is keen to hear from producers – especially those who make gluten-free and plant-based lines. Williams said: “We would welcome hearing from producers, whether they are a start-up and want help to get into the independent trade, or whether it’s businesses who are quite well established and have distributors but are looking for more of a partnership.” She added that Cottage Delight was not looking to be like other established distributors who serve the independent retail market. “I couldn’t say we plan to have 15 or 20 partnership brands,” she said. “These partnerships will happen when it feels right for us and that brand.”

IN BRIEF With online sales Walter Smith Fine Foods rocketing as a result has announced the of lockdown, Rhugstores Estate closure of three has launched a new in the Midlands. The and improved website butcher chain revealed to make it easierthat for its over Christmas customers to order Denby Village, Westtheir shopping for home Bromwichonline and Coventry delivery. shops would stop trading, rhug.co.uk leaving it with 11 outlets – many of which are within garden centres. A vegan butcher selling plant-based meat alternatives willhas behired the Tracklements first its kind open Ben of Hallam forto the role in later this of Nottingham commercial manager, year. Butcher will whichFaux includes identifying stock a rangeopportuniof plantnew market based meat joins alternatives ties. Hallam the from chicken thighs to Wiltshire-based condiblack pudding, after among ment specialist 11 others. years at dairy firm Yeo fauxbutcher.co.uk Valley. The John Lewis Health food retailer PlanPartnership opened et Organic has moved a new store-in-store into the hot food delivery at its Wallingford market and teamed up Waitrose supermarket, with high-end service offering more than 700 Supper, which will courier products. moveitems is a selectionThe of to-go part of a wider and sushi from concept two Centrial offeringstores. Waitrose tral London shoppers products from John Lewis’ Cook & Dine and Gifting categories, with the focus very much on own-brand lines.

The latest from farm shops across the country Fodder of Harrogate’s butchery counter has recently been crowned North of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year. Being passionate all things Yorkshire, Fodder sells food and drink from more than 430 regional farmers and producers, with 85% of what is sold and served coming from the historic county. Fodder has numerous awards under its belt, including Great Taste and Shop of the Year awards. It is the only farm shop and café in the UK from which all profits go to a farming charity. fodder.co.uk

During lockdown, Fielding Cottage in Honingham decided expansion was in order to accommodate their growing customer base. Being passionate about supplying local produce, the new Goat Shed Farm Shop stocks a much wider range of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables and other items, as well as essentials, world foods, spirits, gifts and frozen foods. Based in the heart of Norfolk, Fielding Cottage produces goats’ cheese and goats’ milk skin-care products. fieldingcottage.co.uk

In association with

Fabulous Farm Shops fabulousfarmshops.co.uk

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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2021

Wales’ Largest Food & Drink Event 27-28 October 2021 International Convention Centre (ICC) Wales, Newport, Wales, UK

Wales is home to a successful and dynamic food and drink industry, that encompasses artisan businesses through to large companies with mass market capability. Building on the successes of previous events, BlasCymru/TasteWales 2021 will feature a mix of digital and physical elements and will be the third time that producers, buyers and food industry professionals from across the globe gather at Wales’ signature international food and drink trade event and conference. • Sourcing Welsh food and drink - from branded to private label • Product Showcase • Meet a wide range of suppliers • Time efficient introductory meeting format Information for Buyers - for information about BlasCymru/TasteWales and sourcing Welsh food and drink please email info@tastewales.com To learn more and register your interest visit:

tastewales.com

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PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Food & Drink Wales

A new vision for Wales The Welsh food and drink industry, in partnership with its government, wants to become one of the most environmentally and socially responsible supply chains in the world. OUTLINED AS PART of an industry-wide strategic vision, this latest plan builds on the firm foundations laid over recent years by food innovation centres, industry business clusters, and fine food start-up programmes. All of these measures are geared towards creating quality food and drink products underpinned by a sustainable ethos. While accepting the goals outlined to the industry are ambitious, the Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths MS recently spoke about her vision for the future. “We are conscious that people in the UK, and around the world, are seeking more sustainable and better ways of living,” she said. “Here in Wales, we’ve always known the importance of doing it sustainably, so the larder is well-stocked for future generations. Those values seem more important than ever. Our future vision is in step with this drive to make Wales the definition for quality and sustainable food and drink.” The government will look to foster the sustainability ethos by supporting trail-blazing innovators through the food and drink sustainability cluster, which has already been inundated with new membership applications since its formation a little under 12 months ago.

A nation with Great Taste

The new vision is being built on strong foundations with a remarkable 161 Welsh products, ranging from small independent artisan producers to large-scale distributors, having secured Great Taste awards in 2020. Included among the Great Taste 3-star winners were both traditonal and more modern products, such as a kombucha made in north Wales: • The “beautiful, delicate and vibrantly coloured” Honey Vinegar with Raspberries from Wenallt Hive in Newcastle Emlyn, which took the judges on “a fine flavour journey - fruity and sweet and sour and rich and fun.” • Mario’s Red Cherry Sorbet from Mario’s Luxury Dairy Ice Cream in Llanelli, described as a “classic sorbet with the fruit singing from the roof tops, calling you back for more.” • Blighty Booch Kombucha Organic Ginger from Conwy Kombucha, praised for its “delicate fizz that greets your palate, immediately followed by a wonderfully balanced combination of heat from the ginger, astringency from the tea and a delicate fruitiness,” leading one judge to say, “this is a fine example of what a kombucha should be.”

Genuinely Iconic

‘Geographical Indication’ (GI): such a modest term, but one that literally makes a world of difference when it comes to sharing pride in the best of Welsh food and drink. Whether consumers seek them out in the UK or around the world, Welsh products with GI status can claim to have the distinctive quality, authenticity and heritage of their natural place of origin. Today there are 16 items on the Welsh GI ‘A-list’. From Halen Môn / Anglesey Sea Salt and PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef through to Traditional Welsh Caerphilly Cheese and Carmarthen Ham, there is a feast of proudly Welsh products, which enjoy the coveted GI status. With all the uniquely Welsh characteristics that run through these outstanding products, perhaps ‘GI’ should also stand for ‘Genuinely Iconic’.

Wetting consumer appetites

Complementing the release of the strategic vision, in the lead up to St David’s Day (1st March) Welsh food and drink will be taking centre stage through a series of media partnerships across the UK. Keep your eyes peeled on the Food and Drink Wales social media channels as we share more success stories of Welsh food and drink and look to boost consumer awareness of the delicious produce that is currently available.

To learn more about great food and drink products and the passion of the producers behind them follow Food & Drink Wales: FoodDrinkWales Food_Drink_Wales @FoodDrinkWales Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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SHOP TALK IF I’D KNOWN THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW... STEVE LANE, owner, Lane’s Deli & Fine Foods, Lutterworth, Leicestershire

Much of my working life has been spent on the road, touring with bands such as Iron Maiden and Shed Seven, as a ‘rock & roll’ coach driver. When you travel all over Europe, you try a lot of different foods, so owning a deli became a dream of mine. In 2017, when my sister lost her battle with cancer, it made me think that life is too short not to follow your dreams. My wife and I moved to a village just outside Lutterworth and started looking at premises. I didn’t do any formal market research but figured that if there was a Waitrose in town, it must be the right demographic. We took over the lease of a former cake shop and fitted one half out as a deli and the other as a café-bistro with eight covers. We were serving charcuterie and cheese platters, and breakfast and lunch options, and were soon up to 20 covers. People liked the cosy, ‘packed in’ ambience. Then the pandemic hit. During the first lockdown we realised that operating as a café with social distancing wasn’t viable. Instead, we decided to focus on retail with a small take-away menu. We moved the deli counter from the back to the front of the shop and installed some shelving for fresh produce. We reopened last July, reducing our opening days from five to three (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). When people ask how things are going, I tell them we are surviving. Turnover hasn’t changed that much – £120,000 this year compared with £130,000 the year before – but profit has. When we had the café, if two people spent £20 on breakfast, about £10 of that was profit. Now, when people spend £20, only £5 is profit. But the numbers are creeping up every week. It probably helps that I don’t like sitting on stock. We only order what we need and what you see on the shelves is what we have in. Every Wednesday I go to the market at 5:30 am to buy all our fresh produce. We also know exactly what we have sold each day because we invested in a decent till system at the outset. Getting people through the door is the biggest challenge. Once they have shopped here they usually come back. I would say that just 5% of our customers are people who used to come into the café. I had hoped more would stay loyal. I honestly don’t know whether this model is sustainable. When I first started the business, I did a retail course and remember being told that if you make 35% gross margin you are doing alright, but if you can make 40%, you can book a skiing holiday. I always keep that in mind and maintain decent margins, but the holiday will have to wait for now Interview: Lynda Searby Photography: Richard Faulks

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CONFESSIONS OF A DELI OWNER ANONYMOUS TALES FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER WE ARE GOING to close the high street and have a street party! It’s official, we announced it in our Chamber of Commerce meeting last night (yes we do have the authority, Jackie Weaver). Date to be finalised. Hopefully in May or June. After last month’s bleakness (sorry about that), finally, those green shoots are here. Spring is coming both literally and metaphorically. Snowdrops are out and daffodil buds are appearing. My shop is very much like a bulb that has withdrawn into itself over the winter of COVID. The vaccine and lowering R rate is sunshine, warming the soil around my business and all around my town. COVID will leave a weird legacy but it’s not all bad. We get more people at our Chamber of Commerce meetings online than we did in real life, and that’s without the sandwiches. But now people come and listen from the comfort of their own homes. The enthusiasm for hosting a town event is big. The burning desire for release is bubbling through the town like lava. People want out. That sense of community which has been so

MODEL RETAILING

The vaccine is like sunshine, warming the soil around my business and all around my town strong in 2020 now wants to party. Already we have local bands that want to play, local hire companies offering kit, schools that want to march, dancers that want to dance – all for free. Food and drink have been at the centre of our very personal isolation through COVID. And food and drink is going to be front and centre in these celebrations. The doors of shops and homes are going to

open – and stay open – in my town. There are a few local ladies who have been cooking ready-meals for the food bank. The EHOs kicked up a fuss, saying their kitchens required certification. These ladies have families, cats, dogs and lives that are already hard enough, so they said ‘no’. And, miraculously the EHOs backed down (or the council did or whoever makes and unmakes these decisions). The users of the food banks wanted the ready-meals, and the ladies wanted to cook. It was something they could do, and do well. Two or three of them are our customers, and we helped out by getting them foil trays etc. That attitude, the ‘do what we can, while we can’, is hopefully here to stay. I get a sense that locals don’t want to let this sense of community slip away again. Local producers, local shops, local businesses, local employers. None of these things are ‘nice to haves’, or ‘middle-class aspirations’. They are us. And coming out of COVID we are going to try harder to hang onto that. Bring on the celebrations!

SOLVING EVERYDAY SHOPKEEPING DILEMMAS. IN MINIATURE. And this one?

Excuse me, is any of this compostable packaging? Well, this one is ‘compostable’, this is ‘home compostable’, this is ‘industrially compostable’ and this one has some kind of enzyme in it that breaks it down…

Well sir, that’s just a plastic bottle.

FFD says: The world of sustainable packaging is a minefield – for both retailers and consumers. And as many of your customers will show interest in it, it’s important that you and your staff know exactly what the terminology for each type of material actually means. It’s easy to be bamboozled by the catalogue spiel and then pass something on to your customers just because it sounds good. Make sure that you can explain things. In some ways, it’s no different to knowing the stories behind the food inside the pack. editorial@gff.co.uk With kind permission of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, Germany. PLAYMOBIL is a registered trademark of Geobra Brandstätter Stiftung & Co. KG, for which also the displayed PLAYMOBIL toy figures are protected.

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


SHOP TALK

THE DELI DOCTOR Paul Thomas Technical and regulatory advice from the Guild of Fine Food’s deli helpline Q: If we receive a food that is recalled due to Listeria, is it possible to cook it in our café to avoid wastage?

A: Technically, pathogens that are susceptible to heat treatment – such as Listeria monocytogenes – can be inactivated (killed) by cooking to a time-temperature combination that is equivalent to pasteurisation, or higher. Cooking cannot, however, be used to remove heat-stable toxins that have been produced by some microorganisms such as Bacillus cereus or coagulase-positive staphylococci. Article 7 of Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 requires that when a food does not meet the food safety criteria stated in that regulation, as would be the case when Listeria monocytogenes was detected in a ready-to-eat food able to support the growth of that organism, it should be withdrawn or recalled. Withdrawal refers to the removal of food from the food chain where it has not yet reached retail level, while recall is the removal of food from the food chain that has reached retail level (and may therefore have reached consumers). The regulation goes on to state that

Expert’s eye LUCY KNIGHT OF INSIGHT6 EXPLAINS HOW TO BEST INTRODUCE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO CHANGES IN YOUR BUSINESS There are three key things to think of when wanting to bring in any change to your business, be that a sustainable shift or even just a new retail concept. Firstly, know your brand and your customers. Be clear on what your brand or proposition is and why it does and says what it does. Also be clear about who your customers are: What’s the demographic? How do they buy? What else do they buy? Having this context clear in your mind will help you explain your reasons to customers. The second thing is to communicate any changes that you’re going to make clearly and in a timely manner – and repeatedly as well. We tell our clients all the time that people don’t read signs. You’d think that with the current situation people would be looking for them, but they still don’t. So, you can’t over-communicate this stuff. If you think you’ve explained it well enough, you probably still haven’t, and you’ll need to do it again perhaps in

WHAT’S TRENDING While it is possible for a manufacturer to subject contaminated food to heat treatment, a retailer cannot do this.

“products placed on the market, which are not yet at retail level and which do not fulfil the food safety criteria, may be submitted to further processing by a treatment eliminating the hazard in question. This treatment may only be carried out by food business operators other than those at retail level.” While it is possible for a food manufacturer to subject a contaminated food to a heat treatment that will eliminate the hazard, a retailer cannot carry out this process. In the case described, a food that is known to be contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes cannot be cooked and served by the retailer. Instead, the food should be quarantined, and the supplier should be notified of the quantity of remaining stock from any recalled batches.

Dairy and food safety specialist Paul Thomas runs the Guild’s e-helpline for retailers with technical or regulatory queries. Send your questions to myguild@gff.co.uk

slightly different language and a different tone. Lastly, involve your customers in the change. Asking for your customers’ opinions before making decisions is a good place to start. Don’t do the ostrich thing of making a decision, burying your head in the sand and waiting for things to blow over. Canvass opinion. Then, in your communication about your changes you can say: ‘We recently asked you…’, so we’re doing this for

People don’t read signs. You’d think that people would be looking for them, but they still don’t. these reasons’, and then the decision comes from them as well. They’re there with you on the journey, and that makes the buy-in much easier. If you do get some grumbles, remember that it’s totally natural – some people don’t like change. Being open to discussion and don’t get defensive. Ask them why they feel the way they do and explain your reasons for making the change. If you’ve got the first bit right – knowing your customers and your brand – and if you can justify the reason you’re doing what you’re doing, you should be able to convince them.

NICK BAINES KEEPS YOU UP TO DATE WITH THE NEWEST DISHES, FLAVOURS AND INNOVATIONS IN FOOD & DRINK 1

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1 Everything Bagel Spice For those that find making decisions difficult, the Everything Bagel is a lifeline, incorporating all the classic seasonings in one – poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion and salt. And in the US, some trendy chefs have been experimenting with this seasoning further – using it in with roasted veg, pastries, pizzas and stuffed pittas as well as topping hummus and avocados. The trend has taken an even quirkier turn, with ice cream producers from Chicago to New York City also getting in on this unique seasoning. As well as Pretty Cool Ice Cream and Ice & Vice, ice cream powerhouse Jenni’s has made a cream cheese ice cream with everything bagel seasoning gravel. 2 Rosé Waitrose recently reported that autumn’s rosé sales were up 57% – following last May’s bump in pink wine sales of a whopping 407%. However, it’s not just in the supermarket where rosé is booming. Canned wine baron Nice has seen its rosé sales on Amazon increase by more than 5000%. Celebrities have also jumped on the bandwagon, with lines launched from Kylie Minogue, Sarah Jessica Parker and rapper Post Malone. Neilsen data shows rosé grew ahead of the market in 2020 by 24.8% and is now worth £505 million, a sign that pink wine is no longer just a summer-time sipper, but an allout perennial favourite. 3 Rethinking merchandise A whole slew of London restaurants and foodservice operators are pushing merchandise in a big way. Focusing predominantly on T-shirts, these food businesses are recruiting illustrators and artists for collaborations and limited edition runs. Soho’s Sri Lankan outfit Hoppers are in on the action, as are relative newcomers Taco Queen. Merch provides another revenue stream and marketing in one fell swoop, and customers are starting to represent their favourite food haunts in much the same way they would support a football team. Just look at the Monty’s Deli t-shirt, which has gained a cult following that rivals its Reuben sandwich.

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


CHEESEWIRE

news & views from the cheese counter

Lower rents and altered shopping habits drive new openings boom By Patrick McGuigan

A raft of new cheese shops has opened in the UK, as retailers look to capitalise on cheaper rents, changes in shopping patterns and a surge in demand for artisan cheese caused by the pandemic. At least 10 new cheese shops opened before Christmas with research from the Local Data Company showing that 432 more independent grocers, including cheesemongers, opened in 2020, up by 5%. The trend is being driven by the impact of COVID, which has seen an increased demand for food shopping in residential areas as people

work from home more. Landlords also seem to be more willing to negotiate on rents because of the uncertain economic climate. Johnny McDowell, owner of Indie Füde in Belfast, opened a second cheese shop in a residential part of the Ormeau Road in December. He secured a 20% discount on the rent and six-month rent-free period. “It’s a good time to be negotiating,” he said, adding that COVID was changing shopping habits. “People would previously have commuted into Belfast, but they’re now working from home and can pop to the shops a few times a week. I think

North Wales retailer The Little Cheesemonger has opened a second outlet

that’s going to be for the long term.” Neal’s Yard Dairy director Jason Hinds told FFD last year that he expected rents to fall. “Unless landlords want charity shops or empty shops, they are going to have to be more realistic in terms of rents, and food shops bring energy and people to the high street,” he said. The company opened a new shop in a residential area of Islington in November, while other new cheese shops include Funk in Hackney, Wild Goose in Ipswich, The Cheese Station in Staffordshire, Renoufs in Wimbourne, Grate in Jesmond and The Cheese Shed in Bovey Tracey. Two Belly in Bristol has also opened an additional store in the city. The Little Cheesemonger in Rhuddlan, North Wales, opened a second outlet in Prestatyn in December when a unit previously used for children’s parties closed down due to the pandemic. “We’ve had a surge of new customers over the past year because they want to support local food,” said owner Gemma Williams. “I’m expecting an absolute boom in the summer when restrictions are lifted because there are lots of caravan parks and campsites here.”

NEWS IN BRIEF The Cheshire Cheese Company has stopped online sales to the public in the EU because of expensive new post-Brexit paperwork. The company, which specialises in waxed and flavour-added cheeses is now looking at investing in a new distribution centre on the Continent. Scottish cheesemonger IJ Mellis was forced to start a new Instagram account after its previous handle, which had 15,000 followers, was held to ransom by hackers. The business, which has shops in Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews, can now be found via the new handle: @mellischeeseltd The UK’s Virtual Cheese Awards is set to return for a second year. The online awards will take place on 7th May with the number of entries increased from 300 to 400 cheeses across nine categories.

Can you hear me Glastonbrie? Although its fields will remain silent for another summer, Worthy Farm – home of Glastonbury music festival – has put the downtime to good use by launching a new cheese. The Reserve Cheddar is aged for six months and made by Wyke Farms with milk from the Worthy Farm’s own herd, which grazes on the land used for world famous festival. The cheese launched in Co-op stores last month, following on from the chain becoming the festival’s first ever retail partner at the last event, held in 2019.

THREE WAYS WITH...

Ossau-Iraty This famous PDO sheep’s milk cheese from the French Basque Country has crowd-pleasing caramel and hazelnut notes, but can also have interesting gamey and animal flavours, which give it depth and complexity. This is particularly true of the raw milk OssauIraty exported to the UK by start-up company LX Food. The cheese, which is aged for eight months, is made on a small farm in Pagolle.

Cherry Jam In the Pyrenees, people traditionally serve OssauIraty with a spoonful of the local black cherry jam, which comes from Itxassou and is also exported by LX Food. Sweet and fragrant, it works beautifully with the cheese and provides a pleasing contrast to the saltiness. Cider Red wines from the Irouléguy wine region of the French Basque Country – made with Tannat, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes – are the favoured local tipple to enjoy with Ossau-Iraty, but cider is also a great match. Dry-to-medium styles work well, especially if there is some funky farmyard flavour to go with the meatier notes found in the cheese. Smoked Mutton Ossau-Iraty works well with a wide range of charcuterie, but there’s something fitting about serving it with smoked mutton – a sublime creation from Capreolus Fine Foods in Dorset. Leg of mutton is cured with rosemary, juniper, garlic, black pepper, and port, before being air-dried and then smoked over beechwood. It has a wonderfully scented, fruity and smoky flavour that is a natural fit for the cheese. Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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CHEESEWIRE

news & views from the cheese counter

Traditional Cheese Dairy’s new owner to relocate production

CALLING ALL CHEESEMONGERS Mick James, Queso Fine Artisan Cheese, Birmingham

By Patrick McGuigan

The new owner of the Traditional Cheese Dairy in East Sussex says he wants to “make dairy farming great again” by highlighting the positive contribution it can make in areas such as the environment, animal welfare and the community. Third generation dairy farmer Joe Delves bought the cheese company from the Dyball family last year and plans to move production from its current site in Stonegate to his nearby farm in Horam, where he keeps a herd of 220 JerseyFriesian cows. Here, he aims to raise the profile of the cheeses – including Burwash Rose, Lord of the Hundreds and Olde Sussex cheddar – by focusing on new measures being taken on the farm, which is based on a high-animal-welfare, grass-fed system. “I don’t want to sound like Trump, but we need to make dairy farming great again,” said Delves. “The industry has been

CHEESE IN PROFILE with Teifi Natural What’s the story? Caws Teifi Cheese has been making artisan cheeses at Glynhynod Farm (it means ‘Remarkable Valley in Welsh) in Llandysul, Wales since 1982, when the company’s co-founders John and Patrice SavageOnstwedder moved from Holland and set about reviving the lost tradition of using raw milk from local farms to make high-quality cheeses. Today the 18

March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

The Traditional Cheese Dairy ranges includes Lord of the Hundreds, Burwash Rose and the cheddar-style Olde Sussex.

sand-bagged by vegans and animal rights groups, so we want to promote our farming credentials. We’re working on our carbon footprint and environmental schemes, we’re improving our land every year and we do good in our community.” The Traditional Cheese Dairy was previously owned by Cliff and Julie Dyball, who have now retired. Delves’ father Andy

makes the cheese full time in Stonegate, while a new dairy is being built in Horam. “Because we control the milk, we could produce a grassbased cheese – using raw milk from one point in the season to get a cheese that really reflects what the cows are eating. “I get excited by the idea of cows grazing herbal leys and then making cheese from that milk.”

Mick James has built a loyal following selling cheese at markets and through home delivery, and his stalls at Kenilworth and Stratford-upon-Avon have been busy during the pandemic. Honesty and integrity are key to Queso’s success, he says. “People sometimes have a prejudice about cheese at markets. They think they might get ripped off or it’s all reconstituted cheese. So I make sure people can see the scales and clearly show them how much it’s going to cost.” James cuts fresh to order and doesn’t oversell so that the cheese remains in good condition. “If there’s a few hundred grams left at the end of the day it goes in my cheese sauce at home. It doesn’t pay to be mean.” His other tips include wearing plenty of layers and thick boots, standing on cardboard to keep warm, and using a trolley to set up – which prevents back problems down the line. “When it’s really hot, it also pays to be friendly with the market manager, so you can get a pitch with some shade,” he adds.

farm is run by John and Patrice’s sons John-James and Robert. The family now makes some 15 multi-awardwinning cheeses, many in the style of Dutch Gouda, using raw Jersey and Friesian milk from a neighbouring organic farm in Llanboidy. The business and original cheese, Teifi, are named after a river which runs through the farm. How is it made? Teifi Natural is made to a Gouda recipe – a washedcurd cheese. During the stirring of the curd, some of the whey is drained off and replaced with warm water. This rinses lactose from the curds resulting in a golden yellow paste with a high degree of elasticity. After

of the cheese weigh at least 3.8kg. Variations: This cheese comes in a number of varieties, flavoured with additives such as Seaweed, Sweet Pepper, Cumin, Garlic, Garlic & Onion, and Nettle.

pressing and brining, the cheese is coated in wax and left to mature for up to 12 months. For the many flavoured versions of this cheese, the additive is mixed into the curd before moulding. Appearance & texture: Teifi Natural is a hard cheese with a dense,

smooth and elastic texture. It is pale yellow in colour and mild and buttery when young, while aged cheeses have an intense toffee sweetness. Whole wheels

Cheesemonger tip: Offer Teifi as an alternative to traditional Dutch Gouda. When finely grated, it is also a great Welsh alternative to Parmesan. Chef’s recommendation: This cheese pairs well with baked ham, crusty bread and strong, slightly sweet coffee.

While traditional classroom courses are suspended due to the COVID-19, delegates can still sign up to Academy of Cheese Level 1 & 2 courses online as self-study eLearning, or interactive virtual classroom courses. www.academyofcheese.org


AN ANCIENT RECIPE

WITHOUT GLUTEN OR LACTOSE. TALK ABOUT FORWARD THINKING.

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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Old Winchester back in stock! A very hard 18 month farmhouse cheese which has a distinct nuttiness in flavour and made with vegetarian rennet.

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


CHEESEWIRE

news and views from the cheese counter

People have always had to adapt. Cheese doesn’t stay the same.

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

Less waste, more cheddar Traditional cheesemaker Keen’s is using modern solutions to reduce its wastage By Patrick McGuigan

IT’S NOT JUST the cows that need feeding at Moorhayes Farm near Wincanton in Somerset. Round the back of one of the sheds is a strange metal structure that looks like a circus big-top, but is actually the farm’s anaerobic digester, where an incalculable number of hungry microorganisms need constant nourishment. “It’s basically a big stomach that needs to be fed,” explains fifth-generation cheesemaker James Keen (pictured above). “Cow muck and whey goes in and the methane the bacteria produce is turned into electricity using two 20kw engines.” With a herd of 250 cows and 120 tonnes of Keen’s Cheddar made each year at the farm, there’s plenty of cow muck and whey to keep the bacteria satisfied. So much, in fact, that the farm sells electricity back to the national grid, while also massively reducing waste. Like many cheesemakers, knowing what to do with left-over whey was long a conundrum for the Keen family. “We used to have pigs and feed the whey to them, but it wasn’t worth it economically, so we then we gave it away to other people with pigs,” says Keen. “But after foot-and-mouth that wasn’t allowed, so we used it as fertiliser, but if you don’t do it right there is a risk of leaching it into rivers.” The anaerobic digester cost around £100,000 with payback taking roughly five years, helped by government feed-in tariffs, but the technology hasn’t been without its challenges, admits Keen, as repairs and new parts have been required regularly. The farm has also invested in five automatic robot milking machines, which the cows use to

milk themselves as and when they want. The technology takes information from the animal’s collar and uses lasers to guide a cup onto its teats. On average, they are milked between three and four times a day this way, providing 30% more milk compared to traditional morning and evening milkings. “The animals are less stressed because they don’t all have to be milked at the same time, and the machine weighs and takes their temperature, so we pick up health problems quickly, which means fewer antibiotics.” The Keens’ modern approach to farming is echoed in the dairy, where the family took the big decision to change how they wrap their famous traditional farmhouse cheddar. The 25kg truckles are still cloth-bound and larded in the classic way, but now also receive a final coating of breathable plastic, which has dramatically reduced wastage caused by cheese mites and cracking. “We were getting 20% waste in some batches. Our cheese would go to cutting lines for supermarkets, but a lot would come back because it had blue veins,” says Keen, whose cheddar is sold by Waitrose and Morrisons, as well as independents. “If you’re selling on a deli counter, you can talk to customers about blue veining in cheddar, but for supermarket counters, if there are any blemishes, then customers won’t touch it.” Previously, the company would sell its cheese at 10 months before blue veins developed, but with the plastic coating, it is now going out at 12 months and can be aged up to 18 or even 24 months. “We think our cheese tastes best at a year and over,” says Keen. “Cheddar was originally designed to be made in the summer and eaten in the winter so didn’t need to last more than about six months, so people have always had to adapt. Cheese doesn’t always stay the same.” keenscheddar.co.uk

CROSS

SECTION

Keen’s Cheddar 1

Cheddar has been made at Moorhayes Farm since 1899. Brothers George and Stephen Keen and their respective sons, James and Nick, are the fourth and fifth generations of the family to take up the mantle. James makes the cheese, while Nick looks after the farm (and the anaerobic digester).

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Raw milk from the farm’s herd of Friesian cows, which have been crossbred with Ayrshires to improve yield, is used to make the cheese, along with traditional pint starter cultures and animal rennet.

The cheese is ripened for at least 12 months and has a relatively moist texture and bold savoury and mustard notes with a pronounced cheddar tang.

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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CREATIVE, PRACTICAL PACKAGING...

Is your packaging “green” enough for the future? Call to discuss how we can make it more eco-friendly Quote: GREEN2020 for a free design service

Cracking stuff! NEW to our glass jar range

www.cambrookfoods.co.uk | Tel: 01264 319980

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Dark Woods Coffee

Quality at every stage Whether it’s through direct sourcing relationships, expert roasting or extensive barista training, Yorkshire’s Dark Woods Coffee ensures its customers will get the very best in their cup COFFEE FOR EVERYONE More than anything else, Dark Woods wants the finest coffee to be both enjoyable and accessible to everyone. That’s why the company offer a range of roasts and styles that truly reflects the coffee that people want to drink. HOSPITALITY & RETAIL Dark Woods specialises in supplying independent retail and hospitality businesses with a range of coffee products. Its customer base includes farm shops and delis (especially those with cafés), speciality coffee shops, restaurants, boutique hotels, visitor attractions and universities across the UK. “We’re lucky to work alongside many like-minded businesses, such as The Camden Grocer in London,” says co-founder Damian Blackburn. “For them, the quality of service given is as important as the product.” SOURCING Dark Woods has direct sourcing relationships in over 15 coffee-producing areas, and it returns to those producers time and time again for the quality of their harvests. “From farms and producer groups in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Panama in Latin America, to the mountainous regions of Ethiopia, India, China and the Yemen, we are always

looking for coffees with beautiful flavours and provenance,” says Blackburn.“Paying more for better coffee naturally benefits producers and their communities, but this alone is not a solution to the inequalities that are rife within the industry. We develop lasting relationships, with long-term contracts. By investing directly in those communities we hope to make real and meaningful differences.” ROASTING CRAFT At the roastery in the Colne Valley, Dark Woods takes an artisanal approach to production – hand-roasting in small batches and hand-finishing retail products with signature rivets and tags. The business is proud to have won over 40 Great Taste awards in the past 5 years, and 2 prestigious Golden Fork awards. The teams sees this as a reflection of their commitment to quality across a range of styles. It also helps customers sell more of the product from the shelves and in their cafés. PACKAGING & PRESENTATION “It’s about ensuring there is a coffee for everyone’s individual tastes,” says Blackburn. The core range of coffees comes in striking retail bags (both beans and ground) and is well-suited to everyday and gift purchases. Nespresso compatible pods and re-usable coffee tins are also available. The Producer Series is dedicated to seasonal, single-origin coffees from farmer suppliers while the Reserve range focuses on very small batch, limited edition coffees that push the boundaries of aroma and flavour. “We support our customers with a range of A-boards, posters, postcards and consumer leaflets to help promote the products in a very visual, informative manner,” adds Blackburn.

COMMUNITY & ENVIRONMENT Dark Woods is a Certified B Corporation and a Living Wage Employer. Taking a hollistic approach is part of the company’s DNA. “Coffee is a very global product but we’re proudly Yorkshire-based, too and the business is committed to reinvesting 2% of its annual turnover in both the local community, and in projects centred around our producer partners,” says co-founder Ian Agnew. “In 2020, that included over £5,000 to the Welcome Centre food bank in Huddersfield, funds to our local Mountain Rescue Team, helping to establish a Farmer Radio project in Panama and backing three Café Femenino Foundation projects in Peru, to help preserve water resources.” TRAINING & SUPPORT “Training is integral to what we do, helping our customers and their staff to feel comfortable working with coffee equipment and presenting beautiful, tasty cups of coffee to their customers,” says co-founder and expert barista Paul Meikle-Janney. “This can mean training at the roastery’s dedicated facility, or on site. We can provide both certified, globally recognised barista training and accessible, in-house modular training sessions. “Dark Woods is a member of the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA), the international organisation steering the future of speciality coffee, and we have been actively involved in its education committee for many years, helping to write the training standards used across the world.”

www.darkwoodscoffee.co.uk 01484 843141 info@darkwoodscoffee.co.uk Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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FOCUS ON

zero waste

It is impossible to think of any aspect of life that plastic hasn’t infiltrated, and the sheer scale of the waste produced as a result is enormous – estimated at 6.3 billion tons, and only 9% of that has been recycled. Food retail is one area where this crisis is very apparent and, if the current methods of tackling it are not enough, then the industry has to consider other options. FFD asks if...

... it’s time to go zero waste Compiled by Tom Dale

SAVING THE PLANET WON’T COST YOUR BUSINESS THE EARTH WE HAVE NORMALISED the phenomenon of waste, says Sian Sutherland of campaign group A Plastic Planet, and we need to move away from the “take, make and throw away lifestyle” we have become accustomed to. “Fundamentally, we need to give our customers the choice.” And this choice, says Paul Hargreaves of distributor Cotswold Fayre, is something that the public is crying out for. According to research by Capgemini, 79% of consumers are changing their purchasing preferences based on sustainability. To satisfy this growing sector of the buying public, the distributor is set to open a new food hall with a focus on sustainability called Flourish. The founders had wanted the farm shop, located just off the A4 between Bath and Bristol, to be completely plastic-free, but, says Hargreaves, “that just wasn’t viable”. The store will have a number of zero-waste options, though, and those lines will not have a prepackaged competitor on the shelves, forcing customers hands. Flourish will host two UnpackagedAT gravity dispenser units – a collaboration between Cotswold and zero-waste brand Unpackaged – with each unit holding around 25 lines, a large serveover containing a wide range of deli items, and all fresh fruit & veg is set to be sold without packaging.

A GROWING MARKET

Hargreaves and Flourish’s managing director Paul Castle have absolute confidence in the concept, citing the shift in consumer behaviour accelerated by COVID. “A year ago, I may have said that there is some regionality in terms of the appeal of a store like ours, but I think that the pandemic has changed the way people think about consumerism,” says Hargreaves. “Anyone doing this anywhere in the UK will

be doing the right thing and the profitable thing in the medium-to-long term.” While Hargreaves and Castle are backing the sustainability of the business from an ethical standpoint, they say that it is the sensible choice in purely economic terms, too. “We’re getting to the point now where people are realising that they need to be making some difference,” says Castle, “and one of the easiest ways to do that is to go and shop somewhere that’s making those decisions and choices on your behalf and making it easy for you.”

POINT OF DIFFERENCE

Picture: The Farm Stratford

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Making a clear, visual statement that your business is encouraging people to move away from plastic packaging, says Sian Sutherland, is a good way to differentiate yourselves from the supermarkets who, according to reports, are remaining static on waste reduction, something consumers are increasingly unhappy about. According to a 2020 report by The Green Alliance, supermarkets had seen an 800% uplift in complaints about their plastic usage in the preceding year alone. Castle says that while initially investing in the hardware for zero-waste retailing may be a cost, once installed, the customer buys into the concept and they’re happy to come back and spend a little bit more of their money with you. “Look after the people, look after the planet and the profits will follow,” he says. This is a message that is echoed by Sutherland in no uncertain terms. “There can


>> WHERE TO START

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

Picture: Isabelle Plasschaert

Picture: Isabelle Plasschaert

If you’re a zero-waste virgin, where to begin can be a little daunting, but this retail style is nothing new, in fact, it’s as old as they come. The two vital pieces of kit to make the shop run smoothly are food dispensers and an electronic scale system. Historically, many whole food shops used large bins and scoops filled with dried goods, but the preferred method is now gravity dispensers – they are more hygienic and easier to maintain stock rotation. There are many manufacturers but the retailers we spoke to use UK POS, Martek Systems or the all-in-one solution from Unpackaged AT and Cotswold Fayre, and for scales the consensus was Bizerba. Your current suppliers may already offer a zero-waste range, but, if not, you may have to look farther afield. These days, many producers offer their lines without packaging, and, if they don’t, they may be convinced to make a change. Cotswold Fayre now offers a range with Unpackaged, and Infinity Foods Wholesale also have a zero-waste range. While food items may be your first port of call, to give your customers the full plastic-free offer, consider stocking some other products such as bamboo toothbrushes, cloth food wraps and cleaning products – Sesi (sesi.org. uk) supplies a wide range of domestic cleaning products for refill. - Earth.Food.Love, featured as this issue’s Deli of the Month (see page 50) has produced a guide for anyone looking to branch into zero-waste retail on its website thezerowasteshop.co.uk

HYGIENE AND THE LAW

An UnpackagedAT unit at The Farm Stratford

Businesses that don’t start taking the environment more seriously simply won’t be here in five or ten years

Picture: The Farm Stratford

be no return now to the bad old days of ‘take, make and chuck’. The public is hungry for a guilt-free shopping experience,” she says. “Responsible businesses will be the survivors of the next decade and those that tread water, that try to squeeze every last drop of profit out of the old, flawed status quo, will not see the next turn of the decade.” This is evidenced by the success of B Corps – a certification standard for ethical businesses – of which Cotswold Fayre is among the ranks. The organisation took a financial snapshot of its first 50 companies in the UK in 2015, and again in 2017, and it found that B Corps had grown 14 times more than GDP over those two years. “Being sustainable is the only option,” says Hargreaves, “and giving your customers a simple way to reduce plastic waste is an obvious step.”

The distributor says businesses that don’t start taking the environment more seriously simply won’t be here in five or ten years. “It may sound a bit blunt, but the market is changing. “And the companies that do that, in the end, make more profit anyway: they’re getting better customers, they’ve got a happy workforce and they are doing things that customers will buy into.”

Some retailers considering adding a zerowaste offer may be concerned by the extra contact points and potential hygiene concerns around customers bringing their own containers in store. The legislation around food safety for products sold without packaging – such as cheese or charcuterie – should be well known to most deli owners, but when the customer brings their own, we enter something of a grey area. FFD’s Deli Doctor columnist Paul Thomas says that, while there are no specific regulations that cover the sale of food by a zero-waste retailer, food businesses have a responsibility to ensure that packaging which they provide is suitable as a food contact material in terms of it not shedding particles into the food. This does not apply where the customer provides the container, though. “In addition to general food hygiene,” says Thomas, “the retailer should consider the security of foods which are loosely packed for self-service by the customer to prevent malicious tampering.” A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency told FFD that the food business operator will retain food safety liability. “The businesses’ HACCP procedures in place would need to ensure there are no risks of crosscontamination or problems with food contact materials.” Many zero-waste shops provide their customers with the proviso that once foodstuffs are in their containers, the responsibility for food hygiene passes over to them. “However,” says Thomas “the retailer should also consider the cross-contamination risk when handling containers that have been brought from the consumer's home. While this may concern many pathogenic microorganisms, it is also of particular relevance during the current pandemic.” Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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FOCUS ON

VIEWS FROM THE SHOP FLOOR

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CHARLIE WELLS, director, The Farm Stratford

We have a few different zero-waste areas; it’s a big part of our ethos. An Unpackaged unit was the first thing we got in and we’ve got 48 dispensers now which we regularly change depending on customer comments. We have fill-your-own orange juice and milk, all our fruit and veg is loose, and we also have Fieldfare’s zero-waste frozen range. We have minimal plastic where possible. Reducing our plastic usage and minimising food waste is such a big thing for us. With us customers can buy whatever weight they want – they aren’t wasting as much food and we aren’t wasting as much food – and they love the concept. We incentivise people to bring their own containers as each time they do they get 10% off that product and extra loyalty points. We’ve converted new customers to the concept, and that’s down to the products that are in there. We’ve got your staples, but we’ve also got a lot of sweet treats, so it’s a bit like a pick and mix. If customers use that initially, they’ll see the other products and start to use it more, we use the attractive treat to lure them in – sweet blackmail basically. We’ve got the chocolate and sweets at kids’ eye level to get the kids to use it and coax the parents into using it too.

KATE FORBES, coowner, The Trading Post, South Somerset

We set up our refillables room in what used to be my office back in 2018. As well as being a good fit with our organic ethos, it has also had a number of business benefits. We thought we should try it because there was a gap for it in this part of Somerset. Despite the 75-ish sq ft floor area here, we now have over 200 lines held in both gravity silos and large jars. The amount of space it has freed up in the main shop has been a big bonus. We used to have lots of dried cereals, pulses etc in bags. The bags were hard to stand up and forever falling off, and they were taking up three whole shelving units. Now we can use them for something else. From a stocking perspective, topping up silos from 25kg bags simplifies ordering and gives you a much better idea of what’s selling and what’s not working. Footfall has been the other big contribution. The room has brought in customers, who didn’t shop with us before. And once they’re in, they might browse the rest of the shop and pick up some other items. Once something’s dispensed we can’t put it back, so there is wastage due to customers – thankfully we’ve only had one £11 bag of pine nuts abandoned at the till! – but overall it has been a very good addition.

JAMES BRUNDLE, co-founder, Eat 17, London

In our stores we’re big on the refills – we’ve got them in all four of our outlets – and it goes well for us. It varies by location as to what lines do best, but across the board, they perform well. There’s an increasing number of producers out there offering zero-waste options now. We’ve always wanted that as part of our offer; we’ve got the usual dry goods, but we also do refill orange juice, wine and a range of cleaning products. Cleaning products is where we’ve seen the most growth, actually. They're not an area where we make amazing margins, we find the customers who are looking for the environmental choices are looking for value for money as well. We take the opportunity to offer a reasonable price to the customers to get them in the habit of using the refills; they benefit, and it keeps them happy. Because we’re premium food-led it’s not easy to get a lot of those items as refillable options, so we do stock both packaged and unpackaged lines, but they tend to serve different types of customer. We are cutting back on the prepackaged as and when we can and when it’s viable from a business perspective, but we do have a really wide range in the refills.

March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

>>

zero waste ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

Zero-waste specialists Unpackaged and Cotswold Fayre have teamed up to create UnpackagedAT – a one-stop solution to help independent retailers reduce plastic packaging in-store. The system combines the refill systems with a bulk range – including nuts, pulses, dried fruits, grains and sweet treats – plus the company’s guidance through the installation process and beyond. beunpackaged.com Ecover offers its range of green cleaning products – including washing-up liquid, laundry detergent and hand soaps – to zerowaste retailers, even trialling its branded refill station in Sainsbury’s. Retailers can purchase large bags or tubs of the brand’s products as well as the pumps, taps and accessories necessary direct from the manufacturer. ecover.com Newton Print is a family-run packaging printing company, specialising in biodegradable, recyclable, shortrun packaging for the food and drinks industry. It has an MOQ of 250 which has proved popular with startups and SMEs. The company has recently been certified to the World Land Trust Carbon Balanced scheme, meaning packing can be produced carbon neutral. newtonprint.co.uk Geami is a sustainable paperbased wrapping material from Ranpak. Geami is 100% paper-based. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable, renewable, easy to recycle and FSC certified. The 3D structure is created on-demand to save on storage and reduce transport and handling. One pallet of Geami material equals 9.8 pallets of Bubble Wrap material. ranpak.com


www.knockraich.com

New brand of luxury chocolate in the UK! Authentic Brazilian recipe, made in Wales. Pure Taste of Brazil

Gluten-free, suitable for vegetarians, made with natural ingredients. www.bossanovachocolate.co.uk Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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! w e N 20% PROTEIN POPPED NOT FRIED

VEGAN www.peapops.co.uk hello@peapops.co.uk * Cheddar & Onion (vegetarian)

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

Delicious chickpea crisps thy never ta heal st

GLUTEN FREE

og s ed

ood


FOCUS ON

zero waste

BREAKING IT DOWN With the rapid development of new packaging materials, what is meant by the term ‘compostable’ can be a minefield for consumers IN RECENT YEARS, under pressure from the public to cut plastic pollution, a number of supermarkets have introduced ‘biodegradable’ plastic bags. While on the surface this may seem like a step in the right direction, dig a little deeper and not is all as green as it seems. A recent report by The Green Alliance into the grocery sector’s actions on packaging stated that some companies that had trialled compostable bags found they did not degrade as expected, other reports have found they carry a higher carbon footprint than their traditional counterparts and, most importantly, it is still a plastic bag – only one that more efficiently breaks down into microplastics. “Consumers… are hugely confused about what bio-based, compostable and biodegradable mean,” the report said.

Some producers who have committed to truly biodegradable, plastic-free packaging have called for greater clarity to help the 85% of consumers who are concerned about plastic pollution. “It can be hard for people to distinguish between all the terms that are thrown around,” says Tobias Taylor of Voyager Coffee, a Dartmoor-based roastery that uses fully plantbased packaging. “There are a lot of products that say they’re compostable, and you think are good for the environment, but a lot of it is plastic with an enzyme in that breaks it down into smaller bits of plastic.” After a lengthy period of R&D, in 2018 Voyager switched its packaging to a compostable, vegetable starch-based material, PLA. The bags will break down in a home composter and eventually become a “soil improver” says Taylor. Another producer whose product proudly bears a ‘compostable’ label is Herefordshire crisp-maker Two Farmers. The brand has recently altered its bags to increase shelf life, but in doing so has added a few weeks to the break-down time of the material, which has – in the eyes of independent testing organisation TUV – deemed the product industrially, not home-compostable. “This shows the pitfalls with compostable packaging,” says Sean Mason, co-founder. “The problem is that TUV, which is the main accreditor for compostability, wrongly doesn’t give a tiered

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL system of home compostability. It either is or isn’t.” We’re going to be changing our packaging materials for shipping our bottles. We had The brand received always used cardboard, but the price has just kept some backlash after creeping up. We’ve had a price rise of 8% already launching the packaging, this year and we’ve been told there’s more to come, with its customers so we looked at what else we could be doing. claiming the move was A lot of people use shrink wrap instead of a cost-saving exercise cardboard, but I’d always said no to it because it’s But, after a social media plastic – not a good thing. But I started looking into campaign and a few it and there are a lot of manufacturers now who are phone calls, they were making biodegradable shrink wrap. And as I delved brought around. “They a bit deeper into the eco-credentials of cardboard, WILL DOBSON, from a carbon footprint point of view it doesn’t want the extended shelf owner, stack up. It takes up a vast amount of space in terms Hill Farm Juice life and a small increase of storage and shipping – one pallet of shrink wrap in composting time is is the equivalent of eight pallets of cardboard. Using cardboard, you can fit acceptable to them. The 70 cases on a pallet, and you can fit 75 on using shrink wrap. Scaling that problem lies with the up it doesn’t take much to reduce warehousing requirements and shipping accreditation.” costs. Additionally, the cost of biodegradable shrink wrap is about half that Mason has called of cardboard, so it stacks up on eco credentials as well as financially, for greater clarity to which makes it a bit of a no brainer. help those wanting to make a difference with their purchasing power. “To have a product that not only possible, is 100% home compostable that you can’t call but viable – and, home compostable is madness.” most importantly, Taylor takes the view, however, that the sustainable. And only important piece of information for the that’s the key consumer is what initial ingredients go into the word for Taylor. packaging. “If you start with plant matter and “In any end with something that improves the soil or has industry, not just zero negative effect on it, then the timeline of food and drink, complete composting is secondary.” if an aspect of As long as you get your messaging right, he your business says, your customers will understand what you’re isn’t sustainable, trying to do. Voyager has an industrial composter whether that’s on site, offering the option to return any used packaging or bags for those who don’t have a home composter. the product you Both brands are pioneers in their respective produce, in the industries, though, proving to others that this end, it is going to kind of model (of business and of packaging) is have to change.”

To have a product that is 100% home compostable that you can’t call home compostable is madness.

PLANT-BASED PACKAGING Voyager Coffee

Two Farmers

1

1

Paper layer between two layers of PLA (polylactic acid) sheeting – a plastic-like material produced from renewable starchy plants, and a hardened PLA valve to extend shelf life

UK’s first 100% compostable and plastic-free crisp packet. Three layers of cellulose film with a double barrier layer to extend shelf life

2 Home compostable in between 26 and 38 weeks

2 95% sugar cane waste, 5% cotton and hemp mix to give a better texture Biodegradable glues and inks

3

More than 80% recycled card.

3

Plant-based, biodegradable ink and glues Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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ORGANIC - VEGAN - GLUTEN FREE

REDFERN’S TORTILLA CHIPS

Redfern’s Ancient Grain tortilla chips begin with a unique wholegrain cereal blend base comprised of rice, corn, amaranth, quinoa and millet. High in fibre, very low in sugar and saturated fat, GM-free certified this is a nutritionally powerful “no nasties” alternative that tastes great too.

www.redfernsorganic.com // sales@organico.co.uk // 01189 238760

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


PROMOTIONAL FEATURE

Maple from Canada

Pure Canadian maple syrup – the 100% natural choice Unrefined, unprocessed and sustainable, pure Canadian maple syrup is a completely natural sweetener in all kinds of recipes. And consumers are eating more of it too, according to the latest figures. CHANGES TO LIFESTYLE during lockdown, with more time at home particularly for breakfasting and baking, have caused a significant increase in consumption of pure Canadian maple syrup among UK consumers, according to the latest figures from Maple from Canada UK. The organisation, which represents the interests of maple syrup producers from Quebec, has reported an impressive 54.6% year-on-year increase in exports to the UK of Canadian maple syrup and associated products, such as maple spread (JanuaryNovember 2020). According to a survey carried out among 1,000 adults by Maple from Canada, changing lifestyle habits during the first lockdown and throughout the rest of 2020 have driven this. Maple from Canada’s survey concluded that growth in maple syrup sales is mainly due to existing customers buying maple syrup more frequently rather than new customers. The proportion of users who claim to buy regularly has increased from 24% in 2019 to 32% in 2020, with 41% now buying maple syrup four times a year or more, compared to 31% in 2019. Increased time at home has created more opportunities for these consumers to use maple syrup as a breakfast topping, in baking and other dishes. Significantly more women were eating

maple syrup regularly in 2020 compared to 2019 (18% vs 12%), with men only slightly increasing regular consumption in the same time period (13% vs 14%). Previous research showed maple syrup was most likely to be eaten at breakfast time and this increased over lockdown with 58% of people eating breakfast at home more often. It was most commonly used on pancakes and waffles during lockdown, but this is less pronounced than in 2019, with more people now using it as a topping for cereals and porridge (13%) or in baking (14%).

DIFFERENT GRADES FOR DIFFERENT USES

100% pure Canadian maple syrup gives a depth of flavour that cheaper alternatives such as maple syrup blended with sugar syrup do not have. Maple comes in four different grades, each with its own colour, characteristics and taste: Golden, with a delicate taste, Amber with a rich taste, Dark with a robust taste and Very Dark with a strong taste. The classification of maple syrup is based on its colour – which changes subtly throughout the spring harvest – and its flavour profile. This helps consumers choose the best syrup for their cooking plans, safe in the knowledge the product is 100% pure and of consistently high quality.

When asked about new usages, respondents mentioned baking cakes and flapjacks frequently, with 35% baking more than usual, 34% having more snacks and 32% having more treats. This was caused by having more time to experiment, wanting to try new things and to treat themselves and family. Those who increased their usage of maple syrup during lockdown were much more likely to have changed shopping habits, compared to the total population, with 48% doing bigger, less frequent shopping, 45% shopping online more and 80% being more careful how they spend money. Since the pandemic began, users have started to think of maple syrup as a “favourite treat”, with 49% of those who increased their usage, saying they now see maple syrup as a comfort food. There was also increased appreciation of its nutritional benefits with 42% of those who increased their usage saying they feel it is a healthier alternative to sugar. Pure Canadian maple syrup supplied to the UK from Quebec, whether branded or private label goes through a robust checking procedure. This is to ensure that it is a 100% concentrated maple sap, free of fermentation - meeting the highest requirements for taste, aroma, colour and clarity. Quebec is the only region to carry out these rigorous checks. Maple from Canada UK is the consumer arm of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. Quebec supplies 72% of the world’s maple syrup and is home to more than 11,300 maple syrup producers. Founded in 1966, QMSP represents producers and works to regulate prices and quality, and to negotiate fair trade deals as well as promoting maple products on an international stage. www.maplefromcanada.co.uk

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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CATEGORY FOCUS

jams & preserves

Very sweet and a little savoury This month’s round-up of new launches takes in a trio of NPD hotbeds. We start with jams & preserves, followed by savoury snacks (page 33) and finally chocolate & confectionery (page 37). Compiled by Lynda Searby

March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

Argentinian born Cintia Yankelevich is quite literally, Vegan Crazy. Her Surrey start-up has ‘veganised’ a caramel spread called Dulce de Leche that is very popular in South America. She describes her version as “creamy, sticky and totally decadent”, with a mild aroma of coconut and a rich caramel colour. RRP £5.50 for 220g or £7.50 for 345g. vegancrazy.co.uk

Meridian’s new Gingernut Butter blends ginger and cinnamon extracts with smooth peanut butter and agave syrup. The nut butter is palm oil-free, suitable for vegans and free from added sugar and sweeteners. For every jar sold, Meridian is donating 25p to help support our ginger cousin, the orangutan, through International Animal Rescue. RRP £2.29 for 170g. shop.meridianfoods.co.uk

The Fruity Kitchen has been making jams, curds and marmalade by hand in North Yorkshire since 2008, and has just added three new recipes to its collection. Rhubarb & Organic Vanilla Jam, Seville & Pink Gin Marmalade and Black Cherry & Brandy Preserve are available in a variety of sizes, from mini 28g jars to 3kg catering pails. thefruitykitchen.co.uk

Stefania Calugi collaborated with Michelin-starred chef Marco Stabile to create its Maestri del Tartufo collection. Caramellatte with truffle is a velvety cream with summer truffle made by slowly cooking milk and brown sugar. RRP £9.20 for 110g. tartufi.it

Cottage Delight is hoping to capitalise on the current home-baking craze with its new Pink Grapefruit All Butter Curd. Sweet, creamy and tangy, the citrus curd can be stirred through yoghurt, drizzled over cheesecake or added to crêpes. RRP £3.99 for 315g. cottagedelight.co.uk

Nut butter for boosting stamina and resilience Since creating its Long Range Fuel nut butter for endurance athletes, Resilient Nutrition says it has realised that the formulation is “just as valuable to tired parents trying to homeschool, health workers on a night shift or hard-charging executives wanting to work and play hard”. The butter comes in different variations, such as Energise with added caffeine and Calm with ashwagandha – an ancient medicinal herb. RRP £7.99 for a small jar. resilientnutrition.com

Passionfruit Preserve launched in summer 2020 as a limited edition but has proved so popular it is now a permanent fixture. As with all Single Variety Co preserves, it is packed full of fruit and contains less sugar than traditional jams. RRP £6.25 for 225g. singlevariety.co.uk 32

It might not be for traditionalists, but there is no doubting the taste credentials of The Proper Marmalade Company’s newest flavour, Espresso Martini. This boozy marmalade – which delivers a clean, bitter blast of espresso reinforced with a generous slug of vodka – picked up a Great Taste 3-star award shortly after its launch in 2020. RRP £4.25 for 225g. thepropermarmalade company.co.uk


savoury snacks Greek food importer Maltby & Greek has tracked down a range of grape juice sweetened spreads made from fresh fruit grown in Western Macedonia. A high fruit content – for every 100g of final product, 150g of fresh fruit is used – means there is no compromise on sweetness. Flavours include black cherry with rose water, peach, plum, strawberry, apricot and fig. RRP £4.90; wholesale price £3.62. maltbyandgreek.com

Seggiano has taken Italy’s signature fruit and created a collection of extra jam fruit conserves that are characterised by a high fruit content, minimal heat processing and minimal, or zero, added sugar. All the recipes are “clean”, comprising ingredients such as cane sugar and lemon juice with no added pectin. Choose from Sicilian Grapefruit, Sicilian Mandarin and Calabrian Fig. RRPs £4.55-£5 for 225g. seggiano.com

>> Just This has liberated cheese from the chiller, creating a range of pure-cheese snacks that can be kept at ambient temperatures. The crunchy, dehydrated cheese balls are said to deliver all the benefits of cheese (low carb, high protein, high calcium) but in an on-the-go format that doesn’t require refrigeration. Choose from Cheddar, Emmental and Semi-Cured. justthis-snacks.com

Moroccan-inspired nut butter brand Yumello has blended peanut butter with smoked paprika, chilli, dates and sea salt. The producer says it developed the Smoky Harissa Peanut Butter in response to changes in usage occasions – consumers are not only spreading peanut butter on toast, but also adding it to smoothie bowls and main meals. RRP £2.95. Trade case price £13.26 (6 x 250g). yumello.com

Light and crisp with a satisfying crunch

Hot off the hob from The Artisan Kitchen in Gloucester are two new jams that use British produce. Rhubarb Jam is a soft-set recipe prepared with over 200g of local Worcestershire forced rhubarb per jar, while the producer’s high-fruit Damson Jam is made with fruit from The Three Counties. RRP £5.50 for 200g. theartisankitchen.co.uk

Thursday Cottage has added Orange with Gin Marmalade and Lemon Curd to its growing organic offering. The lemon curd (RRP £3.20) is rich dark golden with a smooth consistency, while the marmalade sets oranges, lemon and a hint of gin. RRP £3. thursday-cottage.com

Launching this month, Stem Ginger Jam and Orange Marmalade with Molasses & Rum are two new sophisticated preserves to come out of Ouse Valley’s East Sussex kitchen. The producer recommends using the jam as the topping for cheesecake made with a ginger biscuit base and the marmalade as a “deeply flavoured breakfast treat”. RRP £4.60 for 227g. ousevalleyfoods.com

Welsh bakery and café CRWST has translated some of the recipes used in its bakes and brunch dishes into retail format. Products available for wholesale via Blas ar Fwyd include Welsh Honey Butter – which combines Welsh honey, Welsh butter, Welsh cream and locally sourced sea salt (RRP £6.75) – and palm oil-free Hazelnut Chocolate Spread (RRP £6). crwst.cymru

Choc Haz Braz Treenut Butter is Nutcessity’s take on a chocolate hazelnut spread but without the “usual ultra-sweet flavour”. Made from organic hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut, cacao and dates, the peanut-free spread has an RRP of £5.59. nutcessity.co.uk

The Carved Angel in Devon has launched a trio of marmalades that feature fruit from the world’s top citrus origins. Italian Wild Lemon Marmalade, Sicilian Blood Orange Marmalade and Floridian Pink Grapefruit Marmalade have an RRP of £3.99 to £4.25 for 215g. thecarvedangel.com

Pea Pops is on a mission to prove that it is possible to produce a “healthy crisp with absolutely no compromise on taste”. Its chickpea-based snacks have a 20% protein content, are high in fibre, provide less than 100 calories per serving and contain 60% less fat than regular crisps because they are popped not fried. RRP 99p for a 23g bag; £1.99 for an 80g sharing pack. peapops.co.uk

The cauliflower trend, which caters to consumers making healthier choices, has made it into the snacking space, thanks to Ayrshire trailblazer Nudie Snacks. The Scottish producer has created Cauliflower Crisps from “wonky” cauliflower that would otherwise be discarded. Low in sugar and high in fibre, they represent a healthier, more mindful snacking option. RRP 99p for 22g; £2.25 for 80g. nudiesnacks.co.uk

Cheese Nibbles have been treated to a pack redesign for 2021. Emmental Amulets, Parmesan & Chilli Sables, Pistachio & Parmesan Sables and Stilton & Almond Sables. still come in reusable, recyclable pots but are now sporting a wraparound cardboard sleeve. cheesenibbles.co.uk

Abakus has developed Seaweed Crisps. Nori seaweed (the type used in sushi) is coated with a thin layer of tapioca to produce a crunchy, gluten-free, vegan, high-fibre snack that provides a source of iodine and around 100 calories per bag. RRP £1.29. abakusfoods.com Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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savoury snacks

>> Made for Drink continues its quest to conceive snacks that pair with drinks, launching two potato crisp varieties in compostable sharing bags this month. Said to “mingle effortlessly with aperitvo”, Tapas Fries (125g) combine thin cut patatas fritas and Spanish chorizo slithers, while Chicken Salt Fries (150g), a British twist on an Australian snacking classic, is said to pair perfectly with cold beer. RRP £3.50. madefordrink.com

Midway between jerky and biltong but made with smoked salmon, Gilltong is the latest invention from The Pished Fish. The producer, known for its alcohol-infused smoked salmon, marinades sliced smoked salmon fillets in teriyaki, honey, Tabasco sauce and black pepper, then air-dries the slices until chewy, succulent and tender. The outcome is sweet, salty and a little bit spicy. RRP £5.49 (50g). thepishedfish.com

Following the launch of its Thai-inspired spicy sauce brand last June, The Woolf’s Kitchen has moved into the snacking nut arena. They come in three flavours – Sticky Cayenne (cayenne spiced almonds, corn, cashews and a caramelised honey chilli peanut), Smoky Beast (smoked almonds and chilli peanuts) and Crafty Cocoa (caramelised cocoadusted peanuts). RRP £2.75 for a 70/80g bag. thewoolfskitchen.com

Hampshire nut roaster Cambrook Foods has added two new mixes to its baked nut line-up. Available from March in 175g glass jars, Caramelised Mixed Nuts combines baked almonds, cashews and hazelnuts caramelised in a glaze, while Cocktail Mix № 2 is a traditional baked and salted mix of nuts including cashews, almonds, macadamias, pistachios, pecans. RPP £4.99. cambrookfoods.co.uk

2021 sees Pep and Lekker’s Seed Snacks relaunch in non-crinkly, recyclable pouches with several recipe refinements. Olive oil has replaced sunflower oil, the balance of Himalayan pink salt and chia seeds has been adjusted, and Apple & Cinnamon and Cacao & Coconut have benefitted from a dash of date syrup. All five varieties remain gluten-free, high in fibre and allergen-free. RRP £1.90 (30g). pepandlekker.com

Sustainable crisp brand Two Farmers has joined forces with rare meat producer Tudges to develop its latest crisp flavour: Herefordshire Sausage & Mustard. The Tudge family has been rearing Berkshire pigs for over 20 years and the partnership fits with the Two Farmers’ planetfriendly philosophy. All of its crisps are packaged in plastic-free, compostable bags. twofarmers.co.uk

Tom’s Sauces has diversified into beef jerky to offset the drop in sauce sales that has resulted from the pandemic. The Scottish company’s six-strong range has been snapped up by retailers as far south as London. RRP £4; trade price £2.80. curioussauces.co.uk

Native has become the latest brand to bring a popped lotus seed snack to market. Super Street Snacks Popped Lotus Seeds are said to offer more protein, fewer calories and less fat than popcorn and crisps. RRP £1.10 for 20g. wearenativesnacks.com

Cracker and crispbread brand, Peter’s Yard, is making its foray in the bagged snacks arena, launching a new range of baked sourdough snacks with an accent on provenance. Pitched as a healthier alternative to crisps, Sourdough Bites contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and 60% less fat than regular potato crisps, providing fewer than 100 calories per serving (26g). They are made with natural ingredients such as Shipton Mill flour, British rapeseed oil and the Peter’s Yard signature 16-hour fermented sourdough starter. The bites are handbaked until crisp and golden and then dusted with three seasonings: Suffolk Cyder Vinegar & Sea Salt, Anglesey Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper and West Country Sour Cream & Chive. RRP £2.35 per sharing bag (90g). petersyard.com

Real Handful has entered the roasted nut space with an air-baked range that champions the good fats inherent in nuts. The company’s new “Craft Baked” nuts feature Californian almonds and hi-oleic peanuts, which contain more monounsaturated ‘good’ fats than standard peanuts. “With some consumers concerned about levels of fat in salted peanuts in particular we want to help to address this concern by championing the ‘good fats’ in these amazing ingredients, using the most naturally functional varieties available,” says Joe Taylor, founder of Real Handful. Founded in 2016 by Joe and Carly Taylor, Real Handful already markets trail mixes and protein bars. RRP £1.50-£2 for 112g. realhandful.com 34

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Described as “roast dinner in a crisp”, new Lamb & Rosemary flavoured Kent Crisps are produced using lamb from Kent shepherd Marie Prebble, whose Romney sheep graze the fields of the family farm. RRP is £1 for a 40g pack, available to the trade via Curd & Cure. kentcrisps.com


Let’s bake

A new exclusive range of baking chocolate to allow sophisticated gourmets and chocolate lovers to make pastries at home as today’s greatest chefs do. Test a wide range of chocolate aromatic profiles for varied and even more delicious recipes. Be ready to bake with the “Chocolate of Chefs”!

www.valrhona.com

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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© 2019 VALRHONA – PHILIPPE BARRET

W I T H “ T H E C H O C O L AT E OF CHEFS”


Award-winning Stornoway Water Biscuits www.stagbakeries.co.uk

www.hawksheadrelish.com 36

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Lightly Salted


popcorn

chocolate & confectionery The new Inclusions chocolate bar collection from Whitakers Chocolates takes in eight different flavours of chocolate with honeycomb. Lime & Sea Salt, Rhubarb & Ginger and Lemon & Cardamom are among the dark bars, whilst the milk chocolate varieties include Raspberry & Lavender and Smokey Salted Caramel. RRP £1.99 for 90g. whitakerschocolates.com

While cheese is one of the most popular snack flavours, blue cheese rarely gets a look in. Now that is changing, thanks to the launch of Mature Blue Cheese Popcorn from Popcorn Shed. The flavour is pitched as the perfect partner to a glass of red or a G&T. RRP £3.50-£4 for an 80g shed. popcornshed.com

Sweet Lounge is moving its vegan gummy sweets into 65g compostable pouches. Initially, the plastic-free packaging will be adopted for its most popular lines, including Fruity Bears, Fizzy Blue Raspberry Bottles, Fizzy Strawberry Hearts and Fizzy Cola Bottles. All of these sweets are gluten-free and contain no artificial colours and flavours or animal products. sweetlounge.co.uk

A London challenger has transformed a traditional sugar-packed confection into a nutrition-packed, energising treat. Say Yey nougat is said to contain up to 50% less sugar than other soft nougats, as well as providing a source of protein and a raft of nutrients through wholenut, berry and chia seed inclusions. Varieties include Black Tea & Apricot, Rose & Almond and Matcha & Goji Berry. sayyey.com

Chocolate maker Firetree has launched a taster collection that presents seven of its single-estate 25g bars in a gift box (RRP £19). Ranging from 69% to 100% cocoa, the selection provides the opportunity to sample chocolate from rare volcanic origins such as the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. firetreechocolate.com

Featuring ingredients such as Belgian chocolate and freeze-dried fruit, Popcorn Kitchen’s new Treat Bags are designed as an everyday treat. They come in three indulgent flavours – Salted Caramel, Chocolate Orange and White Chocolate & Raspberry – but only contain 140 calories per 30g bag. RRP £1.39. popcornkitchen.co.uk

Newcomer Happi claims to be filling a gap in the free-from category for an “ethically sourced” oat milk chocolate. Its naturallyflavoured bars are made with gluten-free oat milk and rice syrup for a “rich and creamy taste” and come in sustainable packaging. Happi is available in 40g and 80g bars in four flavours: Plain, Cacao Nib Crunch, Salted Caramel and Orange. happifreefrom.com

80Noir Ultra, a new brand that is championing dark chocolate as healthy and nutritional, has developed a trio of training bars to support mental and physical performance. Packed with natural organic ingredients, the dark chocolate bars are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, palm-oil free and high in fibre. RRP is £4 for 40g; trade price £2.50. 80noirultra.com

In anticipation of spring and Mother’s Day, Dorset’s Solkiki has created a floral, fragrant white chocolate bar that sets umeboshi salt-pickled cherry blossom against a creamy bed of sakura leaf and fleur de sel. The dairy-free, organic Cherryleaf Latte bars use Japanese sakura cherry blossoms, which are salt-pickled at origin and impart a rich, mellow cherry blossom flavour. RRP £8; trade price £4. solkiki.co.uk

Dr. Coy’s has reinvented its patented Nutritional Chocolate Bar to focus on its sustained energy benefits. As well as being high in fibre and vitamin E, the 54% Belgian chocolate bar is said to prevent “sugar spikes” by keeping blood glucose levels low. The three new varieties – Hazelnut Caramel, Orange Crisp and Vanilla Crisp – have an RRP of £1.99 for 35g. drcoys.ie

Holdsworth Chocolates is wooing vegan and vegetarian chocolate-lovers with a new plant-based gift box. The 110g ‘Bee Friendly’ collection comes in 100% recyclable packaging and contains an assortment of dark chocolates and truffles. RRP £10; wholesale price £5. holdsworthchocolates.co.uk

Guppy’s has launched three varieties of its milk chocolate shards in 120g re-sealable pouches, featuring British wildlife and landscape designs. Salted Caramel, Honeycomb and Fudge & Biscuit shards are available in the new format. RRP £2.90; trade £1.70. guppyschocolatewholesale. co.uk

Iberica says it is the only UK importer of Bombones Valcorchero’s traditional Spanish chocolate figs. Dried figs are filled with hazelnut chocolate and then dipped in either white or dark chocolate. The Sykos Blanc and Sykos Noir collections have an RRP of £11.95 for a 195g box. ibericafood.com

Joe & Seph’s has celebrated its 10th birthday by releasing limited edition Cinnamon Roll Popcorn. Caramel, cinnamon and custard combine to deliver a sweet and creamy flavour with an aromatic finish. RRP is £4 for 80g; trade price £2.35. joeandsephs.co.uk

Vegan confectionery company Booja-Booja has released an Easter edition of its bestselling chocolate truffle collection (RRP £9.99). The 16-piece box features five different truffles: Hazelnut Crunch, Almond Salted Caramel, Around Midnight Espresso, Rhubarb & Vanilla Fool and Stem Ginger. boojabooja.com

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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ME

MBER

SUPPORT | KNOWLEDGE | CONNECTION | ADVOCACY

JOIN US AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS Find out more, call today +44 (0)1747 825200 or email support@gff.co.uk

gff.co.uk/join-the-guild/ | +44 (0)1747 825200 |

@guildoffinefood


21 2020 - 20A Legend

M es

2020 - 2021

artin’s Saturda yM or

As fea t u red on

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V n IT go n ni

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As feat

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When life gives you lemons, make a legend! Over 40 years ago, a surplus of farm eggs gave Marion Darlington the idea to make a batch of her Lemon Curd using an old family recipe. Little did she know she was creating a legend! It was a huge success and remains our best-selling line to this day. Fine Food Digest readers have voted us Best Preserves Brand - the fourth time we have received this accolade - and the word is spreading. ITV Celebrity Chef James Martin recently featured our Lemon Curd on his Saturday Morning show and heard our own Sarah Darlington describe how the business began on the family farm. The legend continues…

To find out more please visit our website at www.mrsdarlingtons.com 36

March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

  

Search “Mrs Darlington’s” on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram


Bursting wItH fLaVoUr

Maximise your sales award-winning range of jams, on the home baking trend with our marmalades, honeys and curds

THE TASTE OF THE FINEST ENGLISH PEPPERMINT Find out more about our award-winning chocolates and teas at www.summerdown.com

Contact your Territory Business Manager to ensure that you are stocking the best flavours for the summer months. Alternatively, email our customer service team on sales@cottagedelight.co.uk or call 01538 382020 for more information.

wWw.cOtTaGeDeLiGhT.cO.uK

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FOCUS ON

foodservice

EQUIPMENT

Don’t just throw it away

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

The deli kitchen is an area that is prone to food wastage. Here’s how some retailers tackle it. Pic: WRAP

By Lauren Phillips

FOODSERVICE IS OFTEN seen as a solution to food waste for many delis and farm shops, but the amount of food thrown away in cafés and restaurants alone is a huge problem – whether as spoilage, customer plate waste, or during preparation. Some indie retailers are already taking action to throw away less food in their foodservice operations. Cardiff-based Penylan Pantry avoids spoilage by freezing extra pre-prepared produce or unsold Christmas cheeses to use in dishes during January. Adaptable menu items – such as a salad of the day – manage any surplus ingredients, while offcuts are reduced during food preparation by being as creative as possible. Cauliflower is roasted with its leaves and pepper stalks are ‘popped’ out, not cut, to save inches of flesh. Liverpool’s Delifonseca works with a local independent supplier offering bespoke deliveries of fruit and vegetables to limit its food spoilage. “We don’t have to order in bulk, so it can be very much down to what’s needed on the day,” general manager Lavinia Cooke tells FFD. “If there is a particular vegetable that we want just a few of, we can work with our supplier to deliver that.” “That may cost a little bit more on paper, but if you can work with your suppliers like that then your overall costs are saved because you’re not wasting food.” Every retailer FFD spoke to agreed that a foodservice outlet can’t reduce its food waste without getting staff involved.

Iain Hemming of Thyme & Tides incentivises his staff to curb waste by paying bonuses based on net margins. “It encourages the team to keep an eye on wastage, ordering and efficiency,” he says. Kitchen staff at Penylan Pantry are encouraged to report what food has been wasted in the café and why each day via a WhatsApp group. “It’s a really good way of holding staff accountable, but it’s also a good food waste monitoring tool for me,” says owner Melissa Boothman. Staff also offer customers a ‘doggy bag’ to take home leftover food as a way of reducing plate waste, and the café offers smaller portions at a reduced price. “It’s up to us as businesses to USEFUL TOOLS TO HELP CUT YOUR FOOD WASTE l

l

Guardians of Grub offers free operational resources for businesses, including how-to guides, a seven-day tracking sheet to measure and monitor food waste, and a food-tracking calculator, which automatically calculates what the food thrown away is costing you. guardiansofgrub.com WRAP’s consumer-facing Love Food Hate Waste campaign has a resource pack to help businesses in the hospitality and foodservice sector engage with customers about reducing plate waste. wrap.org.uk/resources

Unilever Food Solutions offers a mobile app for chefs that measures food waste by stream – preparation, plate, and spoilage. unileverfoodsolutions.co.uk

l

ensure we’re not serving too much and to communicate that plate waste is bad,” says Boothman. For Delifonseca, tackling plate waste was as simple as reducing the amount of toast it offered with cooked breakfasts. “We would put out two thick slices of sourdough but we found people would only eat one slice,” says Cooke. The restaurant began offering one slice and telling customers to ask if they wanted more. No matter how thrifty a café or restaurant is, inevitably there will be some food waste. Cowdray Farm Shop avoids sending its waste to landfill by working with a food waste recycling contractor that converts it into biofuel, while some green waste is donated to chicken and pig suppliers. With foodservice operations halted because of lockdown restrictions over the past year, there was a huge risk that £1000s worth of ingredients and meals would go to waste. Fortunately, the symbiotic relationship between retail and foodservice meant there were other routes of sale for these supplies. Delifonseca turned menu items into frozen ready meals for the deli, while Cowdray Farm Shop decanted its catering flour into kilo retail bags to be sold in the farm shop. “When you’re badgering staff to reduce the wastage of flour, it might seem like a low-priority issue,” says manager, Rupert Titchmarsh. “But it all adds up and from a business point of view it’s hugely important.”

Winnow is an artificial intelligence system that scans any food waste in a foodservice operation, both within the kitchen and from customers. It gives you day-by-day, hour-byhour reports to help businesses cut food waste. After a period of training, Winnow Vision automatically recognises the wasted food items, saving staff time, and afterwards requires little staff input. The system is set to be used in Cotswold Fayre’s upcoming Flourish foodhall. winnowsolutions.com BioPak produces foodservice disposables that are carbon neutral and home compostable, made from renewable plantbased materials. Its range includes single and doublewall hot cups, cold cups, single-use takeaway containers and plates, bowls and trays, straws, cutlery as well as a variety of other products. biopak.com/uk Green Man Packaging produces a range of fully plant-based and compostable sandwich packs including baguette trays, bloomer cartons and sandwich wedges with viewing windows. The manufacturer uses PLA (poly-lactic acid) to create transparent plastic-like materials which will home compost while mimicking traditional sandwich packaging. greenmanpackaging.com Vol.21 Issue 2 | March 2021

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FOCUS ON

foodservice

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES

FROM THE DELI KITCHEN SIMPLE RECIPES TO BOOST YOUR MARGINS

WATERMELON RIND & STAR ANISE PRESERVE

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

cover with fresh cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender. Drain and set aside while you prepare the syrup.

Waste not want not. Watermelon rinds hold their crunchy texture really well and so make for excellent textured preserves. This unusual creation is a great addition to a cheeseboard.

Method: Cut the watermelon in half and scoop out most of the pink flesh, leaving about 2cm of pink intact with the rind. (Use the flesh for a watermelon and feta salad, fruit salad or juice.)

Makes: One large 1l jar

Peel the rind and cut into chunks – size can range from about 2cm pieces to 4cm pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle over the salt. Cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.

Place the sugar and 200ml water on a medium heat with the lemon slices and star anise. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, and cook for 5-10mins. Add the watermelon rind and cook for about 45mins until translucent.

The next day, drain off the water and pour into a large pot and

Serving: Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Ingredients: 1 small watermelon 2tbsp fine sea salt 400g sugar 4 star anise Juice and rind of 1 lemon, plus 3 slices

Recipe by Jules Mercer for Fine Food Digest

Jestic Foodservice Solutions has extended its range of Henny Penny equipment with the new GVE low oil volume open fryer, which can cooks the same size load as a traditional 25-litre vat in 27% less oil. Henny Penny GVE fryers offer 40 different cooking programs – including idle and melt modes to reduce energy consumption and extend oil life – and can be supplied in one, two, three, or four-well full- or split-vat configurations. jestic.co.uk EcoTensil has launched a range of plastic-free paperboard cutlery in the EU ahead of the singleuse plastic ban. The AquaDot EcoSpoon has been designed for food-to-go outlets and grab-and-go producers. It is supplied flat and is then easily folded into shape for use. The paper-based spoon is recyclable and compostable, and is also said to have less of an impact on the taste of food than wooden cutlery. ecotensil.eu

Michael Lane

Signature FSE carries the stainless-steel Use & Reuse range of cutlery and drinking straws from Italian manufacturer Pinti Inox. The latest addition to this range is a ready-to-use-andreuse set of pre-washed cutlery in a paper bag with a napkin – ideal for making foodservice operations more COVID-safe and getting around the plastic ban. signature-fse.com

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2


oury delight!

e our new e available. ore, contact Direct – info@ o.uk or order wholesaler The 5 643 1330.

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Available from Sarah Gray’s Direct info@sarahgrays.co.uk or through our wholesaler The Cress Co 0845 643 1330

RASPBERRY JAM “A lovely set and a deep pink colour. An absolute blast of raspberries hits the nose and then explodes on the tongue. Lots of seeds add texture and are perfectly distributed within the jam, which we find irresistible. We felt we could not have got any closer to the raspberries if we had rolled in the patch ourselves.” A Great Taste Judge

CHILLI JAM “Vibrant, sticky chilli jam with aroma from both the peppers and chillis. The sweetness of roasted peppers matches the spicy warmth of chillis. Well judged and well made.” A Great Taste Judge

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Our award-winning flour is produced from the finest ancient grains which are sustainably grown in the beautiful British countryside. Our entire range carry the highly sought after Great Taste 2 and 3 star awards, in recognition of outstanding quality and flavour. Available in 1kg and 20kg bags. Minimum order 2 boxes of 10 × 1 kg bags. No delivery charges. Call or email today for a trade price list Sustainably farmed

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43


Versatile cheese snacks. Lovingly created by us, for you to share. Cheese Nibbles Oak Tree Farm, Frodesley, Shrewsbury,SY5 7QG enquiries@cheesenibbles.co.uk www.cheesenibbles.co.uk

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SHELF TALK Zero-waste rapeseed oil supplier branches out into crisps and snacks By Tom Dale

Dominika Kubalova and The Clean Kilo

Just Crisps and Just Oil are now providing a range of snacks and rapeseed oils for zero-waste retailers. Both the oil and crisps are packaged into reusable buckets and drums which can be returned to the producer after use. The oil and potatoes that go into the lines are grown on the brand’s Staffordshire farm and it says that it is the only British crisp producer that

does not use imported oil. The producer has been awarded the Happerly Transparent Gold Standard, a marque denoting food and drink businesses with sustainable provenance throughout their supply chains. The brand’s plastic-free journey began after Tom Pell, owner of zero-waste shop The Clean Kilo in Birmingham, got in touch while looking for an oil supplier. The two companies began working together and, soon after, the retailer enquired about stocking the crisps. “I was initially hesitant, concerned about product quality, labelling, how they would be sold – ultimately protecting our brand, no one likes a soggy crisp,” said David Wedgwood, commercial director. “However, we launched our 1.5kg bucket of sea salt crisps with Tom as a trial. That was two years ago, we now supply shops up and down the UK and before Christmas launched our Sea Salt & Black Pepper Parsnip crisps which were an overnight hit.” The zero-waste range includes Sea Salt Crisps, Parsnip Crisps, Roasted Wasabi Peas, Roasted Fava Beans, Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil, and a variety of infused oils. The sea salt crisps cost £6.91/kg with an RRP of £16.67/kg while the cold-pressed rapeseed oil has a trade price of £3 per litre and RRP of £6 per litre. justoil.co.uk justcrisps.co.uk

After a year of being plasticfree, Isle of Wight distillery Mermaid has become a Net Zero brand. Certified as Net Zero by sustainability firm Good Business, Mermaid is now offsetting its emissions through its support of two carbonpositive projects. This includes one that actively promotes the concept of ‘blue carbon’ – oceanbased initiatives that preserve carbon-capturing ecosystems. Mermaid gins and Mermaid Salt Vodka are presented in plasticfree bottles which are 100% recyclable – the seal is plant-based and biodegradable, while the stopper is made from sustainably sourced cork and wood, while the brand encourages consumers to return the bottles to its distillery. isleofwightdistillery.com

ZERO-WASTE SPECIAL

WHAT’S NEW Made For Drink – which has recently moved into the potato crisp market (see Category Focus) has this year shifted its range of charcuterie-based snacks and crisps – made to be paired with a pint – into biodegradable, home-compostable packaging. All plastic has been removed and replaced with two innovative layers made from biomass and wood pulp. madefordrink.com Dorset Tea has launched new, fully sustainable packaging by removing the gold lettering on the outer packaging so that it is 100% recyclable. As part of the move, the brand has introduced bio-degradable teabags using plant-based, heat-sealable paper that can be industrially composted. dorsettea.co.uk Rollagranola offers four lines of its premium granola to retailers in zero-waste formats: Awesome Almond, Cool Raspberry, Organic & Nutty and Nuts for Chocolate which is an exclusive zerowaste line. The range has RRPs from £1.30 - £1.80/100g and wholesale of £0.70 £1/100g. rollagranola.com

Frozen food specialist undergoes major rebrand One of the first zero-waste brands to be widely adopted in farm shops in the UK has undergone a major rebrand. Fieldfare’s new look is intended to reflect the brand’s new strategy to challenge the way consumers shop and encourage more sustainable habits. The family-run frozen food brands managing director, Matt Whelan said: ”Fieldfare’s high-quality, loose frozen food has never been more relevant as consumers are looking for new ways in which to shop more sustainably. “We believe that this exciting rebrand will drive substantial brand awareness and with a hefty investment also being put behind marketing, we aim to encourage consumers to seek out Fieldfare as a destination brand for sustainable, convenient and quality food shopping.” The new look includes attentiongrabbing freezer livery, in-store signposting and, in some cases when the lines need extra protection, new packaging.

Fieldfare will be replacing the livery of all current stockists at the brand’s cost, and are keen to hear from any retailers who currently don’t have its branding in-store. In addition to the rebrand, the company will be launching a range of new products in March, including Portuguese tarts, rainbow fries and maple & bacon sausage rolls.

field-fare.com

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SHELF TALK My magic ingredient Al’Fez Harissa paste

WHAT’S NEW Seasoned Pioneers has rebranded and refreshed its range of gourmet cooking sauces. The range – comprising ten sauces inspired by global cuisine – includes three Great Taste 2020 winners: Moroccan Fennel & Apricot Tagine Sauce, Sri Lankan Curry Sauce and Cajun Jambalaya Sauce. Each 400g pack serves four. seasonedpioneers.co.uk Renowned olive oil brand Filippo Berio has launched an unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, Il Rustico. The oil undergoes no filtration process and contains tiny particles of fruit which give the oil a green, slightly cloudy, appearance. Each 1litre bottle, with a porcelain fliptop, has an RRP of £8.99. Available in wholesale cases of six units. filippoberio.co.uk Firelli has launched its Italian hot sauce from Parma. The medium spicy sauce contains Calabrian chilli peppers, roasted red peppers, porcini mushrooms, balsamic vinegar and Italian sea salt, and is low calorie, gluten-free and vegan with no added sugar. RRP £3.95 for 148ml. biggarandleith.com

TRACEY TANNENBAUM Cold Bath Deli, Harrogate It might conjure up exotic visions of Marrakesh but harissa is not Moroccan, it is Tunisian. A 16th-century concoction of chilli peppers, oil and salt pummelled by market traders. This century’s version is a bit ‘fancified’, and my magic bullet ingredient is the version made by Al’Fez, a Great Taste 3-star winner. There are notes of five-spice and caraway, all combined with a good helping of chilli. I’m a huge fan of Sriracha, a Thai chilli sauce, but harissa recently has the edge in dishes prepared both at the deli and at home. Mixed with mayo it becomes an exciting sauce for our sweet potato ‘chip butties’. As an unexpected ingredient in our lentil salad, it gets accolades for adding a touch of excitement… and that says a lot when dealing with lentils. At home, I mix harissa with aubergines and chickpeas before baking in the oven. And if hung-over, I add a spoonful to my plate to devour with scrambled eggs.

It gets accolades for adding a touch of excitement… and that says a lot when dealing with lentils

Tracey buys hers from Suma Wholesale.

Flour producer uses ancient grains to launch good-for-you pasta range By Tom Dale

A South Devon-based flour producer has created a range of seven pasta varieties made from einkorn wheat, which comes with a range of widely reported health claims when compared to modern intensively farmed wheats. Grown on the Fresh Flour Company’s farm near Buckfastleigh, the organic ancient grain is stone-ground, processed and made into pasta all within a radius of just three miles. After learning about the grain during an MSc in sustainable agriculture, Andrew Gilhespy, founder, decided to see what could be done with the cereal crop. “A lot of people thought I was crazy,” said Gilhespy. “Wheat production is supposed to be high yield and non-perishable. We were doing the opposite of that.” The business was launched when he began growing Einkorn and Emmer wheat on a few acres and milling them by hand. The popularity of the flours he produced grew organically, and he quickly moved into pasta production after requests from repeat customers. The flour is milled on site, mixed with 46

March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

Dartmoor water and cut with bronze pasta cutters, before it is air-dried. The Fresh Flour Company produces seven varieties of pasta – Sedano Rigati, Reginette, Bucatini, Casarecce, Fettuccine, Fusilli and Rigatoni – as well as a range of sourdough crackers. The pastas retail between £2.50 and £3 for packs between 250g and 500g and the sourdough crackers have an RRP of £2.50 per 100g pack. All the lines come in fully compostable packaging. freshflour.co.uk

Award-winning preserves producer The Cherry Tree has added two new lines to its range, with the launch of a Platter Chutney and Bloody Mary Chutney. Crafted to pair with any cheese board or cold platter, the Platter Chutney has a dark and rich tomato base with onions and brown sugar, coriander, tamarind, garlic, ginger and more. The Bloody Mary Chutney – inspired by a cocktail favourite of Chris Braitch, head of commercial at Cherry Tree – fuses vodka with tomatoes, fresh celery, garlic and pepper to recreate the classic cocktail. Both new lines have an RRP of £4.50. cherrytreepreserves.co.uk


Great Taste award-winning patatas fritas Introducing our NEW sized tin 275g available in a box of 6. Call or email to order.

500g

150g & 50g

275g NEW

Clare Scott Dryden mb 07973 215 407 clare@riversidelifestyle.co.uk www.bonillacrispsuk.co.uk

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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Axicon were, we have to say, amazing. They delivered our labels on time and perfectly printed and took our last minute phone calls in their stride. They understood the importance of the perfect label and gave us the product that (hopefully!) stands out from the crowd!

SCOTCH BONNET CHILLI JAM

is a premium condiments brand on a mission to celebrate the Scotch Bonnet Chilli! Our delicious Chilli Jams are handcrafted in small batches with organic produce and are Vegan friendly. Inspired by Wine & Cheeseboards, is well-balanced with flavours of ‘sweet and heat’ making it incredibly versatile! We’re here to liven up your Cheeseboards, pimp your Toasties and make your Brunches brilliant with style. Available in three flavours: Hot, Mild and our newest Mango, made with the ‘King of Mangoes’, the Alphonso, are simply sensational. It’s the extra layer of flavour you didn’t know you needed with your daily meals, meats or paired with your Italian inspired Charcuterie Cheeseboard. You’re guaranteed to experience #HeatDoneWell

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When Food Becomes Artwork Stunning Bonbons, Truffles, Bars & Treats. Handmade in Scotland. At Bella Chocolate we use couverture chocolate for our creations as well as only natural ingredients and no added nasties. Bella Chocolate can accommodate most dietary requirements We will work with clients to create something special for everyone. Have a special request? We love a challenge!

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FREE UK DELIVERY | www.fredas.co.uk 48

March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

Coconut

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SHELF TALK MEET THE PRODUCER

WHAT’S NEW Canadian honey producer, St Lawrence Gold has launched the UK’s first blueberry blossom honey. The honey is made by bees pollinating the wild blueberry bushes of Quebec, giving it a hint of tangy blueberry. It has an RRP of £5.99 per 330g jar. djmfoodsolutions.co.uk

Robin Longden is the founder of ROLLAGRANOLA. From humble beginnings experimenting at home, the brand has grown into a premium granola producer and now offers its range without packaging to zero-waste retailers What were you doing before you launched Rollagranola? I worked for 20 years in the food industry, and then for 15 years in consultancy across many sectors as an independent manager. Over the years, I tended to take roles that others saw as challenging or difficult. Why did you decide to launch the brand? I came across really good granola in the States and then started to make my own at home. When I researched the ingredients and what they could do for your body I couldn’t understand why breakfast had become so dumbed down. Instead of slow-burn energy we had a breakfast full of sugary carbs. I thought I should see if people would go for something different and pay the premium for better ingredients. So, I decided to test this idea out. What is the biggest lesson you have learned since starting the business? Keep your ambition huge and be prepared to go step by step.

Founded during lockdown last year, The Oil Guys creates infused rapeseed oils using locally sourced produce (where possible) from its base in the South Downs. All of these small-batch oils – Fiery Sussex, Lemon Coast, Garlic Downs, and Ginger Duke – are available in 250ml bottles theoilguys.square.site

us. They educate you and you end up realising your product is part of a value statement. Once you realise your ideas are shared by other, equally committed people it doesn’t seem so daunting.

If our customers have similar values to us, then we have a common purpose

Why is it important for you to offer a zero-waste option to retailers? Those guys are committed to making a difference; they are more than shopkeepers. Initially, it was hard to think through how to serve the sector, but it feels like a natural extension of our business to deal with people who fully display our product for all to see and to allow people to buy the amount they want. Initially, we thought, ‘why not try it?’ As it grew, we realised we needed to figure out how to serve the sector well, or we would have to stop. Operationally and commercially, it presents challenges but the idea of supporting people with the same values who were bringing life back to the high street meant we decided we needed to make it work, rather than find reasons to not. They serve people who want better, who will walk to the shops, who care about the environment and who value good food.

What makes your granola stand out? Short answer: It’s great food – quality ingredients, made into fantastic tasting granolas. Long answer: We want to provide something that people enjoy eating. Even though we make all our products in our factory, we still want to keep a homemade element. So, despite scaling up to make tonnes of product, the basic principles and approach are the same now as when I made it in my kitchen. You can taste and see the ingredients, you will know what you are eating, and it will sustain you through the morning – unfortunately for consumers, not many products are made in this way anymore. What made you want to make the fabric of your brand eco-conscious? It’s about values, for us and our customers. We want to make and sell good, honest food – the honesty ends up going beyond food. As a small brand if we can help make a difference, why not? And if our customers have similar values to us, then we have a common purpose. I started selling on markets, direct to the public – this grounded

What is next for Rollagranola? Despite the pandemic, we remain ambitious. We are expanding our offering into snacks and porridge, developing new concepts and we like Ground Sponsor advert 2016 print ready.pdf the idea Freshly of more organic products. C

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Tracklements is set to launch its take on a South Asian pickle, Feisty Pineapple Achar. This special edition savoury preserve is said to be a good match for grilled meats or fish. The new line is available in 6x220g jars with an RRP of £3.35. trade.tracklements.co.uk

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Attempting to shake up the spirits market with its premium botanic vodka is Gattertop Drinks. Joining its Great Taste 2-star winning damson liqueur is Botanic Nº7, a 100% Britishmade grain spirit with botanicals foraged from the producer’s ancient orchards fields and woodlands: damson 16/08/2016 10:37 blossom, apple blossom, elderflower, basil, lemon, rosemary and nettle. Botanic Nº7 is available in 70cl bottles and 5cl miniatures. RRP, £40, trade ££26 incl. VAT (70cl). gattertopdrinks.com Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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DELI OF THE MONTH In 2017, Richard and Nicola Eckersley took a leap of faith with Richard leaving behind his career in professional football to pursue the more wholesome dream of opening the UK’s first zero-waste shop. Now, their Devon-based operation Earth.Food.Love is inspiring refillable retailing around the world. Interview by Michael Lane

Where the jars are more than half-full YOU’VE HEARD THE one about the banker who quit the city to open a cheese shop. Or the story of the management consultant who cashed in their savings to set up a deli-café. But what about the professional footballer who hung up his boots and founded the country’s first zero-waste shop? “It sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it?” says Richard Eckersley, who runs Earth.Food.Love. in Totnes with his wife Nicola. “I was getting disillusioned with football and knew that I was coming to the end of my time, even though I was only 27. We just wanted a different life.” In truth, the tale of how Eckersley, who began his career at Manchester United, came to be loading up silos of oats and pulses in a small Devon town is quite well-documented – through countless magazine and newspaper profiles

VITAL STATISTICS

Turnover: £250,000 Number of lines: 300 Staff members: 5 Quantity of jumbo oats sold: 35kg per week

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published when the shop first opened. But now the novelty of his post-football career move has worn off, it appears that the business idea was a good one. The shop is just shy of four years old, it has a healthy £250,000 annual turnover and – even on the bitterly cold February day that FFD visits – customers will still wait patiently to get inside. Not only is Earth. Food. Love a feasible business, it has also now proved to be a trailblazer and a blueprint for other similar retailers who have since set up. “Was it viable? I didn’t know at the time,” says Richard. “Luckily I had money from football and thought I’ll put it into it and see what happens. It’s been sustainable and it’s standing on its own two feet.”

Back in 2016, the plan to dispense loose products hadn’t fully formed in the Eckersleys’ minds. After holidaying in Devon they knew that they wanted to move from Manchester to Totnes. The town is well-known for its independent residents (it once had its own currency) and its love of sustainable practices. And ever since Richard’s playing stint in the US, the couple had been embracing a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, including organic food and veganism. As it happens, the problem of plastic waste was sounding a chord with them at that time. Richard was having to drive their recycling to a centre in Manchester, because their apartment block didn’t even have the bins for it. “I thought ‘There must be another way of


MUST-STOCKS Oats (Infinity) Basmati rice (Infinity) Hodmedods British Quinoa Red lentils (Infinity) Chickpeas (Infinity)

doing this’,” he says. “‘How can we have all these bottles that people accumulate over the year and we can’t refill them? How is that even a thing in this country?’ That was the start.” Several years on, the couple is very clear about what the mission is. “A zero-waste lifestyle is where a circular economy replaces a linear economy,” says Nicola Eckersley. “We personally prefer the term ‘striving for zero waste’, as we can all only do our best. But if you follow the 5Rs (refuse, reuse, repair, recycle, rot), then you will dramatically reduce the waste you produce.” Researching the retail concept to promote this lifestyle wasn’t exactly easy because nothing like it existed in the UK. Having seen photos of a Berlin shop called Unverpackt online and done a reccy of some chocolate dispensing units at the back of a London health store, the couple just went for it and opened the shop in March 2017. Richard’s savings from football were enough to cover the sourcing of specialist dispensing silos and units, as well as fitting out the shop, purchasing glassware and some £10,000 in initial stock. Once they had invested in branding and a till system, he estimates that setting up cost in excess of £40,000. Even if they had wanted to borrow start-up funds, he says that there was no proven business model to show to lenders. And, besides this, the Eckersleys’ ambitions were modest. “It wasn’t about ‘We’re going to open this shop then we’re going to open three more, then four more, then five more.’” “Actually we had six months running it and

thought ‘Wow, it’s quite successful, we’re taking a wage already, this is weird (from a new business standpoint). Then we were like ‘What we’re going to do is allow this to roll out across the country but let other people do it’.” Any retailer or potential retailer can download the Earth. Food. Love guide to setting up a zerowaste shop from the business’s website. And, the couple has been contacted by entrepreneurs from across the UK and beyond, including Australia, South Africa and Canada, with tales of how this document inspired them. “So, everyone’s got their own little businesses, but independent, which is just what we wanted to see: independent businesses moving back onto the high street.” One of the more interesting points that the document makes for those looking to set up is about how you approach stocking a refillables shop. “All zero-waste shops cater to people who want to eliminate plastic packaging from their lives,” it says. “But not all have to cater to the same crowd.” Earth. Food. Love very much plays to its audience in Totnes, which is home to lots of organic enthusiasts, and vegetarians. The range of pulses, cereals and nuts in its silos are all 100% organic and everything in the shop is plant-based. The offer includes a variety of flours and spices, oils and vinegars, teas and coffee and chocolates. There’s also a make-your-own nut butter station, washing detergents on tap and a small fridge for

Dried mango (Infinity) Ombar chocolate buttons (ombar) Peanut butter (Infinity) Maple syrup Rerooted plant milks

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Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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DELI OF THE MONTH plant-based mylks and maple syrup. In total, there are more than 300 lines crammed into the rustically fitted out 350sq ft retail space. The goal is that customers should be able to buy everything for their storecupboard and then head to the greengrocer and butcher up the high street to complete a plastic-free shop. Four years in business is a testament to the success of this product mix. Despite COVID and the Baltic weather rendering Totnes virtually empty in February, the warm glow from the store’s Edison bulb lighting welcomes a variety of customers in. FFD witnesses pensioners, mums with children and even customers you might pigeonhole as millennials. One customer with a basketful of oils, cereals and flour says: “There are some people that move to the area to shop in places like this.” But Richard Eckersley says Earth.Food.Love is a broad church customer-wise. “I’m shocked at the different types of people that come here,” he says. “Initially I thought it would just be organic, earthy people who drink hemp milk and all that jazz, but it’s a mixed bag.” While there are plenty that fit the health food shop profile, there are also families who come in to bulk buy and former Londoners that Eckersley describes as “quite mainstream”. Plenty of these customers might do a £30 shop and only come back to do the same two

weeks later. What all these customers have in common is they experience the same simple purchasing process – you weigh your container, fill it, weigh it again and the scales print a price sticker – and they are getting value for money. “Every product in a refillable shop (at least ours anyway) is cheaper than buying prepackaged in another store,” says Nicola Eckersley. “We buy in bulk, and therefore receive a discount, and we pass this on directly to our customers.” Although the process of re-filling the silos and other dispensers from 25kg bags is trickier than stacking a shelf, there are benefits in this format for the retailer too. Stock management is remarkably simple. When a member of staff empties a bag, they just chalk it up on a board in the back room and it will go on the next order. Top-sellers like jumbo oats (35kg-plus is sold most weeks) are ordered regularly regardless. Ordering is relatively straightforward, too, with wholesalers like Infinity and Essential providing the bulk goods and the odd few lines sourced direct from producers. The only problem the Eckersleys now have is where to put any additional lines. “We’ve got a whole new shop in the back that no one knows about,” says Nicola, gesturing towards a list on a big blackboard behind the till. “That’s what we can’t fit on the shopfloor.” Richard adds: “We are at capacity right now.

That’s the only reason we’d want to move – if we wanted to stock more things – we love this shop.” While the couple would never move outside of the town, they may need to start looking for that bigger unit given their designs on expanding the offer with more liquids and moving beyond ambient goods. “Everything can be stored loose in the right conditions,” says Richard. “It’s just having the space to create that environment – like having a deli counter to hold loose tofu, tempeh, sauerkraut, hummus even.” “Truth be told, I’ve seen lots of different versions of these shops. Some have done it to a high, really professional standard, and others have done it in a more of a village shop way. Everyone can set one up within their realm and budget. Just because we did it like this doesn’t mean you have to do it this way.” Given the pandemic and with two young daughters, Earth.Food.Love’s owners are in no hurry to disrupt what they’ve got. “Our favourite saying when we were starting the shop was ‘we’ll figure it out’,” says Richard. “And we still say the same thing to each other today.” You can’t say it hasn’t served them well so far. thezerowasteshop.co.uk

I’m shocked at the different types of people that come here. I thought it would just be earthy people, but it’s a mixed bag.

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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March 2021 | Vol.22 Issue 2

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GUILD TALK

View from HQ

By John Farrand managing director

ANTHONY CRESWELL UTTERED my favourite line of 2020. When interviewed for the Great Taste Book having scooped the Golden Fork from Ireland, he proclaimed: “We try to produce the best; we don’t try to produce the most.” Anthony’s family business, Ummera, cures and smokes excellent smoked salmon in Ireland. That’s great if you live on the Emerald Isle – as of January this

news from the guild of fine food year he has ceased to export. No prizes for guessing why. The stories of import and export woe since the beginning of the year have filled my inbox: customs charges as much as the cost of the consignment itself, entire boatloads of fish rejected because the paperwork states, ‘UK’ instead of ‘GB’, the list goes on. Defra is working hard to inform the industry with webinars and websites, but it’s trickier for smaller retailers and producers to digest, as they don’t have the time or the people to organise vets, fill in the POAO forms or decipher a phytosanitary declaration. It will, no doubt, be all right in the end. But how long before the customs agents get it and the ports find some

I don’t want the UK to return to the ’70s and ’80s, when we had a reputation for producing rather soulless food

The Word on Westminster By Edward Woodall ACS

WITH THE BUDGET on the horizon, all focus is on what policy measures the Chancellor is considering. What is becoming increasingly clear is this is not a business-as-usual Budget, we should expect to see a range of short-term measures that focus on helping businesses and individuals to make it through the ongoing impact of the pandemic. There is both a political and economic benefit to this shortterm approach to the Budget. The government will have more time and economic data to inform their policy response; while the vaccine rollout has been a success, there is uncertainty about how quickly the UK economy will bounce back. Politically, the government has

more time to ponder and build support for their fiscal response that will inevitably involve some tough fiscal decisions, including tax rises. But there is also a price to pay for delay, especially concerning structural change to taxes like business rates that have long hampered high streets. The Chancellor appears likely to extend rates reliefs for businesses in some form but has postponed more fundamental reform. While a few months’ wait may not seem long this is a compounding delay – Government has been running reviews and pushing back reform since 2011. This matters because, if we want to accelerate the recovery from COVID, we need a tax system that incentivises investment and gives business the confidence to grow again. Reforms to rates are also

consistency in what they charge, allow, or reject? I’m concerned that the only winners here will be larger food producers and retailers who have the resources to overcome it. Smaller, makers and sellers will be hamstrung by import and export chaos and, quite frankly, will give up. And removing that colour from our food scene scares me. I don’t want the UK to return to where it was in the ’70s and ’80s. A time when we had a reputation for producing rather soulless food and drink, without regional variation, provenance, or personality. We were known for overdone roast beef and beans on toast. How many food tourists did we get then? I’m no idiot. There is a place and need for mass production but by not helping our nation’s artisans to continue to trade internationally, we are accidentally underpinning the larger-scale production that isn’t going to uphold the global and credible food reputation we have all worked hard to achieve over the last 30 years. And then no one will want to buy our food and drink anyway. needed to address the growing inequality between purely online retailers and high street retailers. It looks like the Treasury is realising that a new approach is needed to tax online businesses and, in turn, reduce the burden on physical retailers trading in communities. The speed of delivery is also key given current circumstance and the acceleration of consumer shopping habits. In our evidence to the Treasury and our engagement with parliamentarians, we have made clear that reform to rates is essential for the provision of services in communities. This means reducing the overall burden of rates, levelling the playing field with online retailers and targeting support for businesses delivering essential services in communities. Edward Woodall is head of policy & public affairs at small shops group ACS edward.woodall@acs.org.uk

Retailer promotion The Guild’s Great Taste retailer promotion closes for applications on 5th March. This in-store promotion is open to any independent retailer wanting to shine a light on the winners they stock. There’s a full merchandising pack with point-of-sale material, Great Taste Books to give away and a constructive guide to holding promotions. Shops are encouraged to join in the Instagram competition using #GreatTasteRetailer21 and tagging @guildoffinefood to be in the running to win a photographer for a day. Contact stephanie.harewinton@gff.co.uk

We're here to help Retail members will have received an email to introduce their point of contact at Guild HQ. This new initiative will give each member a specific person to help make the most of the resources available to them as part of the membership. It is also an opportunity to raise issues pertinent to your shop.

Working for you Alongside leading business organisations, the Guild continues to represent food and drink SMEs on various Defra panels. That engagement bore fruit on 11th February as Michael Gove announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to aid adjustment to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. www.gff.co.uk/brexit-whatyou-need-to-know

The Guild of Fine Food represents fine food shops and specialist suppliers. Want to join them? GENERAL ENQUIRIES Guild of Fine Food Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB UK Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065 info@gff.co.uk gff.co.uk

THE GUILD TEAM: Managing director: John Farrand Marketing director: Tortie Farrand Sales director: Sally Coley Operations director: Christabel Cairns

Sales manager: Ruth Debnam Sales executives: Becky Haskett Sam Coleman Membership, circulation & awards manager: Karen Price Operations manager: Claire Powell

Operations assistant: Meredith White Events manager: Stephanie HareWinton Events assistant: Sophie Brentnall Financial controller: Stephen Guppy Accounts manager: Denise Ballance

gff.co.uk Accounts assistant: Julie Coates Chairman: Bob Farrand Director: Linda Farrand

Vol.22 Issue 2 | March 2021

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NEW

MAKE TIME FO R YO U R S E L F Take a moment to savour the signature crunch of Peter’s Yard in a new savoury snack. Crafted from our 16-hour fermented sourdough, our Bites are seasoned with all-natural ingredients for a delicious hand-baked snack with 60% less fat than potato crisps.

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Profile for Guild of Fine Food

FFD March 2021  

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