Associated British Foods, which owns Allied Bakeries and British Sugar, has reported a 13% rise in group revenue over the corresponding period last year, despite a 12% fall in sugar revenues, according to the company’s interim management statement.During the 16 weeks to January 2008, the group said the rise in revenues had been “driven by strong growth from Primark, Agriculture, Grocery and Ingredients”, but was “marginally offset by lower revenues from sugar”.The company added that while wheat prices remain high in the UK and Australia, they have been “successfully recovered through pricing”.
Sussex-based Stoneham Bakehouse is crowdfunding in order to set up permanent premises, and is offering rewards in return for donations.Stoneham Bakehouse is looking to raise £20,000 from a crowdfunder to help set up a permanent base – the team are all currently itinerant bakers, baking wherever they can find an oven. It is looking to open a bakery on Stoneham Road in Hove (formerly home to Clark’s Bakery).The bakers almost all live locally and volunteer their time on a regular basis. The business also works in the community to share the therapeutic nature of making bread – something which Simon, one of the directors, came to realise the benefits of when battling with depression and anxiety himself.Founded two years ago, the group has so far raised £7,640 from 132 supporters. But this project will only be funded if at least £20,000 is pledged by 12pm on 15 March.The money will be used to buy a three deck ovens, a mixer, a catering fridge, a prover, a water heater and to cover electrical costs.In return for pledges, the group is offering rewards – £10 in return for a loaf of bread a week for four weeks, once the shop opens. There are also spaces on its breadmaking workshops, an opportunity to attend a ‘VIP pizza night’, and a personalised breadmaking workshop for a group of friends.The group said in a statement: “We bake in various ovens across the community, and are looking for a space in the local area to create a bakery in the heart of the community.“We bake bread for the community, baked by the community, for the benefit of the community. As a community business, we’ll put profits back into the community, offering breadmaking courses and using the bread oven to bring parts of the community together.”Recent ventures have included a baking session with a group of vulnerable women from The Gateway Centre women’s charity. Simon said: “Baking bread with a group always has a way of easing tensions and encouraging chat.“…As we move forward, we want be able to support people across the community, whatever their difficulties, and we’re excited about doing so at the bakehouse on Stoneham Road.”To find out more or to donate to the cause, click here. read more