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    Reported move follows on from the success of such products in the fast-food giant’s Indian restaurants

    Global fast-food giant Burger King is reportedly keen on introducing more vegetarian items to the menus of its UK restaurants.

    The alleged move follows the success of such items in Burger King India, which introduced six vegetarian snacks, sandwiches and entry-level burgers in its offering when the chain began life in the Indian nation in November 2014.

    “Looking at the response here, the global management is evaluating introducing some of these options going forward to other vegetarian-friendly markets like the UK,” Raj Varman, chief executive officer of Burger King India, told India’s largest news agency, Press Trust of India.

     

    Burger King targets more veggie options for UK customers

    Ayrshire meat company, We Hae Meat, has rolled out its single-portion Scotch pie range to 62 Asda stores across Scotland.

    Asda described the range as a “revolutionary” take on the Scotch pie, with fillings including BBQ Pulled Pork, Balmoral Chicken, BBQ Pulled Beef and Chicken Curry.

    “Through the single-portion pie range, we’ve given the Scotch pie a contemporary makeover, using the kind of flavours and fillings that we – as a young modern family – would like to eat,” said Carlyn Paton, director of We Hae Meat.
     
    “As butchers who are relatively new to the industry, we are proud to look at product development with fresh eyes and pick what we think will give the very best result – whether that’s a recipe inspired by tradition or current trends.”
     
    The pies use quality-assured meat from the Paton family farm based at Cairnhill near Girvan.

    “We’re hugely excited to bring our innovative pies and butcher’s shop roots to the convenience of the supermarket. Here’s to introducing a new wave of Scotch pie to the Scottish people!” added Paton.
     
    Brian O’Shea, regional buying manager for Asda Scotland, commented: “The Scotch pie is a huge part of our national identity, but is at risk of getting stuck in the past if it remains bridled by convention.
     
    “We are delighted to be exclusively stocking this revolutionary new take on the traditional Scotch pie.
     
    “The innovative flavours, made with delicious ingredients, are exactly what our customers want. We Hae Meat has really hit the nail on the head with their exciting new range.”

    The pies will be launched exclusively in Asda at a retail price of £1.50.

    Scotch pie line rolled out in Asda

    Group’s banana operations in Costa Rica have been awarded carbon neutrality certification by SCS

    To coincide with Earth Day 2015, Del Monte Fresh Produce has concluded that its banana operations in Costa Rica have achieved carbon neutrality certification from SCS.

    Del Monte has also confirmed its continued commitment to conservation through its reforestation/conservation programmes across all its farming operations worldwide.

    Carbon neutrality certification covers the entire custody chain from Del Monte banana farms – consisting of 33 farms and 41 packing houses, totaling 10,653ha – up to the loading port in Costa Rica. Greenhouse gas emission audits were conducted by SCS Global Services and were based on the following four, widely accepted, standards:

    • World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (Revised Edition)
    • Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard: Supplement to the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard
    • Draft Costa Rican Standard 2013 “Metodología para la Cuantificación y Verificación de Remociones Forestales – Borrador”
    • SCS’ Carbon Neutrality Requirements (a proprietary standard by SCS Global Services), June 2014

    “We are very excited that our banana operations in Costa Rica achieved carbon neutrality status and were certified under these very stringent standards,” said Hans Sauter, vice-president corporate research & development and agricultural services of Del Monte. “With these satisfying results, we are now looking into replicating this experience in other operations.

    “This certification validates the effectiveness of our environmental sustainability efforts and it comes on the heels of our recent sustainably grown certification by SCS of our banana and pineapple operations both in Costa Rica and Guatemala,” he added.

    As part of the company’s commitment to offset its carbon emissions, Del Monte Fresh Produce continues to invest significant resources in maintaining nature reserves as well as planting trees in its operations worldwide.

    It is estimated that by the end of 2015, a total of 7,578ha will be under protected status or reforested. This is in addition to the thousands of trees, many of them local species, which are donated every year to the schools and employees in communities where Del Monte operates.

    Del Monte achieves carbon milestone

    The meat snacking market provides a substantial opportunity for businesses, according to a new report into eating habits.

    The report, Redefining Healthy Snacking, found the meat snacking market has increased over 20% in several countries between 2012-2014. 

    According to market analysts Neilsen, between 40% and 60% of consumers in different regions of the globe often replace a meal with a snack. The Redefining Health Snacking report found several companies are exploiting this to their advantage.

    “The businesses that are proving rather successful are the ones that are creating new markets with new, differentiated snack concepts, often using new ingredients and processes, often sold under new brands (or old brands that have been boldly reinvented) with new messages,” said Julian Mellentin, author of the report. “They do not follow the market with predictable products.”

    Meanwhile the report states that start-up companies are best placed to capitalise on the trend: “consumers’ beliefs about what healthy means have fragmented massively, creating a wealth of niches that can be used as platforms to build successful brands. Big companies tend to overlook areas that seem too small, leaving the way clear for entrepreneurs and start-ups.”

    Snacking sector offers opportunity for meat businesses

    Sales of the potatoes reach an all-time high during the two-week run up to the festive period, according to key supplier Branston

    Potato supplier, Branston, has revealed the King Edward as the nationʼs favourite roaster to accompany the traditional Christmas lunch.

    Sales of the potatoes reach an all-time high during the two-week run up to the festive period, with celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith and Tom Kerridge championing the variety.

    Branston sales and marketing director, James Truscott, said: “The King Edward is undoubtedly the king of the crop when it comes to the Christmas roast dinner, with sales increasing by around 250% in the run up to the big day.

    “Whilst sales across other lines such as mainstream white potatoes and Maris Piper also increase substantially, the UKʼs love affair with this, the most traditional of all the potato offerings, really stands out.”

    The variety has been grown in the UK since 1902, making it one of the oldest varieties still grown commercially. Presented as a white skinned potato with pink colouration, it is oval shaped and has a floury texture.

    Truscott added: “King Edward roast potatoes are as much a part of the traditional Christmas lunch as turkey, sprouts and chipolatas.

    “With a delicious crispy outside and a smooth fluffy middle, they are the perfect accompaniment to the seasonal roast.”

    King Edward potatoes are available all throughout the UK and are in peak season from October through to April.

    An average 2.5kg pack costs around £2.

    King Edward is UK’s favourite Xmas roast potato

    Rudolph is proving popular on dinner plates this Christmas, with Lidl reporting strong sales of its smoked reindeer. 

    The reindeer product, part of Lidl’s Deluxe range, has been on sale for just one week. The retailer said it had been particularly popular in stores in the south east. 

    A Lidl spokesperson added: “We hope that our reindeer, along with our other super-premium products in the Deluxe range, appeal to anyone who has an interest in fine foods, but does not want to pay the high prices usually associated with them.” 

    Animal welfare group Viva! has slammed Lidl for selling reindeer meat, asking it to withdraw the product “due to the cruelty inherent in modern forms of herding, as well as slaughter methods that may be illegal in the UK”. 

    However, the retail giant defended its offering: “The smoked reindeer that we sell is from the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region in Siberia. The reindeers pasture freely in the tundra year-round, changing location on almost a weekly basis. They are herded by local native Nenets people, with reindeer farming playing an enormous cultural and economical part in the lives of the people in this region. 

    “All reindeer are slaughtered in strict accordance with EU guidelines and our own high standards of food safety, hygiene and animal welfare.” 

    Lidl claims strong reindeer sales

    Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) West Country Beef has been chosen by Tesco for use in its ‘Finest’ range.

    The PGI beef, sourced from Two Sisters Foods in Bodmin, Cornwall, will fill Finest Steak Pies, made by Tamar Foods in Callington, also in Cornwall, for stores nationwide. 

    />The West Country PGI status, which covers both lamb and beef, was obtained thanks to work done by strategic advisory body Meat South West (MSW) and other organisations. 

    Peter Baber, chairman of MSW, said: “We worked incredibly hard to help secure the PGI for both West Country Beef and West Country Lamb. Tesco’s decision to use West Country Beef in its Finest steak and steak and ale pies is a direct result of those efforts. 

    “It is incredibly promising news for West Country produce. We are delighted with the outcome and the benefits that will bring to the region’s farmers and processors, who can take advantage of the premium status given to the region’s beef and lamb now eligible to carry the PGI.”  

    To qualify for the protected status, the lamb and beef must be at least 70% forage-fed, and come from stock born, raised and finished in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or Wiltshire. 

    Gary Bound, purchasing manager for Tamar Foods, said: “We are delighted to be able to use PGI West Country Beef in this top-tier product for our retail customer. The recent awarding of PGI status has given us the opportunity to use high-quality, regional beef, which reduces food miles, secures employment locally and adds value to the regional economy.”  

    West Country Beef and Lamb chosen for Tesco’s Finest pies

    Retailer takes action at Dundee branch after incidents which appear to coincide with introduction of 5p carrier bag charge

    A Dundee supermarket has been forced to put security tags on its shopping baskets to stop shoppers from stealing them.

    Asda told BBC News“a number of baskets” had disappeared from its Milton of Craigie store in the city, and that the incidents appear to coincide with the introduction of a carrier bag charge.

    The minimum charge of 5p per carrier bag was introduced by the government in Scotland on 20 October.

    A spokesperson for the leading UK retailer said: “Sadly since the  carrier bags were first introduced, we have lost a number of baskets.

    “We have reluctantly introduced security tags to ensure all our customers can carry out their shopping without disruption.”

    The Asda spokesperson noted that the measure was not being rolled out across the country.

    Asda security-tags baskets to stop people stealing them

    A full schedule of in-store marketing events are planned for Germany, Denmark, Poland, UK and Sweden to promote the benefits of pears

    Pears will be the main focus of the Fruitness, Enjoy it! campaign organised by Italy’s CSO Fruit & Vegetable services centre and co-financed by the European Union and the Italian agriculture ministry to promote Italian fruits and vegetables Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

    A series of promotional events are scheduled to take place in various supermarkets in these countries, all centered on pears.

    “Pears possess numerous virtues from a health point of view, and by carrying out dedicated promotion activities in the main supermarkets in these five countries the Fruitness campaign aims to increase consumer awareness of the benefits of regular pear consumption for all members of the family,” the campaign’s organisers said in a press release.

    The many benefits of pears include their richness in natural sugars, low calorie content (roughly 100 calories in an average-sized 160g pear), and high fibre content, which assists intestinal regularity and helps keep cholesterol levels down.

    “An average-size pear also contains roughly 210mg of potassium, an important element in sustaining muscle contraction (and therefore exercise and sport), nerve transmission and protein metabolisation. Last but not least, pears also contain plentiful vitamin C (roughly 7 mg per pear), excellent for maintaining a youthful skin and boosting the immune system,” the statement said.

    According to figures published at Prognosfruit, the annual conference devoted to estimates of international apple and pear production, Italy emerged again as Europe’s top pear producer, with a production forecast of 707,000 tonnes, slightly down (- 3%) on 2013. Spain has the next highest volume, with a forecast of 371,000 tonnes for 2014, a fall of 8 per cent on last year. In third place is the Netherlands which, unlike the majority of European countries, actually shows an increase in production, with 336,000 tonnes forecast for 2014, a 3% increase compared to 2013 and 17% up on the last three years.

    The “Fruitness, Enjoy it!” project was first launched in 2006, and as well as pears focuses on peaches, nectarines, kiwifruit, apricots and plums. Since its launch, 35m contacts have been made with the www.fruitness.eu/ website, notching up over 9.2m individual users per month. This figure is complemented by a further 25m contacts through traditional Press Office and Public Relations activities, and 10m through banner campaigns in sector websites.

    Italian campaign to focus on pears
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