Friday, 18 December 2009

Low fat sausages get the green light after butcher joins Healthier Food, Healthier Business project


A Derbyshire butcher is launching two new low fat sausages in the New Year after taking part in a project to help East Midlands food and drink manufacturers create healthier products.


J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd turned to the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project being spearheaded by The Food & Drink Forum when dieting customers began asking for low fat versions of its bangers.

Aware of the need to comply with strict labelling legislation before products can be labelled ‘low fat’, the butcher sought free help and advice from The Food & Drink Forum’s technical manager Richard Wigley.

He was able to advise on the claims that can be made on the labels of the newly created low fat pork and low fat turkey sausages, and liaise with Trading Standards experts over the precise nutritional composition of the products, which confirmed they could be described as low fat.

A product can only be labelled as low in fat when it contains no more than 3g of fat per 100g of product, explains Richard. The new sausages created by J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd have just 0.4g of fat per 100g in the pork product, and the turkey sausage a fat content of just 0.6g per 100g of product.

Now the new products are set for a launch in the New Year, and director John Mettrick has high hopes they will be a hit with customers who are cutting down on their fat intake.

“I think this fits in with what people are looking for,” explains John Mettrick, director at J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd, which has shops in Hadfield and Glossop, runs an abattoir in Glossop, North Derbyshire, and trades online at www.mettricksbutchers.co.uk. “We had quite a few customers who were in slimming groups who were asking if we could develop products that would fit in with their diets.

“We are looking to flag up the fact that a product that’s normally regarded by many people as an unhealthy product, can be a healthy product if it’s made correctly. Richard’s input has been crucial. For a little business like us, it would have been a struggle to afford the technical expertise that we’ve had, and without the help we would have muddled along. The Healthier Food, Healthier Business project, with its free support for East Midlands businesses, has been perfect for us.”

The Food & Drink Forum is spearheading the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project on behalf of the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help small and medium size firms within the East Midlands region cut the saturated fat levels in their products to make them healthier, develop healthier products, reduce portion size or use the front of pack labelling scheme and ultimately make them more appealing to customers.

The project is also helping companies develop lower fat options, at a time when the importance of diet and healthy eating is increasingly being highlighted.

The Forum is emphasizing the value of healthier options by pointing out that they are worth an estimated more than £7 billion in the UK each year. The healthier food options sector is growing faster than sales in the food sector as a whole, according to market research experts Mintel.

The Food & Drink Forum has teamed up with Trading Standards labelling experts, and nutrition, diet and flavour experts from The University of Nottingham to help manufacturers in the region discover ways of making their products lower in saturated fat, but without compromising on flavour.

The project, which runs until the end of March, is currently helping a number of East Midlands food manufacturers to develop lower fat products.

“I have been very pleased to work with J W Mettrick & Sons Ltd under the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project to support them in the creation of two new low fat sausages, and hope they go down well with the firm’s customers,” says Richard Wigley.

For more information about the free support that’s available in the East Midlands under the Healthier Food, Healthier Business project, which runs until the end of March 2010, contact The Food & Drink Forum on 0115 9758810.

Professional success for BSP Consulting employees


BSP Consulting employee Matt Viggars has become one of the youngest people in the East Midlands to be awarded the status of chartered engineer.

Matt, 26, has passed his professional charter review to become a chartered civil engineer, recommended by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

BSP Consulting is also celebrating the news that Cat Delamore has become an incorporated engineer and is now working towards her chartership via the technical report route.

Cat, 29, has been working at BSP since 2003 after graduating from Nottingham Trent University. She joined the company under the Government’s New Deal scheme.

“BSP Consulting is very proud of both Matt and Cat, who are valuable members of the team,” said BSP Consulting managing director David Sumner. “We are delighted with their success, which recognises their competence, ability and professionalism in their fields, as well as the firm’s commitment to training and personal development.”

Matt and Cat are based at BSP’s Nottingham office in Oxford Street. The structural and civil engineering company, which also has offices in Derby and Leicester, has been celebrating its tenth anniversary during 2009.

In October it was crowned Consultant of the Year 2009 at the East Midlands Property Dinner.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Help banish the New Year winter blues naturally with Anila’s curry sauces and accompaniments


Anila’s curry sauces are the tasty way to help lift a mood and banish the winter blues. The heat and spices of a curry triggers the release of endorphins, otherwise known as the ‘feel good’ hormones, … helping to create a natural ‘high’.

A perfect ‘pick-me-up’ when days are dull, a curry could be just the thing to put some sparkle in your step.

But be prepared – it’s thought by some that curries are addictive, so be sure to stock up the cupboards to see you through the winter.

“When you eat a curry, the body releases endorphins in response to the hotter ingredients in the dish,” explains Anila Vaghela, who founded the family-run business of Anila’s Authentic Sauces in 1997. “These ‘feel good’ hormones help to lift a mood and make people feel happier, so curries are perfect as a pick-me-up during the gloomy winter months.”

Anila’s curry sauces are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as being sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. They also don’t contain onions or garlic.

Perfect for anyone with specific allergies or intolerances, Anila’s has a range of eight curry sauces, based on traditional Indian recipes. They have won ten Great Taste Awards, and in 2009 Anila’s Spicy Korma Curry Sauce scooped a Free From Food Award.

Several studies have shown that eating curry releases endorphins, or feel good hormones, which help relieve stress and lift a mood. Some of the spices used in Anila’s curry sauces are also beneficial for other aspects of health. Cumin is good for the intestines, while fennel helps swellings or upset stomachs. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, boosts circulation and is good for colds and joints. Coriander can also help with respiratory problems when combined with cumin and turmeric, which in itself is an antioxidant that cleanses the blood and is good for joints.

Salicylic acid, which is used in aspirin, and is found naturally in curries, can help prevent colon cancer and treat headaches.

“Spices are an excellent way of boosting health during winter,” explains Anila.

As well as curry sauces, Anila’s also produces a distinctive and delicious range of 16 different mouth-watering ‘handmade’ chutneys, pickles and dips, which are made with single fruits and vegetables, and team up perfectly with a variety of dishes, snacks, meats and cheeses.

Based in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, Anila’s also has a unit in West London.

Anila’s products are available from www.anilassauces.com or at the 28 farmers’ markets across the south listed on the website, as well as in John Lewis Oxford Street and John Lewis Bluewater. They are also sold in top quality gourmet stores, such as Harrods and Selfridges, plus hundreds of other outlets, including Wholefoods, Planet Organic, delis, health food stores, garden centres and gift shops.

For more information visit http://www.anilassauces.com/

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Bumper Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market in Nottingham this month

Fans of Nottingham’s Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market are in for a festive treat this month with an extra three days of trading.

The market will run as usual on the third Friday and Saturday of the month on December 18th and 19th, but will be extended to Sunday 20th, Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd December to give shoppers extra time to buy festive food and foodie gifts from regional producers and suppliers.

The market, organised by East Midlands Fine Foods in conjunction with Nottingham City Council, has been running monthly in the Old Market Square since April 2007.

Stalls sell a wide range of quality regional products including cheese, pickles, meat, smoked fish, beer and game.

“The Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market is a great place to stock up on Christmas essentials and luxuries, as well as source items for gift hampers and presents,” said Jo Murphy, of East Midlands Fine Foods. “At the same time, it’s supporting producers and suppliers across the East Midlands, and helping the local economy.”

This month the market will temporarily relocate to the area in the Old Market Square at the bottom of King Street and alongside the fountains as part of the on-going Christmas festivities in the square.

Some 26 stalls will be in place for the first two days of the market, with more than half of them spending five days at the event.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Yoga course kicks off in the New Year

A Nottinghamshire yoga school has begun recruiting for its next teaching course, which starts in January.

Shanti Yoga School has trained around 40 yoga teachers since it was launched six years ago.

The yoga is based on the Full Movement Method – a unique approach that’s been developed and pioneered by Nottinghamshire yoga teacher and therapist Andy Thomas, 64.

Andy, from West Bridgford, also uses the Full Movement Method as a basis for treating patients for muscle and joint pain, including international sportsmen and women, musicians, and actors, as well as accident victims.

The latest teaching course is due to start in the New Year for anyone interested in learning the method, with tuition taking place at Colwick Quays Business Park, Colwick.

Full details of costs, dates, start times and venue are at http://www.shantiyogaschool.com/

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Girls' Night Out at Colston Bassett Store brings in the cash for charity

A fifth annual charity event held at Colston Bassett Store and Garden Café raised just over £1,200 for Skcin, the Nottingham-based Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity.

It brings the total raised for different charities over the years by customers and friends of the store to approximately £5,000.

This year’s Girls’ Night Out event attracted more than 100 people and featured a host of stalls selling a wide range of accessories and gifts, including jewellery, bags, chocolates, table decorations, beauty treatments and other treats.

The money collected will be handed to the charity set up by family and friends of Karen Clifford, with help from medical professionals at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, which aims to raise awareness of skin cancer and provide funds to treat sufferers of the condition.

“We are delighted to have raised so much money for Skcin and to have held such a popular evening, which has now become a firm favourite on Colston Bassett Store’s calendar,” said Martin Lindsay, who runs the store and café restaurant with wife Jan.

http://www.colstonbassettstore.com/

Children's charity support from Croots Farm Shop

Derbyshire children’s charity Treats is to benefit from festive fund-raising at Croots Farm Shop.

The farm shop at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road, Duffield, has picked Treats Children’s Charity as its chosen charity for the next 12 months, alongside the Shire Horse Society, which it has supported since opening in June 2008.

Croots has kicked off its support with a £500 donation to Treats and has launched its fund-raising effort with a draw for a two-foot high chocolate Santa and the sale of 2010 Croots calendars.

A late night opening with 10% discount on shopping from 3pm to 8pm on Thursday December 10th is to be a focus for fund-raising.

“We like to raise money for charity at Croots, and have decided to support Derbyshire children’s charity Treats for the next 12 months, beginning with a £500 donation and a festive fund-raising effort,” said Croots owner Steve Croot.

“We will be donating £1.50 from the sale of each Croots calendar to Treats, as well as all the proceeds from the draw for the chocolate Santa. We are expecting that our late night opening discount evening on December 10th will be popular and that customers will dig deep to support this very worthwhile charity.”

A Christmas cheese tasting event will also take place at Croots on December 10th from 2pm, featuring five different festive cheeses.

Treats Children’s Charity was launched more than 22 years ago by a group of professional businesswomen in Derbyshire to raise money for the children of Derbyshire and the surrounding region. Over the years, it has donated thousands of pounds to needy causes.

http://www.croots.co.uk/

Friday, 27 November 2009

Yoga book by Nottingham author raises money for African children


Nottingham yoga expert Andy Thomas is helping to raise money for children in Kenya with his latest book Yoga. How and Why it Works.

Proceeds from Andy’s book will go to the Calvary Zion Children's Home in Mombassa, which is building a new, more comfortable home for abandoned or orphaned youngsters.

Andy, 64, is the founder of the Nottinghamshire-based Shanti Yoga School, which has trained dozens of yoga teachers since it was launched six years ago and now runs courses in West Bridgford and Colwick. From yoga, Andy has condensed or distilled the full movement method of therapy which is also taught.

The therapist has written three previous books, Message in the Body, Deep Yoga and Deep Yoga, Deep Healing, which have so far helped to raise nearly £2,000 for the Kenyan children’s home.

His fourth book Yoga. How and Why it Works is a detailed examination of the reason for the effectiveness of yoga as a system of physical, mental and spiritual cultivation.

Yoga. How and Why it Works is ideal for the serious yoga practitioner, the serious interested student and the teacher,” said Andy, who lives in West Bridgford and who has also used the Full Movement Method as a basis for treating thousands of patients for muscle and joint pain, including international sportsmen and women, musicians, and actors, as well as accident victims.

“I am really pleased that sales of my new book will continue to help orphaned and abandoned kids living at the children’s home in Mombassa.”

Yoga. How and Why it Works is published by Arima Publishing and is available from Amazon priced £9.95.

Visit http://www.shantiyogaschool.com/

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Sales shoot up for pie maker after Food and Drink iNet innovation support grant


Online sales shot up by 600% in just one week after a Nottinghamshire pie maker received a grant from the Food and Drink iNet to revamp its website.


Lime Tree Pantry experienced a massive leap in the number of customers buying its pies during the first week following the website redesign.

Sales went up from a typical £333 per week to more than £2,331 in the first seven days.

“We are absolutely delighted with our new website made possible with a grant from the Food and Drink iNet,” said managing director of Ollerton-based Lime Tree Pantry Damien Toms.

The revamp was carried out by Voice Brand Design, of Leicester, who was called in to help ensure that Lime Tree Pantry’s online store achieved its sales targets.

Damien said: “Voice Brand Design have opened our eyes to what using a professional marketing agency can do for sales. It has delivered on all our objectives and I am confident that the site will continue to smash targets and help us to reach new customers.”

David Wallace, Innovation Director at East Midlands Development Agency (emda), which funds the iNet, said: “I am delighted that Lime Tree Pantry’s profits have soared thanks to the Innovation Support Grant from our Food and Drink iNet. Their success demonstrates that businesses in the food and drink sector within the East Midlands are at the forefront of the development and implementation of new and exciting ideas. This is why emda believes that it is so important to support and promote innovation in the region through the iNet. I hope that other businesses within the sector will be inspired by their achievement.”

Lime Tree Pantry received a £5,967 Innovation Support Grant from the Food and Drink iNet, which the firm match-funded, to improve its customer relationship management.

The company, which was founded in 1991 and produces more than 10,000 fruit and savoury pies each week, opted to give its website a major overhaul to encourage traffic visiting the site to place more orders.

Results from launch week have been a staggering success, added Damien.

Voice Brand Design creative director Tim Harrison said: “We are proud to have helped Lime Tree Pantry with transforming their existing website into a mouth-watering online experience. It showcases the craftsmanship of the products housed in an elegant design, which reflects their brand values.

“We have taken what was a failing sales channel and transformed it into a modern, user friendly and successful website Lime Tree is now proud to promote and customers expect to experience. The results, in increased sales, are speaking for themselves.”

Around £250,000 in Innovation Support Grants has been allocated to around 50 food and drink firms across the East Midlands by the Food and Drink iNet since the iNet was launched in 2008. The iNet hopes to have more funding allocated as part of a new contract next year, said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet project director.

“Innovation Support Grants are designed to make a real difference to a company’s prospects, and I am delighted to hear about the success of Lime Tree Pantry’s innovation,” said Peter Maycock.

The Food and Drink iNet is aiming to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It’s also hoping to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

Firms wanting more information should contact the Food and Drink iNet on 0845 521 2066 or visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

For information about support for innovation that is available in the East Midlands, visit www.eminnovation.org.uk

Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen named in 50 best food shops



Derbyshire farm shop Croots has been named in The Independent’s top 50 best food shops.

The farm shop in Wirksworth Road, Duffield, received the rating in a special feature in the national newspaper focusing on some of the finest food shops in the UK.

The judging panel included the founder of the Real Food Festival, the editors of Great British Food magazine, www.foodtripper.com and www.channel4.com/food, and the food director of Olive and Good Food magazine.

One of the judges said: “Croots is more than a shop, it’s a destination. It’s the perfect place to buy everything you need for a special dinner and literally cook from plot to plate.”

Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen owner Steve Croot said: “We were tickled pink to see Croots mentioned as one of the top 50 best food shops in the UK. It’s great to get such high profile recognition.”

Croots was launched in June 2008 and is a passionate supporter of local producers, selling items from around 35 regional suppliers, as well as speciality products from further afield. It produces its own sausages at its in-house butchery department, has a well-stocked cheese and deli counter, and bakes its own scones on the premises.

It also has its own range of locally brewed ales. Visit www.croots.co.uk

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

British Sugar plc shares recipe for success at Food and Drink iNet visit

British Sugar plc is throwing open its doors to fellow regional businesses as part of a series of factory visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet.

Representatives from food and drink companies across the East Midlands are attending the Newark factory visit on January 28th 2010.

It is one of three being organised across the region by the Food and Drink iNet to highlight best practice ways of working. The aim of the visits is to encourage more efficient and effective production across the East Midlands food and drink sector.

Aimed at food and drink manufacturers and academics linked to the food industry, the visits have been designed to illustrate how firms can keep ahead of their competition.

The series began with a visit to Molson Coors Brewery, Burton-upon-Trent, in October and continues with a visit to Rolls-Royce in Derby on February 4th.

”Companies can learn a lot from each other, and we are delighted that British Sugar plc is hosting this visit and sharing some of its best practice ideas,” said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet director. “Interest from fellow East Midlands companies wanting to attend these visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet has been high, and I’m sure those who go on the British Sugar plc visit to Newark will benefit from seeing at first hand the tools and techniques used by the business.”

The British Sugar plc visit will give companies the opportunity to see how the firm stays at the top through resource efficiency, lean manufacturing, problem solving, coaching and cultural changes in production practices, added Peter.

Bob Howe, Newark British Sugar plc factory manager, said: “The Newark factory aims to be the best performing factory in the British Sugar group, and has a long history stretching back to 1921. We are delighted to be hosting this visit organised by the Food and Drink iNet, so that we can show fellow businesses in the region how the factory has developed and progressed, and how we are continuing the success story.”

British Sugar plc is the leading supplier of sugar to the UK market, supplying more than half of the country’s sugar requirement. The Newark factory is one of four processing units that extract sugar from homegrown sugar beet. It supplies 200,000 tonnes of sugar to food and drink manufacturers in the UK and Europe.

David Wallace, Innovation Director of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) which funds the Food and Drink iNet, said: “These factory visits aim to promote best practice to managers of other regional food and drink businesses who want to develop their own companies. We recognise the importance of people coming together to share expertise and knowledge, it is one of the reasons why the iNets were established, and I am sure that the people who go on these visits will all learn something new that they can apply in their own businesses.”

The Food and Drink iNet aims to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It also hopes to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham.

The visit has proved popular and places are currently fully booked, but to go on the reserve list, contact 01664 420066 or david.walklate@fpfaraday.com

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards winners announced


Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology has been crowned the Food and Drink iNet Innovation Champion 2009 for the development of an exciting new material for food and drink packaging.


Experts at the university successfully solved the problem of leaching in bottles and have taken the technology a step further to add antimicrobial properties which kill or lessen micro-organisms.

During a gala dinner and awards ceremony at Athena in Leicester, the university’s School of Science and Technology was presented with The Food and Drink Forum Innovation Champion 2009 award by TV presenter, writer and foodie Hardeep Singh Kohli.

The judges said of the project: “This has the potential to revolutionise the packaging industry and represents a big shift in thinking.”

A number of other awards were also presented during the evening, which attracted 150 representatives from across the East Midlands food and drink sector and was designed to celebrate the uptake and implementation of innovation in the industry in the region.

The winner of the University of Lincoln National Centre for Food Manufacturing Award for Most Innovative SME Food and Drink Manufacturer went to Thornbridge Brewery, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire. The producer of high quality craft beers launched in 2005 in a ten barrel brewery, and has just opened a new 30 barrel brewery and bottling line after demand outstripped supply.

Judges said: “It is good to see an SME using state-of-the-art technology. We applaud the proactive approach of the brewery’s business drive.”

The winner of the Campden BRI Award for Most Innovative Business across the Food and Drink Supply Chain was presented to Eistechnik, Loughborough, Leicestershire, for the development and advancement of eutectic refrigeration units for trucks, which are more environmentally friendly and less noisy than traditional transport refrigeration methods.

Judges said: “The adaptation of ‘forgotten’ technology ticks all the right innovation and environmental boxes to make this a worthy winner.”

- The CenFRA Award for Most Innovative Research Project was presented to Nottingham Trent University, School of Science and Technology for adapting existing technology to create an innovative solution to solve leaching problems in bottles, and for taking the technology a step further by adding antimicrobial properties which kill or lessen micro-organisms. This project also went on to win The Food and Drink Forum Innovation Champion 2009 award.

Judges said: “After providing a real evidence of need, this research offers a solution that has the potential to transform the packaging industry.”

The Food Processing Faraday Award for Most Innovative Large Food and Drink Manufacturer went to Marshalls (part of the Produce World Group), Butterwick, Boston, for the development of a sweeter tasting broccoli, known as bellaverde® and launched in July 2009, created in conjunction with Seminis, the largest developer, grower and marketer of fruit and vegetable seeds.

Judges said: “Lots of determination and effort has been shown to create a new breed of broccoli to be grown in the UK, rather than import one.”

The Nottingham Trent University Award for Most Innovative Business in the Wider Food Sector was presented to Mem Saab, for the establishment of their own tandoori and Indian cuisine skills centre to train chefs for their five tandoori restaurants in the Midlands, including the latest addition to the group, High Cross Restaurant in Leicester. The group has Mem Saab restaurants in Leicester, Northampton, Leamington Spa and Banbury, and trades under the name of City Buffet, Friar Lane, Nottingham.

Judges said: “This represents a proactive approach in addressing a skills shortage problem.”

Peter Maycock, Project Director for the Food and Drink iNet, said: “The Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards have once again shown the high standard of research and enterprise that is being undertaken in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands. We have been delighted to see the exciting range of innovation, and congratulate all the winners.”

The Food and Drink iNet is aiming to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It’s also hoping to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

David Wallace, Innovation Director at East Midlands Development Agency (emda), said: “This year we have seen innovation in areas as diverse as the development of antimicrobial agents to kill micro-organisms in bottles, to more environmentally-friendly refrigeration systems - and even the creation of a new form of broccoli.

“These awards demonstrate that businesses in the food and drink sector in the East Midlands are at the forefront of the development and implementation of new and exciting ideas. This is why we believe that it is so important to support and promote innovation in the region through the iNet. I hope that other entrepreneurs in the industry will be inspired by the tremendous achievements of all of the winners and nominees.”

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Spice up Christmas and New Year festivities with Anila’s curry sauces and accompaniments


Stocking up with store cupboard essentials from the Anila’s curry sauce and accompaniments range will take the heat out of Christmas culinary stress.


The versatile jars of Anila’s curry sauce will not only provide a delicious way of using up Christmas meat leftovers, they’re also perfect for livening up party dips.

And Anila’s chutneys, pickles and dips are a top addition to a Christmas or New Year buffet, and will brighten up any cold meat or cheese selections.

“Christmas and New Year catering can be hard work, but there are lots of ways to make it easier, and being prepared with a range of tasty store cupboard essentials is one way,” explains Anila Vaghela, who founded the family-run business of Anila’s Authentic Sauces in 1997.

“Anila’s curry sauces and accompaniments are terrifically versatile, and can play a great starring role in a wide range of different meals and snacks during the festive period when food and drink tend to be the focus of many families’ celebrations.”

Anila’s curry sauces are the ideal store cupboard essential to stock up on before the festive season, as they’re suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as being sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. They also don’t contain onions or garlic.

Perfect for anyone with specific allergies or intolerances, they’re just the product for hosts who could find themselves catering for unexpected, or expected, guests with differing dietary needs!

Anila’s has a range of eight curry sauces, based on traditional Indian recipes. They have won ten Great Taste Awards, and earlier this year Anila’s Spicy Korma Curry Sauce scooped a Free From Food Award.

Anila suggests using one of her sauces not just as the base of a tasty Boxing Day curry, but as a quick and easy party dip by adding a dollop of curry sauce to crème fraiche, yoghurt or mayonnaise.

Anila’s distinctive and delicious range of 16 different mouth-watering ‘handmade’ chutneys, pickles and dips are made with single fruits and vegetables, and team up perfectly with a variety of dishes, snacks, meats and cheeses. They’re a great addition to light buffets and salads during the festive season.

Based in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, Anila’s also has a unit in West London.

Anila’s products are available from www.anilassauces.com or at the 28 farmers’ markets across the south listed on the website, as well as in John Lewis Oxford Street and John Lewis Bluewater. They are also sold in top quality gourmet stores, such as Harrods and Selfridges, plus hundreds of other outlets, including Wholefoods, Planet Organic, delis, health food stores, garden centres and gift shops.

For more information visit www.anilassauces.com

Friday, 13 November 2009

Evening openings for Colston Bassett Store and Garden Cafe


Award-winning Colston Bassett Store and Garden Café is opening a new chapter in its life following the closure of the Post Office last year by welcoming customers and diners during the evening.


The gourmet food and drink store and café restaurant will be throwing open its doors until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays from November 20th. It will also be introducing twice-weekly wine tasting evenings at the same time to introduce customers to its collection of around 80 different wines.

“It’s been a while coming, but we are delighted that we can now offer diners the chance to experience our popular café restaurant in the evenings,” said Martin Lindsay, who runs Colston Basssett Store with wife Jan. “As the entrance to the café restaurant is via the shop we’ve decided to keep the store open too until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays and offer wine tasting sessions at the same time.”

The couple believe opening their café restaurant in the evening two nights a week will fill a gap in the market and cater for the growing trend of ‘early evening eating’.

“Since we opened the café in 2007 it’s become very popular during the day, and it’s partly down to customer demand and partly because we have now lost the Post Office at the store and we need to do all we can to make the business as viable as possible that we have decided to open in the evenings,” said Martin.

“The closing time of 10pm has been chosen to reduce any disturbance to residents, but also to make the most of the modern trend of early evening eating. We’re on the commuter route into the Vale of Belvoir, are fully licensed and we can also accommodate disabled customers, including those in powered wheelchairs.”

Wine tastings will also be on offer every Friday and Saturday evening from November 20th to give customers the chance to try before they buy and discover exciting new wines.

“We want to offer our customers the chance to try new wines and to discover wines that suit particular dishes or meats,” said Martin.

Martin and Jan expanded and renovated the building, which dates from the 17th century, to create a chic deli offering cheeses, meats, wines, beers, breads and a variety of other specialist and local products, which they opened in 2004. It has since expanded its range to include gifts, cards, homewares and jewellery.

In 2006, it was voted the best village shop in the East Midlands by a top team of foodies, including Heston Blumenthal, Henrietta Green and Nick Nairn. The shop was given the accolade in the BMW 1 Series Good Food Ride book which highlights the best places to eat, shop and visit in the UK if you’re a foodie fan.

Martin and Jan opened their stylish Garden Café in 2007 as a result of customer demand.


News from Nottingham's Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market

Nottingham’s Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market will be taking a new position in the Old Market Square this month and running for longer during December as part of the Christmas festivities.

The monthly market, which features around 30 stalls selling a range of regional produce, will temporarily relocate to the area in the Old Market Square at the bottom of King Street and alongside the fountains during November and December.

Run by East Midlands Fine Foods in conjunction with Nottingham City Council, the market is held on the third Friday and Saturday of each month.

This month’s market, to be staged on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st November, will sit alongside other festive events in the Old Market Square. The market will run for five days in December, from 18th to 22nd December to give shoppers extra time to buy their festive food from local producers.

“The Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market has become a firm favourite in the Old Market Square each month, and we’re delighted to be a key part of the programme of events running there over the festive period,” said Jo Murphy, of East Midlands Fine Foods.

“Shoppers can find us in the area near the Brian Clough statue running up towards Debenhams and alongside the fountains for November’s market and for the extended December market, which will run for five days.

“The market is an ideal place to stock up on good quality regional food and drink, and to source foodie gifts for Christmas.”

The market was launched in April 2007 and has been held every month since, attracting between 30 and 40 producers and suppliers from across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Chance to win a month's supply of Organic Meltdown chocolate

Here's a tempting offer...the generous folk at Organic Meltdown chocolate are running a competition to win a month's supply of delicious chocolate.

You can find out more by clicking here http://www.theculinaryguide.co.uk/promotions/promotions.htm

Don't forget, Organic Meltdown represents the perfect excuse to eat chocolate, since every bar saves a tree!

Find these tasty bars in Waitrose, Ocado or independent stores.

Visit http://www.organicmeltdown.com/ for more information.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Croots' sausage named in Channel 4 food's Top Ten Sausages for Bonfire Night

Congratulations to Perfect 10 PR client Croots, whose Buck in the Park sausage designed by a customer, has been named in Channel 4's Top Ten Sausages for Bonfire Night. What a sizzler! Don't forget the sausage festival at Croots in Wirksworth Road, Duffield, on Saturday November 7th.

http://www.channel4.com/food/features/top-10s/top-10-best-sausages-for-bonfire-night-09-11-05_p_7.html

http://www.croots.co.uk/

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Green shoots in the construction industry, reports BSP Consulting

Green shoots are appearing in the construction industry with renewed interest in house building, according to award-winning East Midlands civil and structural engineering company BSP Consulting.

The firm is reporting an increase in inquiries from landowners looking to make their sites ‘oven ready’ for building after demand for development sites has started to rise.

BSP, with offices in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester, has gained technical permissions for roads and drainage for a site on the outskirts of Wrexham which has recently been sold by the client to a major house builder.

BSP has now begun a similar process for a site near Glasgow, and is dealing with an increase in site appraisal requests.

“Getting a site ‘oven ready’ for developers by gaining the necessary permissions for infrastructure like drainage and roads makes a site more attractive and more valuable, and at BSP we’ve noticed a significant increase in inquiries for site appraisals,” said BSP Consulting director Martin Breakwell.

“It’s a definite sign that there is renewed interest in house building, which for some time now has been a very depressed market. Site owners who get technical permissions for infrastructure for their land are in a stronger position when it comes to selling their sites, which has been evidenced by the sale of the site that BSP worked on near Wrexham.”

BSP, which was recently named Consultant of the Year 2009 at the East Midlands Property Dinner, provides a comprehensive range of consultancy services to all sectors of the construction community, from architects, project managers and contractors to developers and estate agents. Based in the East Midlands, the firm has contracts across the UK, and is currently working on a wide variety of projects from regeneration schemes to retirement projects.

BSP employs almost 40 people across its three offices in the East Midlands – at Oxford Street, Nottingham, Pride Park, Derby, and De Montfort Street, Leicester.

Charity evening returns to Colston Bassett Store

A village store which has raised thousands of pounds for different charities over the past few years by staging accessory evenings will hold its fifth event on Wednesday.

Colston Bassett Store is running a ‘girls’ night out’ on November 11th from 7.30pm to 9.30pm to raise money for Sckin, the Nottingham-based Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity.

The charity, set up by family and friends of Karen, with help from medical professionals at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, aims to raise awareness of skin cancer and provide funds to treat sufferers of the condition.

Colston Bassett Store’s event will feature a host of stalls selling a wide range of accessories and gifts, including jewellery, bags, chocolates, table decorations, beauty treatments and other treats.

“We love hosting our ‘girls’ night out’ because it is a bit of light relief and everyone always seems to have a great evening,” said Jan Lindsay, who runs Colston Bassett Store with husband Martin.

“It’s the chance to pick up unusual items not available on the High Street, and to raise cash for charity at the same time.”

Last year’s charity ‘girls’ night out’ raised more than £1,000 for WaterAid and attracted 120 guests.

Tickets are £7.50, which includes a glass of sparkling wine and are available from the store in Church Gate, Colston Bassett.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Design-a-sausage competition winners announced at Croots Farm Shop


Two new sausages designed by customers have gone on sale at Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen this week as part of National Sausage Week.


Buck in the Park – a venison sausage marinated in stout with garlic and redcurrants – and Ketchup Sausage – a pork-based banger flavoured with red sauce - were chosen as the winners in a design-a-sausage competition run by Croots Farm Shop during British Food Fortnight, which ran from September 19th to October 4th.

Customer Mary Smith, from Holbrook, created the Buck in the Park flavour, while four-year-old Berty Jackson, from Belper, was chosen as the winner in the children’s competition for his idea of combining pork and ketchup to make his ideal banger.

“We had some fantastic flavours suggested, with almost 50 entries in our design-a-sausage competition,” said Steve Croot, who runs Croots Farm Shop at Wirksworth Road, Duffield. “Customers were really imaginative with their ideas.”

The winning sausages are taking centre stage during National Sausage Week, which runs from November 2nd to 8th. Croots will also be staging a Sausage Festival on Saturday November 7th where a number of its sausages will be available for sampling and tasting.

The farm shop has become renowned for its bangers, which are made on the premises by Croots’ in-house butchers using free range pork from Packington Pork, near Burton-upon-Trent. The shop sold more than 20,000 lbs of sausages in its first year after opening in June 2008.

It now has a range of around 30 different flavours, although not all are on sale at the same time. Earlier this year it won a gold star Great Taste Award for its black pudding sausage at the ‘Oscars’ of the food industry.

Mary, pictured, won a £25 Croots voucher, while Berty picked up a £25 Toys R Us voucher.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Major brewery shares recipe for success at Food and Drink iNet visit


Molson Coors Brewery threw open its doors to fellow regional businesses as part of a series of factory visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet.

Representatives from around 15 different food and drink companies from across the East Midlands took part in the event at the Burton-on-Trent brewery – the first of three being organised across the region to highlight best practice ways of working.

Aimed at food and drink manufacturers and academics linked to the food and drink industry, the visits are designed to illustrate how firms can keep ahead of their competition. Organisers hope it will help to encourage more efficient and effective production across the East Midlands food sector.

Those attending the Molson Coors visit included representatives of a wide range of businesses, from multi-million pound international organisations to single-operated enterprises.

“This was a great way of learning lessons from a company that is embarking on a journey to implement ‘world class’ practices into an older operational factory,” said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet director.

“I am sure that everyone who attended the visit benefited from seeing at first hand the tools and techniques used by the business.”

The Molson Coors visit began with a networking opportunity and was followed by an introductory talk and presentation about the brewery, and a tour of the production facilities.

It gave companies the opportunity to see how the firm stays at the top through automated process control, remote monitoring, and having operators developed to technician level, added Peter.

Molson Coors (UK) has more than 2,000 employees in the UK and breweries at Burton-on-Trent, Alton and Tadcastle. It is the UK arm of Molson Coors and has a market share of over 20% of the UK beer market. Brands include, Carling, the UK’s best selling lager for three decades, as well as Coors Light, Grolsch, Worthington’s, Caffrey’s, Sol and Cobra.

David Wallace, Innovation Director of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) which funds the Food and Drink iNet, said: “These factory visits aim to promote best practice to managers of other regional food and drink businesses who want to develop their own companies. We recognise the importance of people coming together to share expertise and knowledge, it is one of the reasons why the iNets were established, and I am sure that the people who go on these visits will all learn something new that they can apply in their own businesses.”

Two further factory visits have been arranged by the Food and Drink iNet to British Sugar plc, Newark, on January 28th 2010, and to Rolls-Royce, Derby, on February 4th 2010.

The Food and Drink iNet aims to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It also hopes to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham.

For more information about the visits or to reserve a place, contact 01664 420066 or david.walklate@fpfaraday.com

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards shortlist announced


Organisers of the 2009 Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards have revealed the shortlist of East Midlands firms and organisations in the running to receive an accolade.


The awards celebrate the uptake and implementation of innovation in the East Midlands food and drink industry, and are being held for a second year.

The winners will be announced by entertaining writer, presenter and foodie Hardeep Singh Kohli at a gala dinner at Athena, Leicester, on November 17th.

Now organisers have announced the shortlist of firms and organisations that are through to the finals.

• University of Lincoln National Centre for Food Manufacturing Award for Most Innovative SME Food and Drink Manufacturer

This award will recognise small to medium-sized food and drink manufacturers within the East Midlands that have championed innovation projects in order to improve their business.


Shortlist

- Cupcake Corner, Ashbourne, Derbyshire - producer of luxury, handmade cupcakes and specialising in gluten-free products, launched by coeliac sufferer Charlotte Marsh.

- The Pickled Village, Bulwick, Northamptonshire – producer of quirky, spirited preserves using innovative flavours and combinations, founded by Camille Ortega McLean.

- Thornbridge Brewery, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire – producer of high quality craft beers launched in 2005 in a ten barrel brewery, which has just opened a new 30 barrel brewery and bottling line after demand outstripped supply.

• Campden BRI Award for Most Innovative Business across the Food and Drink Supply Chain

This award will recognise businesses working in the food and drink supply chain within the East Midlands that have undertaken an innovation project that has benefited the food and drink manufacturing sector.


Shortlist

- Eistechnik, Loughborough, Leicestershire – for the development and advancement of eutectic refrigeration units for trucks, which are more environmentally friendly and less noisy than traditional transport refrigeration methods.

- EnvirUP.com Limited, Nottingham – for the development and delivery of one of the world’s first environmental reviews of the UK’s top 100 consumer brands known as the EnvirUP Green Index.

- QADEX Limited , Sileby, Leicestershire - for providing web-based solutions for food businesses to gather, assess and manage supply chain and product specification information. Since launching in 2006, QADEX Supply Chain Assurance has grown to manage more than 7,000 sites on behalf of more than 100 food businesses.


• CenFRA Award for Most Innovative Research Project

This award will recognise the most successful research projects undertaken by universities and any other organisations conducting research within the East Midlands that have made a significant beneficial impact on the food and drink sector.


Shortlist

- eminate Ltd, BioCity, Nottingham – for the research project to develop an innovative coating for the increased life of food processing blades, which it undertook in collaboration with The University of Nottingham. It is now being used in the manufacture of salads.

- Nottingham Trent University, School of Science and Technology – for adapting existing technology to create an innovative solution to solve leaching problems in bottles, and for taking the technology a step further by adding antimicrobial properties which kill or lessen micro-organisms.

- University of Nottingham, Division of Food Sciences – for the development of Cold Atmospheric Plasma or CAP, which is a plume of gas in a beam designed to kill both pathogenic and spoilage bacteria on surfaces and products which leaves no residue on foodstuffs or equipment. This technology demonstrates potential not only in reducing microbial load and inactivating spoilage microbes, but also in extending the shelf life of foods including soft fruits and raw meat.


• Food Processing Faraday Award for Most Innovative Large Food and Drink Manufacturer

This award will recognise large food and drink manufacturers within the East Midlands that have championed innovation projects in order to improve their business.


Shortlist

- Marshalls (part of the Produce World Group), Butterwick, Boston, Lincolnshire – for the development of a sweeter tasting broccoli, known as bellaverde® and launched in July 2009, created in conjunction with Seminis, the largest developer, grower and marketer of fruit and vegetable seeds.

- Marshalls (part of the Produce World Group), Butterwick, Boston – for creating the From My Farm range of regional fresh products with provenance, and setting up a supply chain to make it simple for retail buyers to source products from all regions via a single point of contact.

- QV Foods, Holbeach, Lincolnshire – for the development of its Inspire brand, now fronted by MasterChef presenter and judge Gregg Wallace, which offers quick and convenient fresh prepared potato lines.


• Nottingham Trent University Award for Most Innovative Business in the Wider Food Sector

This award will recognise innovation in a food or drink business that is not a manufacturer. Examples of businesses eligible to enter this award include primary producers, restaurants, caterers, delicatessens and local food retailers.


Shortlist

- Biondi Bistro Caffe Bar, Gunthorpe, Nottinghamshire – for the way in which the business has developed and evolved from a tea rooms into an enterprise that’s offering more to customers, including special events.

- Gourmet Raj, Leicester – for the way in which the business developed a high quality Indian food takeaway and created an image and packaging to ensure they stood out from the crowd.

- Mem Saab, for the establishment of their own tandoori and Indian cuisine skills centre to train chefs for their five tandoori restaurants in the Midlands, including the latest addition to the group, High Cross Restaurant in Leicester. The group has Mem Saab restaurants in Leicester, Northampton, Leamington Spa and Banbury, and trades under the name of City Buffet in Friar Lane, Nottingham.


• The Food and Drink Forum Innovation Champion Award 2009

The Innovation Champion 2009 will be selected from the winners of each of the above categories.

“We had a very good response to this year’s awards, and the standard of entries was very high, which is a measure of the innovation that is going on across the East Midlands in the food and drink sector,” said Peter Maycock, Project Director for the Food and Drink iNet. “The shortlisted firms and organisations can feel justifiably proud of being selected to go through to the finals.”

David Wallace, Innovation Director of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) which funds the Food and Drink iNet, added: “It is great to see the Food and Drink iNet leading the development of the innovation culture in the East Midlands’ food and drink sector. Innovation is difficult and daunting, but essential if businesses are to adapt to the unsettling changes in both the economic and natural environments. The Food and Drink iNet Innovation Awards are especially welcome. Those businesses that innovate successfully deserve to be celebrated.”

Tickets are now on sale for the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on November 17th, which is expected to be attended by representatives of scores of food and drink firms from around the region. Individual tickets are £65 plus vat, while table sponsorship, which includes ten free tickets, and the opportunity to feature company logos on admission tickets, table signage, rolling presentation, event programme, and winners’ directory, costs £650 plus vat.

The Food and Drink iNet is aiming to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It’s also hoping to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.


Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

Contact Jo Stevenson on 0115 975 8810 or enquiries@foodanddrinkforum.co.uk for ticket and sponsorship information.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Students discover the ingredients for a career in the food and drink sector at Food and Drink iNet events

Students will be discovering the recipe for a career in the food and drink industry at a series of free workshops run by the Food and Drink iNet at universities across the East Midlands.

Experts from leading food and drink companies will be on hand to give advice about careers in the sector. The workshops will also demonstrate the breadth of career opportunities available in the UK’s food and drink industry.

The series kicks off with a workshop at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln on November 3rd. Workshops are also being held at The University of Loughborough on November 11th, The University of Leicester on November 18th and at The University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus on December 2nd. They are also scheduled to take place at The University of Derby and The University of Northampton before the end of this academic term, with dates to be confirmed.

Up to 200 undergraduates and postgraduates are expected to attend the events, which aim to give accurate information and dispel any myths about careers in the food and drink sector.

The idea is to introduce students to the variety of different jobs available in the industry and to encourage them to explore the sector when making career choices.

“The continued success of the food and drink sector in the East Midlands and beyond depends upon talented individuals joining the industry,” said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet project director. “The food and drink sector is a very varied and dynamic sector in which to work, and we hope that these workshops will encourage undergraduates and postgraduates to look at taking careers in the food and drink sector when they leave university.”

The Food and Drink iNet aims to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It also hopes to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham.

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

Monday, 19 October 2009

Pumpkin-carving competition at Croots Farm Shop for Halloween

Children are being invited to enter a Halloween pumpkin-carving competition at Derbyshire farm shop Croots.

Entries will form a scary display at the shop in Wirksworth Road, Duffield, on Saturday October 31st.

Entry forms and pumpkins are now available at Croots Farm Shop and Kitchen for anyone aged 16 or under who wants to enter, and who should then return their carved pumpkins to Croots by October 31st when judging takes place at 4pm.

A £10 Toy R Us voucher will be presented to the winner.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Croots Farm Shop welcomes its 100,000th customer



Derbyshire farm shop Croots has welcomed its 100,000th customer with a bottle of bubbly.


Owner Steve Croot presented Rosemary Hare with a bottle of Champagne to mark the occasion at the shop in Wirksworth Road, Duffield.

“I am delighted that we’ve had 100,000 customers at Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen in less than 16 months since opening in June 2008, particularly as the economy has been through such difficult times,” said Steve. “We’ve built up a really loyal band of customers from across Derbyshire and further afield, and we are very grateful for their support.

“They are not only supporting Croots, and the 18 jobs that have been created here, but they are also helping to support around 35 producers within a 50-mile radius of the shop, which is good for the regional economy and good for regional food and drink production.

“I am very pleased to present Rosemary with a bottle of bubbly to celebrate this happy milestone.”

Rosemary, from Chellaston, Derby, is a regular at Croots, and was delighted to receive her prize after learning that her basket of shopping marked the 100,000th through the till.

“I am thrilled,” she said.

Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen is based at Farnah House Farm.

For more information visit http://www.croots.co.uk/

Congratulations again to Perfect 10 PR client BSP Consulting

Congratulations again today to Perfect 10 PR client BSP Consulting.

A BSP-engineered scheme for 12 homes scooped the Environmental Sustainability Award at the East Midlands Regional Construction Awards last night.

Organised by the East Midlands Centre for Constructing the Built Environment, the awards aim to recognise and reward innovation, skills and training, and sustainability in construction across the region.

The sustainability award went to Varsity Rise, Manby, Lincolnshire – a £3.5 million Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association project where BSP designed and detailed the civil engineering elements of the scheme, including highways, drainage and external works.

Nottinghamshire-based Woodhead was the contractor for the project, which achieved a code 4 under the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Organic Meltdown chocolate lovers save more than 155,000 trees

More than 155,000 trees have now been saved by Organic Meltdown chocolate lovers.

For every bar of Organic Meltdown that’s eaten, a tree in a tropical rainforest is preserved…helping to conserve valuable habitats and the creatures that live there.

During National Chocolate Week, it’s been announced that just over 155,000 trees have now been saved by Organic Meltdown in conjunction with the World Land Trust.

The target is 5 million trees by 2012.

Each wrapper of each bar of Organic Meltdown carries a unique number which corresponds to its very own tree, and chocolate-lovers are encouraged to log onto www.organicmeltdown.com and register their number to find out where ‘their’ tree is situated.

Matt Hunt, director at Brand Stand Ltd who created Organic Meltdown, said: “We’re delighted that we have saved more than 155,000 trees in Ecuador so far, and hope that our recently launched new flavours and new look will prove even more popular with chocolate lovers and help us save even more trees.”

Available in four mouth-watering flavours, Organic Meltdown chocolate is made using carefully selected Fairtrade ingredients from Ecuador, Madagascar and Peru, and is a premium organic range.

Choose from Swiss dark chocolate with candied orange (58% cocoa), Swiss milk chocolate with hazelnuts and currants (33% cocoa), Swiss dark chocolate (71% cocoa) and Swiss milk chocolate (33% cocoa).

Organic Meltdown chocolate is available in Waitrose and independent stores, delis and other outlets across the UK, priced from £1.99.

Visit www.organicmeltdown.com for details.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

BSP Consulting named Consultant of the Year


Structural and civil engineering firm BSP Consulting has been crowned Consultant of the Year 2009 at the East Midlands Property Dinner.

The firm, which has offices in Nottingham, Derby and Leicester, was presented with the award at the annual event held at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.

The judges said: “BSP may be a young firm, but it has contributed so much to the market in such a short space of time. It just pipped the others in a category that was very keenly fought this year.”

The accolade comes as BSP Consulting celebrates its tenth anniversary, having been launched in Nottingham in 1999.

“We were delighted and proud to be awarded the prestigious title of Consultant of the Year 2009 at the East Midlands Property Dinner,” said BSP Consulting managing director David Sumner.

“This is a terrific achievement for the BSP team. I would like to pay tribute to everyone at the company, and thank our valued clients and partners, who have supported BSP as the firm has developed. It was an absolute honour to receive this award in front of our industry peers.”

BSP Consulting provides a comprehensive range of consultancy services to all sectors of the construction community, from architects, project managers and contractors to developers and estate agents. Based in the East Midlands, the firm has contracts across the UK, and is currently working on a wide variety of projects from regeneration schemes to retirement projects.

The company has framework agreements with three different development groups working in the social and affordable housing sector.

BSP employs almost 40 people across its three offices in the East Midlands – at Oxford Street, Nottingham, Pride Park, Derby, and De Montfort Street, Leicester.

The Consultant of the Year 2009 award was presented at the East Midlands Property Dinner in front of a crowd of 500 property professionals. Gyles Brandreth was the compere. The event was run by Insider Media.

Pictured from left to right, BSP Consulting director Clive Roddick, Shelagh Coates from award sponsor Invest Lincolnshire, and Carl Hilton, associate director at BSP.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Chance to win a month's supply of Organic Meltdown chocolate to celebrate Chocolate Week

Organic Meltdown chocolate is running a competition today in conjunction with thislittleladywenttolondon.com.... with the prize being a mouth-watering month's supply of chocolate!

Not only that, the winner will be saving 31 trees by munching through their prize. What better excuse do you need?

Organic Meltdown, which is the only chocolate bar that saves trees and which is available in Waitrose and via Ocado, is staging the competition to mark Chocolate Week (October 12th to 18th).

For more about Organic Meltdown visit http://www.organicmeltdown.com/

To enter the competition, visit http://www.thislittleladywenttolondon.com/2009/10/13/win-a-month-of-organic-meltdown/

Good luck!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Sheep and cow-inspired beers join the farmyard of ales at Croots Farm Shop



A farmyard of beers is now on sale at Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen after the addition of Ewe Drink and Cow Juice.


The Derbyshire farm shop introduced two of its own branded ales earlier this year after teaming up with Nutbrook Brewery.

Pig in a Bottle and Croots Shire Ale have become best sellers at the farm shop in Duffield, which offers a selection of regional beers.

Now owner Steve Croot has designed and commissioned two more farmyard-related ales to add to the collection, which have just gone on sale.

“I’m a real ale fan myself and it was great to create these beers especially for the farm shop,” said Steve. “Customers are really keen on the Pig in a Bottle and Croots Shire Ale, so I decided to add to the collection and create two more beers that are named after farmyard characters.”

The Ewe Drink (3.6%) is a full and surprisingly sweet beer with a rich golden colour. Its crisp taste and slightly floral aroma makes it a different, refreshing beer. Cow Juice (6%) is brewed in a traditional way using sugars also found in milk, which gives a full-bodied, thicker taste. With familiar roasted stout flavours, it has a warm soothing flavour.

The farmyard beers brewed by West Hallam-based Nutbrook Brewery cost £2.45 per bottle.

Croots is a supporter of local producers and sells items from more than 30 suppliers across the region, including regional breweries.

For more information about Croots visit http://www.croots.co.uk/

New stalls return to Nottingham's Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market

Two new stalls who joined Nottingham’s Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market last month are returning for the October market.


Newark-based cupcake producer Pure Indulgence and specialist baker and East Midlands Fine Foods member Taste of the Moorlands, based on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, will be joining other regional producers at this month’s market, which will be held on Friday October 16th and Saturday October 17th from 9am to 4.30pm.

Between 25 and 30 stalls are expected at the event in the Old Market Square, Nottingham, run by East Midlands Fine Foods in conjunction with Nottingham City Council.

“The Regional and Speciality Food and Drink Market is a great place to buy quality regional produce, and a perfect way to support local producers,” said Jo Murphy, of East Midlands Fine Foods.

The market was launched in 2007 and has been held every month since. This month it will be back to its usual spot in front of The Council House having held various temporary positions in the Old Market Square to accommodate special events.

Food and drink firms discover ways to make products healthier, thanks to the Food and Drink iNet

East Midlands’ food and drink firms are being invited to discover how to tap into the healthier foods market, worth more than £7 billion in the UK each year.


The Food and Drink iNet is running a free session for firms who work in the sector in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

The Safe Food and Healthy Eating working party has previously turned the spotlight on alternative ingredients available to help manufacturers create healthier products.

Now the working party will focus on how to go about reformulating a product and the impact that recipe changes can have on processing and a product’s characteristics.

The session takes place at Government Office for the East Midlands, The Belgrave Centre, Talbot Street, Nottingham, on October 29th from 3pm to 5pm.

Speakers include Marcia Nightingale, from the Food Standards Agency, who will update businesses on initiatives and support available in the East Midlands, including the Healthier Food, Healthier Business programme, and food technical specialist Richard Wigley, from The Food and Drink Forum, who will showcase examples of products from the region that have already undergone changes to their recipes to make them healthier.

Kevin McKay, head of catering for Nottinghamshire County Council, will also explain about opportunities to supply healthier options to public sector organisations.

The Safe Food and Healthy Eating working party is one of four working parties set up by the Food and Drink iNet to explore the opportunities that becoming more innovative can provide for businesses.

“This is a golden opportunity for food and drink firms in the East Midlands to discover more about reformulating their products to make them healthier, and to give them ideas about ways that they could tap into the healthier options market,” said Food and Drink iNet director Peter Maycock.

The Food and Drink iNet is aiming to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It’s also hoping to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by emda, the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including the Food Processing Faraday Partnership, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

For more information about the working party event contact Jo Stevenson on 0115 975 8810 or enquiries@foodanddrinkforum.co.uk

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Celebrate Chocolate Week with Organic Meltdown and Save Trees - October 12th to 18th




It's the perfect excuse to celebrate Chocolate Week, which kicks off on October 12th ...treat yourself to Organic Meltdown chocolate and do something worthy by saving a tree.


Organic Meltdown is the only bar of chocolate that promises to save a tree every time a bar is sold.

So if you ever need to justify the decision to reach for chocolate, you've got the ideal excuse!

Organic Meltdown has teamed up with the World Land Trust charity to preserve trees in Ecuadorian forests. Each wrapper of each bar carries a unique number which corresponds to its very own tree, and chocolate-lovers are encouraged to log onto www.organicmeltdown.com and register their number to find out where ‘their’ tree is situated.

Organic Meltdown hopes to save 5 million trees by 2012 – helping to preserve valuable habitats and caring for endangered species.

Available in four mouth-watering flavours, Organic Meltdown chocolate is made using carefully selected Fairtrade ingredients from Ecuador, Madagascar and Peru, and is a premium organic range.

Choose from Swiss dark chocolate with candied orange (58% cocoa), Swiss milk chocolate with hazelnuts and currants (33% cocoa), Swiss dark chocolate (71% cocoa) and Swiss milk chocolate (33% cocoa).

Organic Meltdown is available in more than 150 Waitrose stores priced £1.99, and from independent stores, delis and other outlets across the UK.

Visit www.organicmeltdown.com for details.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Anila's Sweet Lime Pickle gets a glowing review in Cook Vegetarian magazine


We're delighted to see a great review of Anila's Sweet Lime Pickle in the current edition of Cook Vegetarian magazine.

The reviewer "loved the chunky, thick texture of the pickle and the zingy flavour of the generously sliced limes."

She also described the condiment as "incredibly moreish".....which it is!

Sounds like Anila's popular product really hit the spot with Cook Vegetarian magazine's reviewer.

If you'd like to try Anila's award-winning products and find out more about the flavoursome condiments, as well as delicious curry sauces, visit http://www.anilassauces.com/

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Top firms share recipe for success at Food and Drink iNet factory visits

Three East Midlands companies will be throwing open their doors to fellow regional businesses as part of a series of factory visits organised by the Food and Drink iNet.

The visits have been arranged to highlight best practice ways of working, and are designed to encourage more efficient and effective production across the East Midlands food sector.

Aimed at food and drink manufacturers and academics linked to the food industry, the visits have been designed to illustrate how firms can keep ahead of their competition.

The first event is hosted by Molson Coors Brewery, Burton-on-Trent, on October 27th from 9am. It will be followed by a visit to British Sugar plc, Newark, on January 28th 2010. The third visit takes place on February 4th 2010 at Rolls-Royce, Derby.

”Companies can learn a lot from each other, and we are delighted that three such well-known and respected businesses have offered to host these best practice factory visits,” said Peter Maycock, Food and Drink iNet director. “Those who attend will be able to see first hand the tools and techniques used by key companies in the sector.”

The Molson Coors Brewery visit will give companies the opportunity to see how the firm stays at the top through automated process control, remote monitoring, and having operators developed to technician level, added Peter.

Grania Towle, of Molson Coors, said: “This is an ideal place to visit as, like many companies, they haven’t got the benefit of a newly built factory and are embarking on a journey to implement ‘world class’ practices into an old operational factory. Visitors can see the new alongside the old, and witness at first hand the lessons learnt.”

Molson Coors (UK) has more than 2,000 employees in the UK and breweries at Burton-on-Trent, Alton and Tadcastle. It is the UK arm of Molson Coors and has a market share of over 20% of the UK beer market. Brands include, Carling, the UK’s best selling lager for three decades, as well as Coors Light, Grolsch, Worthington’s, Caffrey’s, Sol and Cobra.

David Wallace, Innovation Director of East Midlands Development Agency (emda) which funds the Food and Drink iNet, said: “These factory visits aim to promote best practice to managers of other regional food and drink businesses who want to develop their own companies. We recognise the importance of people coming together to share expertise and knowledge, it is one of the reasons why the iNets were established, and I am sure that the people who go on these visits will all learn something new that they can apply in their own businesses.”

The Food and Drink iNet aims to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It also hopes to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector.

Funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda), the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by The Food and Drink Forum and including Food Processing Faraday Partnership, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Lincoln, and The University of Nottingham.

For more information about the visits or to reserve a place, contact 01664 420066 or david.walklate@fpfaraday.com

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information about the Food and Drink iNet please contact Peter Maycock on 0845 521 2066. For information on the visits contact David Walklate on 01664 420066.

About emda

East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development.

Ten years on, independent evaluation shows emda has:

• Had a significant impact on the region’s economy

• Generated economic benefits that substantially outweigh its overall costs

• Put back over £9 of economic output (or GVA) into the regional economy for every £1 it spends

• Produced more than £1 billion in economic benefits per year

• A wider impact on people, places and businesses in the East Midlands that cannot be captured by figures alone.

emda is committed to supporting the region through the current downturn and has put in place a range of measures to provide real help during these challenging times.

Over the long term, emda’s aim is to deliver the 2006 Regional Economic Strategy (RES) by working in partnership with public, private and voluntary organisations. The RES highlights the themes of productivity, sustainability and equality and sets out key priorities until 2020 to ensure the vision for ‘a flourishing region’ can be achieved.

For more details visit www.emda.org.uk

About East Midlands Innovation

East Midlands Innovation is the Regional Science and Industry Council which was established in 2005 by emda.

East Midlands Innovation’s principal responsibility is to take the lead for emda in implementing the Innovation Strategy and Action Plan for the East Midlands with the aim to grow a long term, sustainable, innovation-led economy.

About iNets

In order to deliver the Regional Innovation Strategy and coordinate action under its four themes, emda and East Midlands Innovation have created four business led innovation networks (iNets) which are focused on the identified regional industry and research strengths across four priority sectors. These have been identified as:

• Healthcare and Bioscience

• Food and Drink

• Sustainable Construction

• Transport

The iNets are raising the level of innovation in their sectors, with the aim of stimulating the research and development of new products, services and processes.

For further information, visit www.eminnovation.org.uk

Friday, 2 October 2009

Congratulations to Perfect 10 PR client BSP Consulting for being named Consultant of the Year

More congratulations for clients are in order today …..BSP Consulting last night scooped the title of Consultant of the Year at the East Midlands Property Dinner held at East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.

The judges said: “BSP may be a young firm, but it has contributed so much to the market in such a short space of time. It just pipped the others in a category that was very keenly fought this year.”

Well done to everyone at BSP Consulting, a structural and civil engineering firm with offices in Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.

Full coverage of the awards will be in November’s Insider magazine.

For more information about BSP visit http://www.bsp-consulting.co.uk/

Food and Drink iNet grant helps launch new salt product


A Food and Drink iNet grant helped prove that a revolutionary new salt product could be used successfully in the baking industry, potentially paving the way to improving the nation’s health.


A Nottingham company has discovered a way of modifying salt which allows food manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt in their products, without affecting taste.

eminate Limited has been able to adapt salt to provide more taste from smaller quantities. The product, called Soda-Lo 20, could help the food industry meet government guidelines for salt levels in manufactured foods, which are aimed at cutting cardiovascular disease rates in the country.

An Innovation Support Grant (ISG) from the Food and Drink iNet, of just over £4,000, helped the firm gather the proof that the technology worked in the bakery industry, and opened the door to discussions and trials with the major UK bakeries. The company now has strong interest in its product from the UK’s three leading bakery companies, which could be worth millions of new business, year on year in the future.

“The Innovation Support Grant provided eminate with the resource to access the facilities and technical expertise of Nottingham Trent University, at Brackenhurst, where the output provided explanations of the function of Soda-Lo 20 in baked bread. This now forms the basis of a technical explanation of its ability to reduce salt content in bread, by as much as 70%,” said eminate’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Andrew Stacey.

“If we were looking at a 2% level of salt in a loaf of bread, we have been able to take it down to 0.6%. This sort of salt reduction could improve the nation’s health, through a dramatic reduction in cardiovascular disease.”

The Soda-Lo particles are a fraction of the size of standard salt, about 1/100th the diameter, and provide more taste, through a massively increased surface area.

Based at BioCity, the largest bio-incubator in Western Europe, eminate Limited is a company set up under a joint initiative from the Technology Strategy Board and The University of Nottingham, the company’s owners. The goal was to address industrial needs and solve them. With Leatherhead Food International, eminate identified the need for a solution to meet the government-set guidelines to reduce salt in 2010 and subsequently in 2012.

Chief Technical Officer, Steve Minter, at eminate, said: “There are many solutions out there that are being looked at by the food industry. Ours provides a very acceptable solution, without replacements. The results we are seeing are looking very promising.”

David Wallace, Innovation Director at East Midlands Development Agency (emda) said: “In the current climate, it is more important than ever that companies think and work innovatively. The new Soda-Lo product which eminate has developed is a tremendous example of how, by thinking ‘outside the box’, companies can gain a competitive advantage and find new customers in new markets. That is why emda is committed to supporting innovation in the region.”

Food and Drink iNet business adviser for Nottinghamshire Paul Sheppard said: “Innovation Support Grants are designed to make a real difference to a company’s prospects, such as helping the development of a novel technology or process, or a new product, service or way of doing business. This project with eminate fitted the bill perfectly.”

The Food and Drink iNet is aiming to foster innovation in the region’s food and drink sector by encouraging businesses to turn new ideas into new business through the development of new technologies and products. It’s also hoping to stimulate new processes, services and ways of working in the industry to help boost the sector in 2009 and beyond.


Funded by emda, the Food and Drink iNet is managed by a consortium, led by the Food & Drink Forum and including the Food Processing Faraday Partnership, Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, and the University of Nottingham.

Through the ISGs, support valued at up to £10,000 is available per business, providing that 50% match-funding is given by the company in ‘cash’ or in ‘kind’.

The money can be used to fund external expertise and knowledge to help manage innovation projects more effectively – giving businesses a route to some of the most up-to-date and comprehensive information available to help them kick-start their idea.

The Food and Drink iNet can work with small and medium sized businesses as well as larger companies in the sector across the East Midlands.

Firms wanting more information should contact the Food and Drink iNet on 0845 521 2066 or visit www.foodanddrink-inet.org.uk

For information about support for innovation that is available in the East Midlands, visit www.eminnovation.org.uk

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Congratulations to Perfect 10 PR client Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen



Congratulations to Perfect 10 PR client Croots Farm Shop & Kitchen on reaching the finals of the prestigious Farm Retail Awards from the National Farmers’ Retail & Markets Association (FARMA).

Croots (http://www.croots.co.uk/) has been nominated for the prestigious title of the UK’s Best New Farm Shop.

The winners will be announced on 26 January 2010 at Farm & More, the sector’s national conference.

Well done Steve and team!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Unique piece of art created by hundreds of people around the world – through buying light on the internet


Nottingham artist Andrew Pepper is proving you can sell anything after spending the past three and a half years quietly selling light on the internet to people all over the world.


Almost 400 people have so far contributed to his One Million Points of Light project, which is a unique global experiment designed to create an unusual piece of art.

People buying blocks of pixels on the website www.onemillionpointsoflight.com choose the colour and position of their specks of light. At the end of the four-year project, Andrew plans to turn the pattern they create into a three-dimensional hologram.

Now, as the venture heads towards the end of the project, Andrew has revealed that more than a million people from 115 different countries have visited the website to see the emerging piece of art.

They’ve logged on from as far afield as Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Christmas Island and Uruguay.

“When I launched the One Million Points of Light website in February 2006 I didn’t know how it would develop. It really was a visual experiment,” said Andrew, a hologram expert and associate lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.

“I switched on the first block of light, and I had no idea whether I would just be the only one on there or how many would join me. It’s really interesting that people have embraced it and taken part in this online collaboration.”

There are one million tiny specks of light on the website, and so far more than 155,000 have been lit. In return for their small investment, participants in the One Million Points of Light project get a link from their block of light to a website of their choice.

Unlike the commercial schemes selling pixels on a website for advertising that were pioneered by former Nottingham University student Alex Tew, the primary aim of The One Million Points of Light project is to create a piece of art. Hence a block of light only costs £2.50.

“It’s fascinating seeing who is lighting up blocks of light and where they’re from in the world. Each block is a tunnel to another website,” explains Andrew, who lives in West Bridgford.

Among those who have contributed to the One Million Points of Light project are Australian artist Anthony White, who created The Money Series of paintings, and The Butler Museum of American Art. Others include artists, photographers, writers, musicians, as well as community groups.

“There is a high proportion of art and media individuals involved, but in the same way that anyone can walk into a gallery to look at a piece of art, absolutely anyone can join in and light up their own blocks. If they don’t have their own website they can link to another site, like a charity or a favourite organisation,” said Andrew.

“People seem to like the fact that they can take part in something that’s completely uncurated. We don’t know what the outcome is going to be. Other people like the idea of it being an anonymous junction. In a way, it’s turning advertising on its head because you can’t tell by the colour and the shape of a block of light what website it leads to.”

This first stage of the project will finish in February 2010 when preparations for the production of the holographic installation will begin. The hologram created through the One Million Points of Light project will be shown in London. Venues in America are also interested in showing it.

“Ultimately this will be a piece of art that’s been created by people from around the world, as each individual taking part is choosing the colour of a block of light and where it’s positioned, which is shaping the final hologram,” said Andrew.

Andrew Pepper is an artist who works with installations, holography and light. His sculptures and holograms have been exhibited worldwide. He has also taught at the Royal College of Art and has been a visiting lecturer at many colleges, both in the UK and internationally.

To join the global art experiment, visit www.onemillionpointsoflight.com