Tetra Pak outlines environmental plans

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Food fads for 2005 introduced

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Latest reports have suggested that the Atkins Diet is no longer the key diet in the slimming world.

Although in the past over three million Brits were thought to have tried the diet, sales of the book, which advises which foods and drink to consume, have dropped.

Now as the New Year approaches a number of alternative eating plans are being introduced.

Among the new food fads that have appeared is 'The X Factor' which works by limiting carbohydrates and blood sugar levels to help boost weight loss.

In addition, there is 'The Body' which works by timing food intake with your body clock, the 'No Carbs after 5pm Diet' and the 'GI Plan', which advises people to consume foods with a low glycaemic index value.

Overall most diets encourage people to consume lean fish and meat and lots of fruit and vegetables.

Whatever diet proves to be the food fad of 2005, it is sure to help boost UK food sales, in the similar way that sales of red meat and potatoes were increased as a result of the Atkins plan.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Northern food store proves more popular than big supermarkets

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Latest reports show that northern supermarket Booths is proving a real success in the UK, whilst main retailers such as Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer report that they are struggling.

Booths started out as a single shop in 1847 and now has 26 stores across the UK.

Chris Dee, a buying director at Booths, explained: "We are conscious that customers are interested in where the food is from and how it is made, and many of them will know of the producer."

A number of awards have been presented to the retailer for its recognition of local producers and how it uses foods made from the area in which each store is located.

Preference for various regional items is also reflected in each store, with those in Ikley said to prefer Wensleydale cheese to Lancashire, Cumbrians preferring meat produced in their region and Yorkshire's bottled beer and Bowland Milk proving popular across a number of stores.

According to the food retailer, 25 per cent of its stock is produced locally such as Mumtaz curries from Bradford and Hendersons Relish from Sheffield.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Innovation mushrooms in Yorkshire

Date: Thu, 30 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


Farmers in Yorkshire have launched a new experiment to try and cultivate innovative mushrooms for outside trade and local restaurants and food stores.

Varieties of mushroom such as shiitake, morel and chicken-of-the-woods are being grown in a remote area of the North York Moors National Park, according to the Independent Online.

Now the first yields of the scheme are being harvested, with items produced that can make some farmers in China up to £500 and should bring £25 a kilo from fine food restaurants and shops in Yorkshire.

The mushrooms are grown in felled trees and not only offer top profits for local food producers and foodservice establishments, but may also help the local woodland.

Rachel Wood, the North York Moors National Park sustainable development officer, explained: "The mushrooms we've cultivated on our own land are winter fruiting so we have them already.

"A market is developing in pubs and restaurants but equally this is about proving a future for the woodlands; about seeing the value in things [not yet] seen as of value."

The National Park has put £20,000 into the project, for the cultivation of seven 100-log farms and has been helped by Gourmet Woodland Mushrooms.

The company has helped update technology and is working on a similar project with the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

New laws to take-away late night trouble

Date: Thu, 30 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


New laws are to be introduced for fast food outlets in order to protect customers and workers late at night.

According to the Mirror online, similar laws that shut pubs and clubs if they appear to be trouble areas for violence and trouble, will be extended in 2005 to all fast food venues.

Minister Richard Caborn, who will announce the changes today, said: "Late- night takeaways are often a magnet for violence and anti-social behaviour on Friday and Saturday nights.

"Beered-up revellers spill out of bars and pubs at the same time in search of a burger or a doner kebab. From next year we're going to give local residents a say in whether they have a late-night chippie or kebab shop on their street corner."

Currently only takeaways in London can be closed under the Licensing Act, but this will be extended and will apply in England and Wales.

All late night takeaways will need to apply for a license under the new law, even if they do not sell alcohol.

In addition, pubs, clubs and restaurants are to get new laws next year too.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Scottish butchers offered competition advice

Date: Thu, 30 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


A butchery specialist with the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) has been visiting a host of Scottish food retailers to help butchers try and improve their competitiveness.

Master butcher Div Van Leeuwen, has been offering guidance through a training scheme set up by the Scottish Federation of Meat Trade Associations (SFMTA).

Mr Van Leeuwen told the Journal: "The number of butchers has been in decline and those that are left have already embraced a rake of changes to remain competitive.

"However, the market and consumer expectations are constantly changing and the butcher needs to reflect those changes to stay ahead and remain in business."

The aim of the advice is to help highlight to butchers ways in which they can make shops more attractive to customers and provide more of what is needed or wanted.

In addition, help was offered on how to market and promote businesses, reviewing product ranges, shop layout and tips on modern butchery techniques.

SFMTA chief executive Douglas Scott said: "His knowledge and experience were very much appreciated by the firms and trainees he visited."

"It was made possible through a European Social Fund Grant and it is something we hope we will be able to repeat," he added.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

UK food firm creates new jobs for Cumbria

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


A UK food firm is to help create ten new jobs in Cumbria through a revamp of the store.

The Your More Store, a discount food retailer located in Maryport, will be transformed by Heron Frozen Foods, which sells a range of 300 grocery and chilled food products and 350 frozen food items.

Your More is just one of the stores being refurbished as part of an UK wide expansion and 24 similar stores are also planned for development.

David Wallgate, one of the owners of Heron Frozen Foods, told the Times & Star: "I like Cumbria and we are looking forward to operating our business from there. We saw there was a good trading opportunity and felt we could add something to the range of shops.

"Our goods are at the bottom end of the price range but of high quality."

It is hoped four stores will be opened in Cumbria in total, although approval from Allerdale council planners is still needed.

However, Maryport councillors have already shown their support for the plan and local councillor Angela Kendall, chairman of the town's planning and economic development committee, described the deal as "good news".

The newly revamped store should be opened by March.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

MLC offers explanation for UK lard shortage

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) has tried to offer information for consumers and food firms about the current shortage of lard stocks in the UK.

Lard is typically used for making mince pies and Christmas pudding during this period, but recent reports revealed that this year supermarkets have had a lot fewer packets available for sale than normal.

It is thought the lard shortage is due to a stockpiling of the product in Eastern European countries where the food is regularly eaten and since joining the EU, a levy is now charged on non-EU imports.

Mick Lyon, a spokesperson for the commission explained to the BBC: "What's happened is since the succession into the EU, countries like Poland and Hungary have actually seen a decline in the actual amount of pigs they produce and that's been because they've had to change from the old system that they had, that supported their markets, to a EU system where there's no support at all for pigs.

"As a consequence, they're producing an awful lot less. Pigs are getting a lot leaner than they were a few years ago, so that's led to a shortage."

However, according to Mr Lyon although over the next five to six months lard stocks will be "tight" in the UK, he believes that after this time the market will begin to settle and production in Eastern Europe should increase.

As an alternative, consumers have been advised to use olive oil, cooking oil or margarine.

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

New study looks into over consumption of fast food

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


A new study in the US has claimed that fast food consumption could increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.

According to authors of the study, eating fast food more than twice a week can lead to the conditions and be bad for health, highlighting the fact that a balanced diet is important.

Experts from Boston Children's Hospital looked at over 3,000 young people and their eating habits and followed them for 15 years.

The results follow the controversial documentary 'Supersize Me', but others are claiming those who consume a lot of fast food tend to have unhealthy lifestyles generally which can add to the risk of the conditions and that results were flawed by relying on people's accuracy of their eating habits.

Overall results showed white women eat the least amount of fast food and those people who visited fast food restaurants more than twice a week put on an extra 4.5kg compared to those who ate it once a week.

One of the researchers, David Ludwig has claimed that given the results priority should be given to "further research into the effects of this dietary pattern".

Mr Ludwig praised the efforts so far of food firms such as the major fast food companies, for launching healthier choices including vegetables, fruit and porridge and hopes "that this trend continues".

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

New medical tips encourage healthy eating

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The chief medical officer for England has been encouraging consumers to eat more healthily in the New Year.

Sir Liam Donaldson, has issued a list of top ten health tips to help consumers get healthier in 2005.

Among the advice given is to eat more fruit and vegetables and ideally to eat five portions per day, as advised by the government's Five A Day plan.

In addition, he also advises consumers to cut down on their fat and salt intake.

Sir Liam said: "At the start of the New Year, people often make resolutions about how to improve their lives.'

"Following any or all of the tips…will help you to improve your health."

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.

Obesity funding announced

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 04 Type: DirectNews Item


The Government will provide £3 million in a bid to tackle the growing problem of obesity in the UK.

Public health minister Melanie Johnson announced the package yesterday, stating that deprived areas will be targeted for funding, which will be used to train healthcare professionals to provide information and support for people seeking to lose weight.

With over half of the population either obese or overweight, the Government has realised that measures need to be taken to tackle the problem, especially as obesity is linked to diseases such as diabetes.

"We can't force people to be healthy nor tell them how to lead their lives. What we can do is provide them with the information, advice and support to make their own choices. And this job starts with the healthcare professionals," said health minister Melanie Johnson.

Department of Health research has found that GPs and other healthcare professionals are often not comfotable at raising the issue of weight with their patients or fully aware of the options for referal. A directory is being produced for primary care trusts, outlining obesity prevention and management training courses.

Dr Ian Campbell, chairman of the National Obesity Forum told the BBC that he welcomed the funding.

"It is much needed, and overdue, but it will make a difference," said Dr Campbell.

"There is growing evidence that people can be helped to lose weight and keep it off in a primary care setting, and that GPs and practice nurses are bestplaced to deliver weight management to the community."

(C) DeHavilland Information Services plc, 1998-2003.
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