viewpoint

first_img“The biggest challenge in 2007 by far, was prices.” Not my words but those of Peter Williams, bakery director of that excellent business Simmons of Hatfield (pg 13). And they are words that continue to be echoed across this issue and the whole industry.Despite the challenges, Simmons aims to open its 30th shop in March. How come it is among those thriving, not merely surviving? It put its prices up twice last year! And if your company did not, please take stock.I was rather alarmed last week when Carrs Milling put out a statement saying “further price increases would be dictated by whether bakers were successful in getting further bread price increases”. Frankly, there is no choice. If flour and commodities go up, then those who pass on the rises survive, others get taken over or go under.If you are not your company’s best negotiator, please delegate to someone who is. We all have different talents. You might be a brilliant MD, bakery owner or financial wizard. But if you are not a trained negotiator who can talk to the multiples and bakers about price rises in one breath and new products in the other, backed up with plenty of market information, it will prove nigh impossible to get the increases through. The supermarkets in particular are tough negotiators and trained to drive down prices.Most high street bakers I have come across have achieved the price rises with no problems. I popped into De Gustibus bakery the other day by London Bridge and there was a notice in the window explaining why prices had risen again. But business is doing very well, just like Simmons.Our lead story this week on world bread prices, with data provided exclusively to British Baker by the Economist Intelligence Unit, shows that although UK prices are creeping up, helped enormously in my opinion by the popularity of ’artisan’ breads as well as price increases, London is still number 70 in the world and Manchester 93rd.Travel has introduced us to wraps and rye-based breads, which can only benefit the category. But if you want imaginative sandwich fillings, check out our feature on page 16. And do read the controversial comment on folic acid by the Soil Association (pg 8) and let us have your views.last_img read more

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Fiscal Fitness 2004

first_imgBy Michael RupuredUniversity of Georgia All you have to do is turn on the nearest television or radio tohear advertisements targeted to people who have bad credit or toomuch debt. The thing to remember is that each of these agenciesis providing a service to make a profit, not to help you get outof debt. These companies offer to provide a range of goods and services,from copies of your credit report to relief from creditors. Someof them even offer to fix your credit report altogether. It’swise to know which are legitimate offers because when it comes toyour credit, there are plenty of offers out there that aren’t. One payment, but higher interestOne service that you hear a lot about is debt consolidation. Somecompanies that frequently advertise themselves as creditassistance agencies are in truth debt consolidation lenders.Instead of helping you develop a payment plan to get out of debt,they encourage you to take out another loan, which will pay offall of your credit card balances. The sales pitch usually emphasizes that instead of making a lotof payments to a lot of creditors, you’ll have only one monthlypayment to make. However, the sales pitch does not tell you thatyou’ll usually pay a very high interest rate (not to mentionmiscellaneous fees) for this kind of loan. It also doesn’t tellyou how much longer you’ll stay in debt – typically, at leastfive years.But don’t despair. It is possible to get a good deal on aconsolidation loan, especially if you own your home. Mostfinancial institutions offer home equity loans, in which youborrow against the equity you have in your house. The advantageto a home equity loan is that the interest is tax deductiblewhich is not the case with credit card debt. Don’t trade unsecured debt for secured debtHowever, the risk of borrowing against your home equity isthat you’re tradingunsecured debt (credit cards) for secured debt, which is subjectto foreclosure or repossession. If your circumstances change andyou can’t pay, you could lose your home.In addition, many people do not have the discipline to stop usingtheir credit cards once they’re paid off. This means that inaddition to having a debt consolidation loan balance to repay(regardless of what type of loan it is), without discipline, youcould go out and run up your credit card balances all over again. If you truly want to get out of debt, it’s probably best to leavedebt consolidation loans alone. If borrowing is your problem,borrowing more isn’t the solution!last_img read more

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‘Osimhen impressed by Napoli project’

first_imgVictor Osimhen’s representative has confirmed that the Lille forward is ‘very impressed’ by what Napoli have to offer. “Then he met the coach, Gattuso: they talked about the Napoli project and he was also very impressed on that occasion. “Today he’ll meet the President, Aurelio De Laurentiis. He was impressed by Naples and its people, even though the tour around the city was short. “However, everything went in the right direction. Now, all we need to do is make a decision about the lad’s future. read also:Osimhen ‘pressured’ into Napoli move “I’m not sure what Napoli’s fans think of him, but I knew that everyone who crossed paths with him was very happy to see him in the city. “I thought that was very nice of the Neapolitan people. I’m convinced the fans would also really like Victor’s style of play and that could impact positively on his final decision.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Osimhen has been in Naples since yesterday, when he met coach Gennaro Gattuso at the club’s base in Castel Volturno, amidst talk of a €70m deal being in the pipeline. Osita Okolo, who is also the Nigerian’s brother-in-law, admits the trip is going so well that they are meeting President Aurelio De Laurentiis today. “Yesterday, when he arrived in Naples, he headed straight to his first meeting with the club,” Okolo told Radio Punto Nuovo. “On the way, he watched people walking around the city streets and confessed to me that he was positively impressed.Advertisementcenter_img Loading…last_img read more

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