In a turbulent and exciting year for the baking industry, British Baker looks back at the big stories from 2014.January: The war on sugar beginsThe chairman of the then just-formed campaign group Action on Sugar threatened the industry with “regulation and taxation” should bakers not voluntarily lower levels.February: Hovis flies solo Premier Foods announced that its bread business would operate as a standalone joint venture – known as Hovis Limited – following a conditional agreement with US company The Gores Group.March: Patisserie Valerie goes publicRumours began to circulate that Patisserie Valerie was to float on the stock market after the company’s underlying profit grew 24% to £12.3m.April: Pasty company saved from soggy-bottom endWest Cornwall Pasty Company was rescued from administration by a new investment fund, for an undisclosed sum. The Gresham Private Equity-backed chain had been placed into administration with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.May: Co-op joins supermarket battle with 75p loafThe Co-operative launched 75p own-label 800g loaves, putting itself at the front of a bread price war that experts said could spell a “race to the bottom”.June: Morrisons announces plans to restructureMorrisons revealed plans to cut prices and axe up to 2,600 jobs as part of a restructuring move amid the supermarket price war.July: Row over gay cake order eruptsAshers Bakery in Northern Ireland was threatened with legal action after refusing to bake a pro-marriage cake emblazoned with Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie. August: BFP Wholesale is sold to private equity firmMultinational yeast producer Lesaffre sold UK bakery distributor BFP Wholesale to private equity firm Zimt Holding for an undisclosed sum.September: Bakers immerse themselves in National Cupcake WeekBakers and retailers embraced the sixth National Cupcake Week (15-21 September 2014) with social media interaction at an all-time high and two TV appearances.October: Finsbury creates bakery giantFinsbury Food Group acquired Sheffield-based Fletchers Group of Bakeries for £56m in one of the biggest bakery moves this year. It made the firm one of the largest specialist bakery companies in the UK.November: United Biscuits is finally sold United Biscuits, owner of the McVitie’s brand, was bought by Yildiz Holding, the Turkish owner of Godiva Chocolates, for a rumoured £2bn following a drawn-out bidding war.December: Premier Foods comes under fire over supplier policy Premier Foods, owner of Mr Kipling, promised to ‘simplify’ its controversial investment programme after it was slammed for imposing plans to strike customers off the supplier list if payment did not arrive on time.
He added: “But there is no right way and wrong way because if that was the case chairman would be changing managers every three months just to get an instant hit. “It is one of these things: I am sure in time Mark Hughes will prove his ability as a manager at QPR. “I am maybe not surprised (at their league position) because you wouldn’t expect a newly-promoted team to be much further up. “But I’ve said from the start of the season I expected the newly-promoted teams to stay up and I still believe that. “Norwich are almost a certainty and Swansea are close to being safe and the only ones who are in any difficulty are QPR but I’ve always had a feeling they have enough to get out of trouble. “They have spent well and they will fight all the way to the end.” EVERTON manager David Moyes believes QPR may have to wait to see the benefit of bringing in Mark Hughes but he is backing Saturday’s opponents to survive their first season back in the Barclays Premier League. Since Hughes replaced Neil Warnock in early January the Loftus Road club have taken just four points from six league matches, leaving the 17th-placed side out of the relegation zone on goal difference only. Moyes believes not every new manager could have an instant impact, and said: “When a new manager comes in you can sometimes get the instant effect of winning a few games like Martin O’Neill (at Sunderland). But in other situations it takes time to get results and bed in what you are trying to do.” Press Association
As of Wednesday afternoon over half a million people have recovered from COVID-19 worldwide.According to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, 510,486 have recovered from the virus. 51,770 people have recovered in the United States alone.The country with the largest number of people who have recovered is China, with 78,311 recoveries.For the latest numbers on the virus, click here.