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Cooplands Bakery on a roll after £2,000 win

A popular chain of traditional bakeries has scooped a £2,000 prize as part of nationwide campaign the Big Break, organised by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited, the company behind Direct Debit in the UK.

The campaign, which is now in its fourth year, saw participating organisations encourage businesses to pay for services by Direct Debit and receive automatic entry into a prize draw to win the cash windfall.

Cooplands Bakery, which boasts over 100 shops in the Yorkshire, Durham, Lincolnshire and Teesside areas, scooped the £2,000 prize after their popular Bradford outlet was drawn at random for paying their business rates by Direct Debit with Bradford Council. The chain of bakeries is the third largest in the UK and employs over 1,000 people.

As part of the campaign, participating billers also agreed to make a charitable donation for every new Direct Debit set up during the Big Break, which ran between February and June 2014, helping give a boost to a range of good causes.

Alan Jaques from Cooplands Bakery says: “We were completely surprised by our £2,000 win. Paying our regular bills by Direct Debit is something we do routinely as its easy and is one less thing to have to do manually.

“We are going to use this windfall to invest in new product development initiatives aligned with our current strategy of broadening our healthy eating range of sandwiches.”

Bacs’ Dawneth Perry, says: "Yet again in 2014 our Big Break campaign has proved to be a huge success and I’d like to congratulate Cooplands Bakery on their win. This year not only saw businesses opting for the ease of paying by Direct Debit but, thanks to the generosity of participating organisations, the campaign helped raise vital funds for a range of good causes.”

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lunch! reports record turnout for 2014

Renowned for attracting a who’s who of buyers from across the food-to-go sector, lunch! welcomed a record 6215 attendees through its doors.

Now in its seventh year, the sold out show featured almost three hundred exhibiting companies and enjoyed a 5% increase in total unique attendees, compared to 5924 in 2013. That’s a 44% increase since 2012. As in previous years, the surge in footfall was backed by glowing testimonials from across the show floor.

Many of the country’s biggest high street operators, food retailers, and contract caterers were in attendance including AMT Coffee, Boots, Caffѐ Nero, Debenhams, EAT., John Lewis, M&S, Pret A Manger, Rail Gourmet, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and Morrisons. More than two thousand independent outlets were also represented.

Chris Brazier, group event manager for lunch!, says, “We are delighted that our seventh year of lunch! was our best show yet, with a record number of visitors and exhibitors for 2014. It really does cap a brilliant year for lunch!, after winning Best Trade Show at the Exhibition News Awards. Thanks must go to all our visitors, exhibitors, media and association partners for helping us put on the best lunch! we’ve ever had.”

Looking ahead to 2015, lunch!’s organiser Diversified Communications UK has already announced a 25% increase in stands to accommodate growing demand from food, drink, packaging, technology, and equipment suppliers. An expansion which will take the exhibitor total to 350 companies for the first time.

The high turnout at the show reflects the ever growing popularity of food-to-go in the lunch time market. Emma Read, director of marketing and business development at the insights firm Horizons and host of the show’s opening Working lunch! Theatre session, said, “The lunch market is a good place to be – vibrant and growing, with consumers eating out more.”

“The lunch market has seen many changes over the last few years and remains a key eating out occasion. More people are eating out and more often but their expectations are higher than before – they want good quality at a good price and often something they can eat on the move. Successful operators are responding by offering a good price point, speedy and efficient service to compete with fast food outlets, and lighter, healthier options.”

Other Working lunch! Theatre highlights, sponsored by Magrini, included popular sessions by Sarah Doyle, brand director, EAT., Henry Dimbleby, co-founder, Leon & The Sustainable Restaurant Association and Cyril Lavenant, NPD Group director of foodservice UK, revealing that Londoners visit fast food outlets and other chains to buy a take-out lunch more frequently than people in the rest of Britain. Steve Flanagan, director, marketing and category at Starbucks UK, and Tim Hall, creator of Pod, shared their big news on the second day of lunch!, announcing plans to offer selected food from Pod’s breakfast and lunch ranges at three Starbucks stores in central London for a trial period.

lunch! will return to Business Design Centre in London, on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th September 2015. For further information, visit www.lunchshow.co.uk.

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Community Shop given huge award by Food and Drink Federation

Community Shop, the UK’s first network of social supermarkets delivered by Company Shop, has won the ‘Community Partner Award’ at the prestigious Food and Drink Federation Awards in London.

Sharing the award with Company Shop were Kettle Foods, who were named joint winners. The accolade recognises a company that is making a real difference within its community. In a highly competitive category, Community Shop was shortlisted alongside Central England Co-operative, General Mills, Mars Foods and Siemens.

Community Shop is a social enterprise that redistributes surplus food from the supply chain and makes it available at heavily discounted prices to those living in areas of deprivation and experiencing in-work poverty.

Its first store was launched in the South Yorkshire town of Goldthorpe in December 2013 - one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. It gained widespread national and international media coverage upon its launch, and was highlighted as a ‘Future Icon’ of sustainable, socially impactful consumer business practice by The Big Issue magazine.

Working with most of the major retailers and many top brands, including ASDA, Morrisons, The Co-operative, M&S, Tesco, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, Tetley, Young’s and Muller amongst others, industry support has been significant, and continues to grow.

But it is not just access to discounted food that marks Community Shop out as the winner of the FDF Community Partner of the Year. Members of the store also benefit from access to services provided at its ‘Community Hub’; where they can engage with professional mentors and seek support with budgeting and debt advice, skills and employment training and business incubation. The Community Hub Success Plan aims to provide a route back to financial independence, and towards mainstream retail.

Delivering maximum social, environmental and economic impact from surplus product is the driving motivation behind Community Shop. Following the success of the Goldthorpe pilot, preparations are well underway to launch a second pilot store in London, before expanding the network across the UK.

The award was collected by Mark Game, Managing Director of Company Shop, who says: “This is such a proud and humble moment for all of us. We have been bowled over by the support received for Community Shop so far. To be named the Community Partner of the Year is just incredible.

“Company Shop has always viewed surplus food as a valuable resource and our social supermarket model shows just how much of a positive social impact we are able to have - both on people’s lives and on the industry as a whole.

“We are excited about what the next twelve months have in store, and look forward to our continued expansion in the sector and across the UK.”

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