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Arla and Yeo Valley partnership approved
The partnership between Arla Foods and Yeo Valley on liquid milk, butter and cheese announced in February has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority, following a Phase 1 investigation.
Commenting on the announcement, Ash Amirahmadi, managing director, Arla Foods UK, said: “This is significant news for our business, the industry and our farmer owners. We want to maximise the growth in organic dairy products and continued investment in the Yeo Valley and Arla brands will be key to this. We particularly want to extend a warm welcome to the dairy farmers within the Coombe Farm Milk Pool who are partner suppliers to Waitrose Duchy Organic. Our cooperative beliefs and values are very aligned and we look forward to working closely in the coming months.”
The Yeo Valley yoghurt, ice cream, cream and desserts business will continue to be run independently and remain under the ownership of the Mead family.
South West chefs unite for charity polo day
Trade charity Hospitality Action are holding their ninth annual Charity Polo Day on Sunday 9th September at the Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire.
Seven award-winning chefs from the South West are supporting the Polo Day: Hywel Jones of Lucknam Park, Niall Keating of Whatley Manor, Rob Potter of The Manor House (who all hold Michelin stars), Richard Davies of Calcot Manor, André Garrett of Cliveden House, Robby Jenks of The Vineyard, and Kris Biggs of The Rectory Hotel who will provide the day’s afternoon tea.
Each chef will contribute towards a three-course meal with two chefs taking on the same course. Menu highlights include Niall Keating’s roast rack of Wiltshire lamb, dill fermented gem lettuce and fresh wasabi and Richard Davies’ Welsh lamb two ways, spiced aubergine, artichoke and braised spring onion.
Hywel Jones, executive chef of Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa said: “It is hard to believe this will be the ninth Polo Day I have been a part of. We are very lucky to have so much talent in the South West and last year the event raised over £50,000 thanks to the combined effort of all those who took part.”
Chairman of the Hospitality Action South West fundraising board and Calcot Hotels executive chairman Richard Ball adds: “Over the years the Polo Day has grown in popularity and this year is no exception. The event is a real team effort and brings together the best of South West hospitality. I am extremely grateful to all those who have lent a hand and consistently make the Polo Day such a tremendous success”.
Tickets are £105 per person or £950 for a table of ten and include a Taittinger and canapé reception, a three-course lunch and half a bottle of wine per person, grandstand seats to view the polo from and afternoon cream tea. Each of the partner hotels are also offering special rates for guests on the evening of September 9th.
For further information about Hospitality Action visit www.hospitalityaction.org.uk.
Guest Experience Management platform launches
HGEM are launching The Hub – a new Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform. They say it’s aimed at “rapidly equipping managers with all the insights necessary to monitor not just the guest experience but also its relationship with the team’s performance on core standards.”
The platform combines detailed operational assessments with modern guest surveys and social reviews from Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook.
HGEM managing director, Steven Pike, said: “We have been measuring and assessing experiences in various ways for many years. But really effective Guest Experience Management always starts with your team. Engaging team members at an early stage, helping them to buy into the unique culture of the brand and to understand what is expected from them is vital to ensure you deliver an exceptional guest experience.
Our new offering will help managers to monitor their social reputation, listen to their guests and review team performance in detail, all in the same place. The net result is better-managed guest experiences and a greater likelihood of returns and recommendations.”
Cotswold Taste hold first Local Launch
Cotswold Taste launched the first of their local groups with an event that focused on the importance of building your brand.
The Local Launch was held at the Royal Hop Pole Hotel, Tewkesbury, a Wetherspoon pub chain flagship, on Thursday 12 July 2018.
Some 20 guests from local food and drink businesses heard Quentin Thomas, director of creative agency Riley & Thomas Ltd of Broadway, explain how the right branding could open doors.
He said that “Businesses need to realise that a brand is not just a product or a promise or a feeling, but the sum of everything consumers have or go through – look, feel, taste, customer service, customer experiences and customer journeys.”
Nick Waloff, executive chair of Cotswold Taste, said: ‘We’re delighted to launch the first of our local groups in the Cotswolds region.
“We’re looking forward to holding meetings every two or so months, with an exciting speaker about the future of the food and drink chain at each one.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Sharp’s new limited edition lager
Cornwall-based Sharp’s Brewery are launching Honza, an authentic Czech lager with a Cornish twist in a collaboration with Jan Špacek at the Staropramen Brewery in Prague.
Honza is the latest in the Cornish brewery’s limited edition range. A cask lager, they describe it as “Crisp, refreshing and moreish, with aromas of malted biscuit, subtle caramel and lemon, Honza, at 3.8%, is the perfect beer to be enjoyed on long summer evenings.”
Sharp’s head brewer Andrew Madden said: “Lager as a beer style is often misunderstood and underrated so Jan and I took a look back at the roots of lager, and gained our inspiration from this heritage. Evidently, lager is renowned for its refreshment and in our brand new Honza cask lager we have created a beer that is perfectly revitalising, thirst quenching and highly drinkable.”
Honza is available to buy on draught in pubs and bars around the country from this month.
Falcon launch electric fryer
Falcon Foodservice are launching the F9342 electric fryer, the latest model in the F900 cookline series.
Offering fast heat-up times of four minutes from cold to frying, the fryer comes with two 7.5 litre pans and is available in four different variations.
Shaune Hall, Falcon’s product development chef commented “The E9342 is designed as a complimentary fryer, ideal for producing individual portions or small batches of fried foods. The two independently-controlled pans give extra flexibility, allowing chefs to fry different products simultaneously, at different temperatures – each fryer having a range of 130-185°C. The individual pans also help chefs cater for customers’ specific dietary requirements, which is a key requirement these days.”
The E9432 fryers have list prices starting from £5,500 and are backed by a 12-month warranty.
Somerset inn sold to Bramley Bars
The Lord Poulett in Hinton St George has been sold to South West operator Bramley Bars by Christie & Co for an undisclosed sum. The village inn which has featured in the Good Eating Guide and the Sunday Times’ UK’s 100 Best Restaurants has a restaurant area for 80 covers, with an additional 100 in the garden, plus five letting bedrooms.
The purchase of the Lord Poutlett from previous owners Stephen and Michelle Hill expands Bramley Bars’ portfolio to three pubs, joining the Beckford Arms near Tisbury, Wiltshire and the Talbot Inn in Mells, Somerset.
Owners Dan Brod, Charlie Luxton, and Matt Greenlees said: “We take on pubs with rooms that we love and work hard to make them even better. This is first and foremost a village pub and that’s what it will remain whilst attracting visitors from further afield.” Nick Calfe, Director at Christie & Co, who handled the sale comments, “We are delighted to have sold the Lord Poulett for Stephen & Michelle who can now enjoy their retirement, knowing that the new owners will continue running the business under the same management and staffing and their pub is left in very capable hands. Demand for high-quality pubs in the South West remains high, particularly those which are highly recognised and well-invested such as the Lord Poulett.”
Dorset inn on market for £87,000 for leasehold
The Gamekeeper Inn in Charminster, Dorset has been brought to the market by Christie & Co for £87,000 for the leasehold.
The pub features an open plan public bar with 26 covers, a restaurant area with 40 covers, a riverside beer garden and five en-suite letting bedrooms.
Current owners, Kim Payne and Sharon Williamson said: “So many of our customer say that The Gamekeeper is a TARDIS. We are well known for having one of the biggest beer and riverside gardens, a large car park, amazing B&B rooms, comfortable managers’ accommodation and serving the best carveries. “This was going to be our long term adventure as the pub is located in a perfect location and has huge potential for future growth. This is a truly fantastic way of living!”
Stephen Champion, senior business agent at Christie & Co is handling the sale and said: “The Gamekeeper is well supported by the local and wider population and benefits from scope to continue growing the business. The business is likely to appeal to owner operator partnerships, who can continue running the pub in the same style as the current owners, while taking advantages of the various related cost savings.”
Hampshire Food Festival
1st – 31st July 2018
Various locations across Hampshire
“Organised by Hampshire Fare, Hampshire is preparing to celebrate all things food and farming throughout July with over 60 tempting events taking place across the county.”
To take part and to find out more, please visit