Januaryl With 1,327 shops, bakery giant Greggs dwarfs its rivals on the high street, both in the takeaway and fast food sectors, topping British Baker’s first Top 50 Bakery Retailers league table.l Private equity firm Vision Capital’s purchase of the assets of Northern Foods’ bakery businesses is approved by shareholders.l Pies and malt loaf baker Oakdale Bakeries, with sites in Doncaster and Wigan, calls in administrators. It is sold to Bakesense in March.l Supermarket bread on sale in London is cheaper than bread on sale in Cairo, Bangkok, Beijing and Manchester, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. A standard loaf cost 61p/kg in London, ranking 114th out of the 130 cities in the survey.—-=== December ===l Sainsbury’s strikes a unique deal to supply its 360 in-store bakeries with traceable British flour, as part of an initiative to become what it calls “the best baker in town”.l Convenience foods specialist Greencore Group becomes the latest bakery supplier to complain that the unseasonal summer weather and raw material cost inflation have hit its profits in 2007.—-=== November ===l French-based yeast group Lesaffre acquires yeast company GB Ingredients and sister business BFP Wholesale for an undisclosed sum.l Maple Leaf Bakery UK buys Bernard Matthew’s bakery in Dunstable, Bedfordshire.European Bakeries (UK) goes into liquidation as the landlord of its London bakery calls in the bailiffs over unpaid rent.l Speculation mounts that Allied Bakeries is to be sold by parent Associated British Foods, after ABF says it has underperformed over the year.l Celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin stars in the latest Morrisons advert, promoting the retailer’s bread and in-store bakeries.—-=== October ===Finsbury Food Group acquires Weight Watchers low-fat cake manufacturer Anthony Alan Foods.l Supermarket Morrisons acquires the whole of the Rathbone Kear plant bakery business, buying out bakery entrepreneur Harry Kear’s 20% stake.l Chester-based P&A Davies scoops the Richemont Club 2007 Trophy at the Club’s annual competition, held at Bakers’ Fair North West. Pictured are judges Steve Gibbons and Kevin Rusden from Milling & Baking, looking at savouries—-=== August ===l Millers and bakers are reported to be going through “hair-tearing” times as wheat and commodity prices soar, including dairy and fats.l The Dutch group CSM, owner of BakeMark UK, acquires Kate’s Cakes for £20.5m plus £12m debt.l Maple Leaf Bakery UK adds to its growing UK empire with the £18.75m acquisition of premium breads supplier La Fornaia.l Sandwich chain Subway hits the 1,000 outlet milestone in the UK and Ireland, moving towards a target of having 2,010 outlets by 2010.Tesco launches its first range of breads with no artificial additives, using long fermentation.—-=== June ===l Cake giant Inter Link suspends trading of its shares on the AIM, following an initial decision by McCambridge to withdraw an offer to buy the company. With £63m debts, shares, once traded at 770p each, were worthless.l European Bakeries, which supplies Aldi and Compass, goes into administration.l Cooplands of Scarborough buys Skeltons from administration in a deal that almost doubles its estate from 43 to 77 shops.Skoda creates a tasty motor, a full-sized replica of its Fabia, made out of cake and confectionery.l Druckers Vienna Patisserie joins forces with Patisserie Valerie after Luke Johnson buys the 42-strong Druckers chain for about £20m.—-=== May ===l Allied Bakeries restructures its UK mainland business into eight regional business units to improve service levels and efficiency.l The Food Standards Agency (FSA) decides to recommend mandatory fortification of baked goods with folic acid, either at the flour or bread stage to ministers, in a bid to reduce birth defects caused by its deficiency in expectant mothers. The FSA is reviewing the situation.l Bread sales go up in value across the board over the last year, apart from the white in-store bakery sector, TNS Worldpanel data reveals. It announces that total bread sales were worth £1.43bn in the year to 25 February 2007, a growth in value of 9% on the previous year.—-=== March ===l Ainsleys of Leeds wins its long-running legal battle over VAT payments on its ciabatta melts and other fresh-baked products, after a High Court appeal is dropped by HM Revenue & Customs.l Hull-based Skeltons, which has 43 shops, calls in administrators on March 27, blaming supermarket competition and a recent significant increase in energy costs.l The bread and bakery products market sees its best year of sales growth in four years in 2006, according to the KeyNote 2007 report. The bread and bakery products market is worth £3.27bn at retail selling prices in 2006, up by 3.1% on 2005.—-=== February ===l Finsbury Food Group buys Lightbody Celebration Cakes, making it the leading player in the premium cakes sector.Premier Foods’ £1.2 billion purchase of RHM is cleared, creating Britain’s biggest food producer and bringing together brands such as Branston Pickle, Hovis bread and Mr Kipling cakes.l Allied Bakeries reveals plans for the “UK’s biggest-ever bakery relaunch” as a £40m turnaround plan gets under way.l A corporate recovery firm makes an asset purchase of Welsh firm Ferrari’s Bakery.—-=== September ===l Premier Foods reveals that profits have halved in its bakery division in the six months to June 30.John Waterfield scoops the prestigious Baker of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards and John Gillespie (pictured with Joanna Lumley) takes the British Baker Special Award.l Country Style Foods buys the former RHM frozen desserts factory in Flint, Wales, from Premier Foods.l Plant bakers report wastage levels between 5% and 20%, due to a poor UK harvest.l New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals a 2.3% decline in the number of bakery manufacturers over the last year, while the number of bakery retailers grew slightly.—-=== July ===l Irish bakery group McCambridge buys cake company Inter Link.l Bakesense Bakeries, formerly Oakdale Bakeries, goes into administration for the second time in the year. Administrators fail to find a buyer and 200 jobs are lost.l Flooding hits Gloucestershire businesses badly, amid scenes of panic-buying.—-=== April ===l Asda says its fresh bakery sales are up, following a high-profile advertising campaign, featuring actress and comedienne Victoria Wood (pictured).l MPs start a campaign in Westminster to exclude the UK from EU moves to abolish standard-size British bread loaves.l Sandwich supplier Brambles Foods is sold to Adelie Food Holdings for £22m.