Slices of toast are reporting how the bread prices are at an all year low in the UK right now making it really tight for the bakery industry.  One commenter says “Bakery folks needs to take a page from Starbucks”, but I think they should look at Hovis Limited who have just released Chia bread – jumping on the band wagon to fulfil customer demand for health products based on chia and other ancient grains whilst.  Demand for the traditional white bread loaf will no doubt remain strong, but the way Hovis have innovated to stay alive is a great example to follow.


Hovis Limited brings chia loaf to UK’s ailing bread market

By Vince Bamford, 24-Feb-2016

Bread manufacturer Hovis Limited has teamed with supplier The Chia Co to launch a chia seed loaf in the UK.

Bread margins under pressure as price remains at eight-year low, reports ABF

By Vince Bamford, 22-Feb-2016

Bread prices are at their lowest level for eight years and are continuing to put pressure on bakery industry margins, according to Kingsmill brand owner Associated British Foods (ABF).

Argentina’s new President Mauricio Macri (Wikipidia page) has implemented major structural changes to the economy and farming polices to try and reposition Argentina back at the top of the most competitive nations for grains and foodstuffs.

The farmers have suffered years of neglect, and at times, downright hostility by the previous regime so this is good news for Argentine farmers and the country. The most immediate moves include the removal of nearly all export taxes (apart from soya which he only deduced) (more info) and the floating of the currency (the Argentine Peso). This had an immediate effect of a 46% increase for the farmers in their local currency. He is also aiming to make the country more transparent and efficient, and improving infrastructure. While the later are intangible gains at this point it will bring in long term competitiveness.

Not all these gains will flow through to the purchasing and procurement agents overseas. After years of high inflation and bad policies, the farmers will not be able to reduce their prices by this extent, however, one thing is certain, that Argentina’s produce is now much more competitive under the new government and is set to remain so. Something we can all cheer about.


Idle Argentine Soy-Crushers Ramp Up as Macri Ending Crop Logjam
Argentina’s grain exports rise 57 pct. after taxes are scrapped, gov’t says | Argentine farmers slow to sell 12m-tonne soy hoard – ADM

11 February 2016:

Growers have been increasing their prices over the last 2 to 3 weeks due to the low expectations they have for the new crop, due in April/May.

There have been severe droughts in two growing areas, Puno and Ayacucho, with losses of about 40% of the crop.  30% is damaged and will only reap low yields and 30% is expected to be harvested as normal.

Overall demand will most likely exceed supply this year, making it a difficult year for for Peru, with further price increases expected.