Maple Leaf Bakery UK says it plans to offer a range of bake-off products and sliced bread in the UK, following its acquisition of the £20m turnover former Harvestime (2005) plant bakery in Walsall last week.Welcoming the deal, UK MD Peter Maycock said: “All stakeholders, specifically our employees, customers and suppliers can take comfort from the fact the bakery now has the backing of the international Maple Leaf Foods organisation. We look forward to building the Walsall bakery back to a successful growth business with a long-term future.” Deputy MD Guy Hall told British Baker the asset purchase will allow the UK business to diversify its range. Maple Leaf Bakery, part of Canada’s largest food processing company Maple Leaf Foods, is currently best known for producing New York Bagel Company-branded bagels. It has three existing sites in the UK.Mr Hall commented: “We are primarily bagel bakers in this country. This acquisition is a strategic fit, and sits well with our ambition to be a broader supplier in the UK.” He emphasised the company will continue to produce sliced bread at the Walsall bakery. It plans to produce more premium sliced bread, and the Harvestime brand will continue to be used “in some capacity.” The 248 Harvestime employees at the site have been taken on in the deal, Mr Hall said.The Walsall bakery sale to Maple Leaf, announced on Friday, March 24, comes after only a week of talks with administrators, Guy Hall revealed. He commented: “We had looked at the business several months ago, but its business model is significantly different now. At the time it had a large direct- to-store delivery fleet and a less favourable product mix.”Mr Hall indicated that Maple Leaf Bakery UK plans to consider further opportunities for acquisition in the UK as they arise.Maple Leaf Bakery UK is based in South Yorkshire and makes bagels at its Rotherham bakery, pretzels at The Original Pretzel Co in Southend and other speciality bakery products in Cumbria.Harvestime (2005), formerly part of New Rathbones, had been in administration since November 2005, and previously in April 2005.John Kelly, joint administrator from Begbies Traynor said: “I am confident that the right purchaser has bought the business and the future of bread production in Walsall has been secured.”Analyst David Lang commented: “One would not imagine this will lead to pricing instability. It will fill a vacuum for private label.”
By Dialogo August 09, 2012 MIAMI, U.S.A. – The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36), recovered 49 bales of narcotics with a combined weight of 1,225 kilograms (2,700 pounds) from the Caribbean Sea during Operation Martillo on Aug. 3. The seized drugs had estimated street value of US$27.5 million, according to law enforcement agents. Operation Martillo is an international operation that gathers Latin American, Western Hemisphere and European nations and the United States in an effort to curtail illicit trafficking routes on both coasts of the Central American isthmus. The USS Underwood pursued a “go-fast” speedboat that dumped its load before law enforcement agents were able to board it on Aug. 2. A Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft flying overheard reported the speedboat’s crew was dumping packages into the sea and informed the Underwood, which marked the position of the debris so the packages could be located in daylight. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Miguel Aponte, a member of the bridge watch team, spotted the first bale in the water around 8:15 a.m. Underwood sailors manned the boat deck and loaded a team, including two members of an onboard U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET), into a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB). During the next few hours, sailors aboard Underwood used binoculars to search the surrounding area for bales while the RHIB team recovered anything spotted in the water. “Right off the bat, we just start picking up bales that were floating in our area,” said a member of the LEDET. “After that, the ship vectored us in to different sections that they could see from a further distance and then also the [helicopter] vectored us in.” Led by Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) South, a component of U.S Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Operation Martillo (Spanish for “Hammer”) is a coordinated interagency regional security strategy to thwart transnational organized crime. The USS Underwood is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean.