When we think of the illegal wildlife trade, the slaughter of elephants, rhinos and other species teetering on the brink of extinction, we think of Africa, Asia and distant countries where some think this acceptable. We rarely associate this crime with our own shores. To say I was angry to see the haul of ivory, rhino horns, animal furs and other items in the gross menagerie of seized illegal animal products in London is an understatement. This is not just a crime taking place overseas. Criminal lowlifes operate right here in the UK and the Met Police and other forces are working to stop them in their tracks. Criminal gangs trafficking wildlife across UK borders will not be permitted to operate with impunity, but this requires a global effort, tackling both the supply and demand of this odious trade. We will not let up our efforts to ensure that future generations can share our planet with rhinos and elephants and that the criminals who seek to harm them face justice. Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn The Foreign Secretary also learned about a new technique for taking fingerprints from ivory. The technique was tested on ivory from the WCU facility from previous seizures, and it increases the chances of building a legal case against perpetrators.This follows on from the Foreign Secretary’s recent visit to Asia where he viewed illegally trafficked ivory and pangolin scales seized by Thai customs.In October the UK will host an international conference on the illegal wildlife trade, bringing together global leaders to work to end wildlife crime.Further information Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) facility in London today (Monday 19 February) to see illegally traded wildlife products seized by the Met Police before they could be sold on the black market in the UK.Many of the cases the WCU deals with involve cross-border smuggling and require police collaboration with international agencies, underlining the need for greater international cooperation to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.The Foreign Secretary saw items seized in successful WCU operations. This includes the recent Abbas Allawi case, where Met Police raided a Watford property using trained search dogs and found wildlife goods with a street value of over £1 million stashed in his attic.The Foreign Secretary was shown items including 7 rhino horns weighing over 16 kg, and dozens of raw ivory tusks and carved ivory specimens as well as animal trophies including a stuffed lion’s head and tiger skins. He heard how there is online demand for primates, including severed monkey hands turned into trinkets and monkey skulls.During the visit the Foreign Secretary said: Email [email protected] Follow the Foreign Secretary on Twitter @BorisJohnson and Facebook For journalists Media enquiries Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook *[WCU: Wildlife Crime Unit
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Good afternoon everyone and croeso i Stryd Downing.It’s a pleasure to have you all here to celebrate Wales’ national day alongside Welsh people from every walk of life and every part of the country.We have great figures from the worlds of business, culture and sport.And I’d like to echo the comments made by Alun about the great effort so many of you made to get here today, despite the weather.And I hope you’ve all had a chance to try out some of the wonderful Welsh produce on display.Today is a great showcase for a great part of the United Kingdom, a part of the world that is no longer Europe’s best-kept secret.Every year millions of people are seeing for themselves just how much Wales has to offer.That includes myself and my husband, who are regular visitors to Snowdonia, we love to go walking there.And while the world is coming to Wales, Wales is also reaching out to the world.Many of the companies represented here tonight are exporting across Europe and around the globe.But also in sport, the whole world saw the amazing medal-winning performance by Wrexham’s Laura Dais in the Winter Olympics.And next month well over a hundred Welsh men and women will be heading to Australia for the Commonwealth Games.They will include Anna Hursey, who is lighting up the world of table tennis despite being just 11 years old.Anna and her teammates will be proud to be competing under the red dragon – just as I’m proud to see it flying over Downing Street today.I’m proud because it is a reminder that Wales makes the UK the country it is.And we wouldn’t be the same without it.The nations of the UK each have their own unique characters, cultures and needs.But when we come together as one, we are all the better for it.As my colleague David Lidington said in Broughton earlier this week, when we are united at home we are stronger abroad.That’s why I’m working with Alun to help Wales be all it can be, to help Welsh businesses and people reach their full potential.And that does include abolishing the Severn Crossing Tolls, investing over £600 million in City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea and committing to a growth deal for the north.This is a government that is working hard for everyone in every part of Wales, from Haverfordwest to Holyhead.It’s an exciting time for Wales, there’s much to look forward to, many opportunities on the horizon.So, tomorrow let’s get out there and make sure the world knows all about Wales and what it has to offer.But tonight, let’s celebrate the very best of Welsh life – and of course the very best of Welsh food and drink!Enjoy the rest of the reception, and Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus.
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest is an independent body, serviced by The Arts Council, which advises the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on whether a cultural object, intended for export, is of national importance under specified criteria. Given how much of his work Bacon destroyed, it is crucial that we try to retain these rare early examples in this country. Bacon’s first short career as an interior designer, principally of modernist furniture and rugs, informed so much of his later painting – not least his feeling for space and structure. The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA) made its recommendation on the grounds of the painted screen and the three rugs’ outstanding aesthetic importance and their value to the study of the works of Francis Bacon, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.Committee Member Richard Calvocoressi said: Arts Minister Michael Ellis placed a temporary export bar on the works to save them for the nation One of the works is the earliest surviving Bacon painting in existence The decision on the export licence applications for the three rugs and the painted screen will be deferred until 25 July 2019. This may be extended if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the items is made at the recommended price for each item.You can download images of the items from the DCMS Flickr page.Notes to editors Arts Minister Michael Ellis has placed temporary export bars on four works by Francis Bacon worth a combined total of more than £3 million in a bid to keep them in the country.Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) was one of the most important British artists of the 20th century. Born in Dublin, Ireland, to British parents, Bacon did not take up painting until he was in his 20s but went on to become a world renowned artist, ranking alongside Turner and Constable in importance. The four items under an export bar include a painted screen valued at £2.5 million. It was Bacon’s first work in triptych, in which a picture or relief is carved on three panels, attached together and usually presented as an altarpiece.Completed at the beginning of Bacon’s career around 1930, the screen is thought to be his earliest surviving large-scale work and his earliest surviving figure painting. It showcases many of the elements and motifs that Bacon would return to throughout his career.The other items placed under an export bar are three rugs that were sold separately at auction. The rugs are considered among the finest modernist carpets in existence and of great importance to British art and design. They are rare survivals of a very limited production of a group of rug designs by Bacon.Valued at £186,000, £166,000 and £146,000 respectively, they were hand-knotted at the Royal Wilton Carpet Factory as part of their Wessex range in 1929. The rugs show Bacon working in a mode similar to his paintings and were displayed hanging on the wall, to be enjoyed as works of art in their own right.Arts Minister Michael Ellis said: The Arts Council champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. www.artscouncil.org.uk. Francis Bacon is one of our most respected and renowned artists, whose works had a huge influence on modern art. Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the items should contact the RCEWA on 0845 300 6200. It is right that we try to keep these outstanding works in this country, where they could inspire our next generation of world-class artists. Details of the painted screen are as follows: Case 28: £2,501,572.50 Francis Bacon 1909-1992 Painted Screen, c.1930 Oil on plywood with metal hinges, each panel 183 x 61 x 2.8cm; overall: 183 x 183 x 2.8cmProvenance: Eric Allden, London.Roy de Maistre, London (until 1968)Francis Elek, London.Thence by descent to the present owner.The export bar may be extended until 25 November 2019 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the screen is made at the recommended price.Details of the rugs are as follows:Provenance for all three rugs:Eric Allden, LondonFrancis Elek, London (acquired from the above late 1940s)Thence by descent to the present owner.Case 30: £146,742.90 Hand-knotted rug in wool with linen weft, designed by Francis Bacon, produced by Royal Wilton carpets as part of their ‘Wessex’ range, 1929- 1930. Measurements: 212.5 h x 128 w cm. Approx. 7’h x 4’ wCase 31: £186,642.90Hand-knotted rug in wool with linen weft, designed by Francis Bacon, produced by Royal Wilton carpets as part of their ‘Wessex’ range, 1929- 1930. Measurements: 212.5 h x 124.70 w cm. Approx. 7’ h x 4’ wCase 32: £166,842.90 + VAT of £6,500Hand-knotted rug in wool with linen weft, designed by Francis Bacon, produced by Royal Wilton carpets as part of their ‘Wessex’ range, 1929- 1930. Measurements: 206 h x 127 w cm. Approx. 7’ h x 4’ wThe export bar may be extended until 25 October 2019 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the items is made at the recommended price.
National Cupcake Champion Emily Johnson has said sales of her award-winning Mojito Cupcake have increased by 50% since winning the title.The owner of Upsy Daisy Bakery in Hammersmith, London, who won the accolade back in July for her cocktail-inspired recipe, showed British Baker how to make the winning cupcake recipe. Johnson said: “Everyone just wants to try the Mojito Cupcake, there’s not a day where we haven’t completly sold out of them or had a call for an order for them for a particular occasion.”She added that the bakery has a dedicated cocktail range to maximise on the alcoholic cupcake trend. It features flavours inspired by cocktails such as Pimms and Pina Colada.Upsy Daisy Bakery has recently celebrated its second birthday and serves a range of 30 cupcake flavours, as well as creating afternoon teas, breakfasts and brunches from its bakery and tea room on King Street in West London. It is is run by Johnson and her partner Matthew, with a team of seven employees currently working at the business.To see the full recipe for the winning Mojito Cupcake, visit www.nationalcupcakeweek.co.uk and click on the Recipes tab.
A Christmas pudding from discount supermarket chain Aldi has beaten upmarket rival Fortnum & Mason in a taste test, according to a magazine.The £7.99 orange-topped pudding came second, with Good Housekeeping describing it as “delicious”, while the upmarket £24.95 version was “a real disappointment”, in 29th place out of 32 tested.Overall, the supermarkets fared well in the test – with the winner coming from Waitrose – and it concurs with a study by Which? from last year, which suggested supermarket mince pies were also better than upmarket rivals.For its annual taste testing, experts at Good Housekeeping magazine sampled 162 different types of champagne, smoked salmon, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, Christmas pudding, brandy butter, mince pies, mulled wine, Christmas cake and Stilton.
Premier Foods has announced that trading profit from continuing operations has fallen by 17.8% to £154.7m, in its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2012.Sales in its continuing operations were also down 12.2%, to £1.7bn, while adjusted profit before tax stood at £85.2m, up from £72.6m in 2011. Underlying sales (excluding milling) were up 3.2% to £1.3m.The company’s bread division saw sales drop 0.7% to £688.5m, from £693.5m in 2011, and its divisional contribution also declined by £24.8m to £26.9m, due to an “adverse customer mix, wheat quality affecting manufacturing efficiencies and higher costs to serve”.Milling sales dropped 0.8% to £191.4m.The group said sales of its grocery power brands were up 4%, and had delivered four successive quarters’ growth.Recently appointed chief executive officer Gavin Darby said the foundations had been laid for future growth. “It’s important now to maintain continuity and focus on executing our existing strategies to build further momentum in grocery while rebuilding value in bread.”Premier said the the firm would aim to rebuild value in the bread division by reducing costs and targeting capital investment in order to enhance flexibility, efficiency and customer service.During 2012, Premier Foods announced the disposal of its vinegar and sour pickles, Elephant Atta ethnic flour, sweet spreads and jellies, and sweet pickles and table sauces businesses, in a bid to streamline the company.Challenging yearMark Moran, chief financial officer at Premier Foods, revealed the firm experienced a particularly challenging year in 2012 for bread sales.It comes as Premier Foods’ bread division contribution for the year end to 31 December 2012 was down 48% from £52m to £27m.In a conference with analysts this morning (21 February), Moran said its Hovis bread brand managed to maintain its market share, but the category remained “highly competitive”.He added that Premier had incurred an impairment charge of £36m against its bread division, due to the restructuring activity at the end of last year, which involved the closure of two bakery sites in Greenford, west London and Birmingham, resulting in 900 job losses.In terms of the group, Moran said the company “achieved a great deal” in 2012, highlighting a 10.6% improvement for underlying business trading profit to £123m during the financial period.He added the firm experienced four successive quarterly periods of growth for its grocery power brands, explaining the key drivers included key customer collaboration and significant investment made in marketing activity in the division, with Premier more than doubling spend.Other highlights revealed by the chief financial officer included the proportion of branded sales in Premier’s grocery division, which stood at 87% for the period.Moran concluded that the 2013 financial period would be a year of restructuring for its bread division.
The Great British Bake Off is back and here British Baker looks at how the show has become a social media phenomenon.The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens last week and there were a staggering 116,861 tweets during the first episode alone, along with 4,088 tweets being sent out during the first minute of the show.Recent research by Nielsen found that a 15% of TV viewers said they enjoyed watching television more when social media was involved and when it comes to The Great British Bake Off 74% of those tweeting were women.The show is that popular it has now become a multimedia event that a number of big brands are using for their own ends. Are you doing the same?Here is a collection of just some of the tweets from big companies last week as an illustration of how smaller bakers can get involved: [<a href=”//storify.com/allyfaughnan/great-british-bake-off” target=”_blank”>View the story “How big brands use The Great British Bake Off” on Storify</a>]
A pub in Berkshire has opened with an on-site coffee shop and bakery, to offer customers fresh food on the go.The Crown & Garter Pub, in Inkpen, will run by baker and pastry chef Robert Rodrigues bake pastries, cakes, breads and breads for sandwiches.The bakery will also be open for breakfast, and will bake fresh pastries and croissants.Breads can be ordered to take home from the pub’s bakery, and it will support the on-site restaurant with breads for dishes. Loaves are sold at the bakery for between £1- £3.50, and cakes are sold by the slice.The Crown & Garter is owned by cookery write Romilla Arber, under her company, Honesty Group.
Bakers at Gunstones Bakery, Sheffield, have gone on strike today (15 June) over a pay freeze.Workers at the 2 Sisters-owned site began a 48-hour strike after they claimed management had backtracked on promises of a pay rise, following 427 people being made redundant.According to the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), which organised the strike, the bakery has cited the overall cost of the redundancies as a reason for not increasing pay.John Higgins of the union also explained that the site was still using more than 200 agency workers, despite being told that the agency was only bought in while the company restructured around the redundancies.Higgins was at the site at the picket line when British Baker spoke to him. He said: “The atmosphere is good because people are so fed up with how they are being treated; they just don’t care.“We hope the strike will result in the manager agreeing to sit down at the table with us again over this.”Higgins said he expected to be joined by around 90 workers who were participating in the strike.In a statement, Gunstones said: “We are keen to continue meaningful talks with colleagues and their union representatives so that we can reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion.”We will work with our customers to create contingency plans which will minimise the effects of action.”Another 48-hour strike is set to take place on 17 and 18 of July.
British Baker met Lydia Baines, marketing manager for Belgian ingredients manufacturer Puratos, who told us about the Puratos Sensobus.The Sensobus is designed to help the company understand consumer preferences – it is essentially a fully equipped sensory analysis lab on wheels. On the day we visited, the bus was parked up in Brighton, and was looking specifically at the glaze on vanilla crowns on behalf of a client.The Sensobus can welcome up to 300 consumers a day – their input is then analysed by the company’s researchers, who use the results to help clients choose the most suitable products or solutions.In a bustling, sunny Brighton, Baines took a moment to tell us a little more about what was going on.