Published1 hour agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, EmpicsThe number of pubs in England and Wales continues to fall, hitting its lowest level on record this year, according to new research.There were 39,970 pubs in June, down by more than 7,000 since 2012, said the real estate consultancy Altus Group.After struggling through Covid the industry now faced soaring prices and higher energy costs, it warned. The government said it had slashed taxes to help, but industry groups urged it to do more. Over the last decade thousands of pubs have closed as younger people drink less, supermarkets sell cheaper alcohol and the industry complains of being too heavily taxed. But in 2019 figures from the Office for National Statistics suggested the sector was turning a corner as it expanded for the first time in a decade. It declined again during the pandemic, however, as lockdowns forced pubs to shut or implement strict social distancing rules. Landlady gives up pub as energy bills near £30,000Firms warn time is running out to save UK economyWorse to come for food price rises, warns industryAccording to Altus, 400 pubs in England Wales closed last year and some 200 shut in the first half of 2022 as inflation started to eat into their profits. Robert Hayton, head of Altus in the UK, said: "Whilst pubs proved remarkably resilient during the pandemic, they're now facing new headwinds grappling with the cost of doing business in a crisis through soaring energy costs, inflationary pressures and tax rises." According to the research, the West Midlands saw the biggest number of pub closures in the first six months of 2022, with 28 shutting.It was followed by London and the East of England which both lost 24.Altus said that pubs which had "disappeared" from the communities they once served had either been demolished or converted for other purposes, meaning that they were "lost forever".Inflationary pressuresEmma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), said: "When pubs are forced to close it's a huge loss to the local community, and these numbers paint a devastating picture of how pubs are being lost in villages, towns and cities across the country."As a sector we have just weathered the hardest two years on memory, and we now face the challenge of extreme rising costs," she added. "It's essential that we receive relief to ease these pressures or we really do risk losing more pubs year on year."Image source, Getty ImagesAccording to research from the BBPA, the British Institute of Innkeeping and UK Hospitality, only 37% of hospitality businesses are currently turning a profit.Those surveyed said the rising costs of energy, goods and labour were most to blame.In the past week, pub bosses have also warned that summer rail strikes could hit their profits by further weakening consumer demand. The government said it could not control the "global factors" pushing up inflation but continued to support the hospitality sector."We've cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of businesses by increasing the Employment Allowance while slashing fuel duty," a spokesman said. "We've also introduced a 50% business rates relief for eligible High Street businesses and prevented bill increases by freezing the business rates multiplier, saving businesses £4.6bn over the next five years."More on this storyLandlady gives up pub as energy bills near £30,0009 JuneFirms warn time is running out to save UK economy3 days agoWorse to come for food price rises, warns industry8 hours ago
Published20 minutes agoSharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingImage source, Getty Images"Relentless" increases in the price of food may not hit their peak until next year, an industry group has warned. The Food and Drink Federation, which represents UK food and drink makers, said it usually takes 7-12 months for producers' costs to reach shop shelves. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has accelerated manufacturing costs such as energy and fertilizer. The federation's boss, Karen Betts, warned prices would "absolutely" get worse before they get better.Food and drink price inflation rose to 8.7% in the year to May, according to the Office for National Statistics. "I think the peak could well be into next year and that prices could well rise some way above 10%," said Ms Betts.People cut back on food shopping as price rises biteWhy are prices rising so quickly?Other groups, such as the Institute of Grocery Distribution, which provides analysis to major grocers, predict that prices could rise by as much as 15% as household staples such as bread, meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables become more expensive.The UK's overall inflation rate hit its highest level for 40 years in May, as the costs of energy, fuel and food continued to climb. People struggling with the rising cost of living are already cutting back on groceries or even skipping meals, according to a BBC survey of UK households.'Breadbasket of Europe'Ms Betts told the BBC that food and drink manufacturers had already seen costs rise during the pandemic due to supply and labour shortages, but the Ukraine war had worsened the situation. "The manufacturers that I speak to are saying that at the moment all their input costs are rising, so that's everything from ingredients to raw materials, energy, labour and they can't see an end to that," Ms Betts said.Both Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of fertilizer, while Ukraine - known as the "breadbasket of Europe" - produces significant amounts of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.The conflict is disrupting the supply of these goods, however, driving up prices on international markets. Similarly, sanctions against Russia - a major oil and gas producer - have further pushed up global energy prices, hitting businesses and consumers alike. Image source, Getty ImagesMs Betts said there was "usually a seven-to-12 month time lag in the prices that food manufacturers pay before those price rises are felt on shop shelves"."So, if it is costing more to plant and grow wheat or sunflowers for sunflower oil now then those price rises are going to take 12 months, perhaps longer than that to make their way into food prices in the UK," she said.The UK's overall inflation rate hit 9.1% in May and the Bank of England predicts it could reach 11% this year.Work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey told the BBC's Sunday Morning programme: "The government knows this this is a challenging time for people."The spike of inflation leading to a hike in bills is largely driven by after-shocks of Covid so the global supply chains are are still not flowing, but undoubtedly the decision we have made to tackle Putin and his invasion of Ukraine also has consequences particularly on energy costs."She highlighted the government's package of measures to help households with energy costs, including a £400 discount on fuel bills for all homes.More on this storyInflation pushes UK interest costs to May record23 JunePeople cut back on food and fuel as prices rise17 June
The Food Consortium CTP is looking for a PhD candidate for the BBSRC funded project Optimising salt morphology and maximising oral perception of salt through DEM and DEM-CFD techniques. The Food Consortium CTP comprises four major food manufacturers together with the largest UK-based independent science and technology provider and trainer for the food industry (Campden BRI), and the Haydn Green Institute (Nottingham University Business School). This industry-led collaborative programme will develop highly skilled PhD researchers and provide an innovation ecosystem through collaboration and partnership. As a successful PhD candidate you will be part of a larger cohort of students with the opportunity to form strong links to industry and be part of a supportive network of peers, academic supervisors, industrial supervisors and training partners. Business facing training will include concepts and issues to consider when commercialising early-stage science and technology, using tools to help evaluate innovation and commercialisation strategies. About the Project The aim of this project is to understand the detailed mechanisms of the release of salt and other flavours during breakdown and transport to the receptors through numerical simulations. The focus of this project will be on developing the capability for modelling the formation and dynamics of bolus in a realistic oral cavity and to predict the rate of dissolution of salts with different grain types. This information could then be correlated to the perception of flavours by consumers. The successful candidate will first focus on modelling the final dissolution mechanism. The salt transport during the mastication will be simplified to the dissolution of different salt types in a stationary fluid. It is assumed that the dissolution curves produced in this manner are correlated with the dissolution curves in an actual process. Such models can be built with sufficiently high-fidelity to enable testing of different salt types with all the morphological details. More complicated models will then be built step-by-step by introducing model flow patterns (hence including advection), adding other flavouring particles, static geometry of the oral cavity and dynamics of the tongue by introducing a fully-resolved CFD strategy such as a coupled Discrete Element-Immersed Boundary technique.