Milling & Baking News - November 13, 2012 - (Page 21)

Bakers look to resume operations in wake of Hurricane Sandy KANSAS CITY — For baking and food companies affected by Hurricane Sandy, gratitude came with only having to deal with days of power outages instead of flooding. Lucky ones had a working generator, which enabled them to save valuable product. Most lost days of revenues, though, and many considered making insurance claims because of an interruption in business. Almost everyone had employees struggling to make it back to work after power was restored. Gas shortages were the wild card in the aftermath of the storm that ripped through the densely populated New York metropolitan area and New Jersey on Oct. 29. With masstransit options still reduced, employees of food-based businesses who needed to drive faced the likelihood of service stations without power and often lacking gas because of disruptions in the supply chain for fuel. By Election Day last week, all of the the wholesale and retail bakeries and food-related businesses in New York, Long Island and New Jersey contacted by Milling & Baking News were up and running again. Many praised their employees, who they said rolled up their sleeves to prepare workplaces for the storm and returned to work as soon as they were able. Most business owners in northern New Jersey, Manhattan and Long Island expressed gratitude that they escaped the flooding that beset lowlying and coastal locations. Early last week, weather forecasts predicted a new challenge — a Nor’easter approaching from the Atlantic Ocean that looked like it might pile on torrential rain, winds of up to 50 mph and potential flooding of low-lying areas before the region had fully recovered from Sandy. Kent Van Amburg, executive director of the American Society of Baking, said the three most common effects of the hurricane in his industry were multi-day losses of electric power, difficulties in shipping baked goods to other businesses such as grocery stores that were themselves without power, and having employees unable to resume work because they couldn’t obtain enough gas for their cars. Alain Bankier, co-president and chief executive officer at kosher foods maker Manischewitz in Newark, N.J., said the company’s work week, which doesn’t include Fridays, meant that the / 123-year-old business had no “WIP” — work in progress — when the storm hit late Oct. 29. They experienced as much as a week without power in one of their facilities, but the frozen raw materials stayed sufficiently cold because no one opened the freezer doors. Mr. Bankier said they experienced a couple of other unexpected hurdles: clean-up because winds were so high that debris entered their facilities through vents designed to expel air. They also had to rent a couple of tankers to haul away waste because the local treatment facility refused to be the recipient. Otherwise, the main challenge was getting the roughly 300 employees back to work, many of whom themselves had no power or gas. “We have a great work force,” Mr. Bankier said. “As soon as they heard we were back in business, they came in to do clean-up, and we had a reduced shift on Friday (Nov. 2).” A week after the storm, Mr. Bankier was starting to evaluate the financial ramifications of the privatelyheld company’s being down several days. “It’s not going to be good,” he said. Silver Lake Cookie, Islip, N.Y., lost seven shifts to power outages wreaked by Hurricane Shopper in front of empty bread shelves at Trader Joe’s market in Sandy, said Joe Vita- the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. relli, president of the 48-year-old company with revenues in that what is most important is locathe range of $25 million. He said his tion, location, location. Grandaisy, a business has been at its current loca- six-year-old purveyor of Italian-style tion for 30 years and never has expe- baked goods in lower Manhattan, rienced anything like the superstorm. where Hurricane Sandy’s impact was Some of his workers faced lost wages, severe, faced flooding of its industrial as was true at most bakeries affected motors and a week without power. by Sandy. He said permanent employ- Monica Von Thun Calderon, owner, ees out of his workforce of 350 will be said she was able to get a generator paid but hourly workers won’t, typical from Connecticut and hook it up to of most of the baked foods businesses pump all the water out of the motors, hit by the storm. He added that the which saved them. “We didn’t lose our 50,000 lbs of power outages meant materials in his bakery ovens at the time of the storm flour, and we got our pumps working were lost. A week after the storm, he because of the generator,” she said. As for the lasting effects of the was working hard to catch up “but there will be a loss of sales and some storm, Ms. Von Thun Calderon said, disappointed customers. Some people “We lost a week of revenues. Our hourly workers lost a week of wages, only look out for number one.” Another Long Island storm victim, but the event was not a catastrophe Wenner Bread in Bayport, N.Y., was for us. We’ll be here.” MBN lucky because it owned a large generator that was able to keep frozen dough on hand from spoiling. “Millions of dollars of inventory was saved by having the generator,” said Richard Wenner, president. “We don’t believe we will make an insurance claim because we don’t have a loss.” He is optimistic about his business, despite the challenges of the storm. A family-owned company with revenues of more than $100 million a year, Wenner Bread is in the process of expanding with the help of a private equity firm. “We’re growing 14% a year,” he said. Wenner noted that getting employees back to work took awhile. “They had their own power outages and the gas shortage made it difficult for them to come in,” he said. A week after the storm, the 550 employees were all back on the job. Not every bakery had a similar story, bearing out the real estate truism Milling & Baking News November 13, 2012 / 21 AP PHOTO  Business

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Milling & Baking News - November 13, 2012

Milling & Baking News - November 13, 2012
Change agent at General Mills, NAMA chairman celebrates ‘noble’ industry
Countering higher input costs, B.B.U. to raise prices in November
Late News - Flat Flowers earnings after one-time charge
Table of Contents
News/Comment - Lack of focus on farm issues likely to change
Editorial - Many milling positives in tough environment
Late News
Data - January-September flour output reaches new record high
Financial Results - Mondelez earnings down 29% in third quarter, sales fall 2%
Oreo, belVita buoy biscuit business at Mondelez
CSM B.S.N.A. unit performs well in tough market
Morning foods wake up at Kellogg
Industry Activities - Millers in ‘deep dive’ exploring possible vitamin D fortification
Meyer elected vice-chair of NAMA; two honorary memberships named
Merchandising - Winners in America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest crowned
Business - Bakers look to resume operations in wake of Hurricane Sandy
Flowers acquiring Bimbo assets in California, Oklahoma
With Wisconsin project, Horizon doubling whole wheat capacity
Baker’s Pride opens new donut plant
Wind farm built to supply power to Bimbo in Mexico begins operating
Strikes may be looming at Hostess Brands baking plants
Mondelez to close Mr. Christie cookie plant in Toronto
Red Star, Lesaffre to raise yeast prices
ADM opens sweetener transfer terminal in Chattanooga
Nutrition and Health - Whole Grain Stamp success spans participating companies of all sizes
Food Ingredient Solutions - Indulge in extras
Milling Technology - ADM Milling expanding Beech Grove flour mill
The Andersons agrees to major grain facility acquisition
Gavilon opens grain facility in South Dakota
POET-DSM buys equipment for cellulose production
Washington - Breaking Washington gridlock
Weather Outlook - In marked change, world weather pattern transitioning to ‘normal
Washington - Elections may bring little change to Senate ag committee
Farm bill fate uncertain in lame duck session of Congress
U.S.D.A. offers assistance to hurricane victims
People - With Cargill c.f.o. resignation, David MacLennan to fill in
Brad Pederson named supply chain manager at Caravan Ingredients
ADM taps two for management positions
Transportation and Distribution - N.G.F.A. seeks easier path to contest ‘unreasonable’ rail rates
Nutrition and Health - Initiative shows gains in nutrition content in children’s cereal
Ingredient Market Trends - U.S.D.A. raises forecasts for U.S. and world 2012-13 wheat ending stocks
Supplier Innovations
Marketplace Business Network
Ad Index

Milling & Baking News - November 13, 2012