Milling & Baking News - April 21, 2009 - (Page 1)

THE NEWS WEEKLY OF GRAIN-BASED FOODS APRIL 21, 2009 / Exclusive Interview SPECIAL with Milling & Baking News With change swirling in Washington, A.B.A. sees need for steady focus AIB International 2009 (with special letter of introduction) Insert after Page 32 LATE NEWS Italy's 'King of Grain' and wife murdered NAPLES, ITALY - Franco Ambrosio, 77, and his wife, Giovanna Sacco, 74, were brutally murdered at their Naples home April 15. The crime occurred during a nighttime burglary. Mr. Ambrosio led Italgrani S.p.A. during a period of extraordinary growth for the company. During the 1980s, he established a foothold for the company in the U.S. milling industry with the construction of the New England Milling Co. (NEMCO) in Ayer, Mass., and U.S. Durum Milling Inc., in St. Louis. At its height, Italgrani was a major industrial company in Italy earning Mr. Ambrosio the "King of Grain" moniker. Within Continued on Page 8 WASHINGTON - Amid a whirlwind of intense activity in Washington, the baking industry needs to maintain a keen and selective focus, said Kenneth F. (Chip) Klosterman Jr., chairman of the American Bakers Association. While the industry is grappling with dozens of issues, Mr. Klosterman said the A.B.A. is centering its activities around the three principal areas of food safety, food nutrition and food inflation. "At any point in time there is a need for the A.B.A. to have clear priorities," Mr. Klosterman said. "It's especially true now with more government Klosterman regulation and legislation facing us than ever before. One of the things most important is not just deciding what we will do but what we will not do." In an interview with Milling & Baking News conducted on the eve of the A.B.A. annual meeting April 5-8 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, Amelia Island, Fla., Mr. Klosterman, who is president of Klosterman Baking Co., Cincinnati, and members of the A.B.A. staff reviewed the industry agenda that, while pared down, was still daunting. "The world has really changed in the last few months, and we've probably never been busier," said Robb MacKie, A.B.A. president and chief executive officer. "Well in advance of November, we spent time in 2008 thinking about what might come about as the result of the elections. We may have underestimated the speed and volume of change in the first 100 days." The three priorities described by Mr. Klosterman resulted from a January meeting in Washington that included a strategic planning session with the A.B.A. executive committee, policy committee, committee chairs and A.B.A. staff. "We went through an exhaustive list Continued on Page 23 Buns and Rolls Update X Building a better bun Innovation key to reinvigorating buns and rolls category W ith the spring and summer grilling season just around the corner, the buns and rolls category stands to receive a much needed boost to lift sales. According to data from Information Resources, Inc., the past 52 weeks have not been particularly strong, with unit sales of buns and rolls in the period ended March 22 falling 2.2% to 1,171,678,000. And while many of the nation's major bakers have been able to churn out year-over-year dollar sales gains, two of the largest - Interstate Bakeries Corp. and Bimbo Bakeries - were not. Based on steps taken by leading companies, the strategy for reviving a stagnant buns and rolls segment appears to center on developing products that cater to consumers' indulgent side while delivering on health and wellness. George Weston Inc., which earlier Continued on Page 42

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Milling & Baking News - April 21, 2009