HB Ingredients Newsletter No.4 June 2008  
  Special Offers & Promotions  

Please note that some of our special offers may have a shorter than normal shelf life.
  New Products  

  • CuisineWine cooking gels and wine. 
  • Smet Coffee flavoured Chocolate beans.
  • Smet Orange Slices, Strips and Peel.

See Full Details->

  Featured Supplier of the Month  

This months Featured Supplier, CuisineWine, offer a range of cooking wines and spirits...
Read more->

  Recipes of the Month  

This month our recipes all contain our Featured Supplier of the Month, CuisineWine, cooking gels......
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Price Increases – Currency & Commodity situation

Click here to view new Artisan price lists. Obviously ‘Mixed Pallet' price lists are available on request.

We have previously written about the trends in commodity & energy markets and also the continuing weakness of Sterling against the Euro in previous Newsletters, and unless you are a recluse who lives in a cave, you will be well aware of the media coverage concerning food prices throughout the world!

As we have been saying consistently, highly significant price rises are being implemented from 1st July. These basically mean that we have had to review all our prices across the board (some were already adjusted in April to take account of currency) and the most significant changes will be Chocolate Prices, where increases up to around 23% have been announced by the main European refiners.

The following are updated graphs showing price evolution:-

London Cocoa Market as at noon 4.6.08

Sterling/Euro Chart as at noon 4.6.08

The above charts speak for themselves, and therefore Plain Chocolate prices especially are being increased the most. As the Milk Powder prices have eased since the highs of last year, Milk & White chocolate price increases have been relatively less. However milk prices are again showing signs of firming up, and recently across the EU, farmers have been taking direct action in protest at the low farmgate milk price they are paid. So during the coming months, we do expect milk powders to rise in price again, but they are unlikely to get back to the highs of 2007.

Currency has had a major impact on all EU produced products and as can be seen from the chart, has resulted in a min. of 10% increase in prices, which has affected all imported products as well as sugar and syrups etc since the beginning of the year alone.

Fuel & energy costs are still increasing and the oil price of $200 a barrel is mooted! We all know from filling our cars and the quarterly domestic bills what effect this is having.

Our new Standard Price Lists are available by clicking here. Obviously ‘Mixed Pallet' price lists are available on request.

Tony Mycock 4.6.08


Article of the Month  

The Organic Chocolate Project of Grenada - update

In the first Newsletter in March, we described the support we are giving to help develop and promote Organic Cocoa Production in Grenada.

Developments are going well, with the Labour team now in place headed by Ken together with the Pick-Up truck we purchased for the project.

The Labour team use the truck to get around on the farms where they harvest the beans, clear undergrowth and re-plant canopy trees (bananas etc). We have also funded a motorised weeder which has enabled the team to work more efficiently.

Tony & Kath again visited the Grenada Chocolate Factory and met up with Ken who was delivering some newly harvested Organic beans via the Grenada Cocoa Inspectorate at the Belmont Estate (more pictures and information on this in the next Newsletter) to be weighed and recorded prior to taking them to the nearby dedicated Organic Fermentary. Edmund, who is one of the founders of the Grenada Chocolate Company took time out to show us round the small factory high in the rainforest.

The factory is not open to the public as the building is not large and they have strict HACCP standards. They are also so busy now that it is impossible to entertain visits. Most of the equipment is either restored vintage equipment (note the open conches) as well as ‘home-made' such as the 20 tonne jack presses used to expel the Organic Cocoa Butter from the Cocoa Mass, which is sold locally on the Island. The remaining cocoa cake is milled down and run on the open conches (happening on the day we visited) to get it to a powder, which is then packed and also sold on the Island under the SMILO brand.

The beans, once fermented and dried are taken to the factory and are roasted in a converted coffee roaster and then shelled and winnowed in a very old piece of Spanish Cocoa equipment from the beginning of the 20th century, to separate the shell from the bean. Initially the beans & organic sugar are milled through a ball mill and conched through a newish McIntyre and then finished in the old open conches with the marble rollers. The finished chocolate is stored in a small liquid tank and then gravity-fed into a continuous temperer, where the moulds are dose-filled by hand, cooled and then wrapped & packed by hand. The bars are exported to the US and UK (buy at Rococo in London) and also sold locally on the island [In the supermarkets the price of the bars are 10 Eastern Caribbean Dollars each, or around £1-95]. The factory is now run using solar energy, which is supplemented by a new wind generated unit – the trade winds are fairly constant here!

Two recipes of Bitter Chocolate are made, a 60% and a 71% Cocoa solids, sold in 4oz (113g) tablets with distinct graphics. The flavour of the bars are fantastic – they have a unique flavour profile and this flavour matures & develops over time – taste is of course subjective, and in my opinion, the chocolate needs at least 4months from manufacture to get the best overall out of the unique Grenadan Organic Beans.

Tony Mycock – 4.6.08



HB Ingredients
Cocoa House, 22 Bell Lane,Bellbrook Industrial Estate, Uckfield East Sussex. TN22 1QL.
Tel:+44(0)845 88 00 799 Fax:+44(0)845 88 00 833
e-mail: sales@hbingredients.co.uk Website: www.hbingredients.co.uk