The closure of Heart of England Fine Foods has spread panic through the ranks of money-for-old-rope merchants everywhere. If Britain can no longer afford to spend millions on regional quangos to help small food producers realise they are never going to be a success, it spells disaster for the rest of us. “Because,” as Karoline (with a K) trenchantly explains, “all the no-hopers making artisan whelk paté and lavender flavoured popcorn in their kitchens will be phoning us up instead.” K has thus agreed to the employment of a PR apprentice specifically to man said phones and tell deluded ex-stockbrokers to go away (not the words she actually used) and put their expensively handmade comestibles in the nearest bin (not the location she actually specified).
Jocasta, for it is she, is gratifyingly clueless. (An apprentice who knows what they are doing would be a severe embarrassment to us time-served practitioners.) So a year beckons in which she will learn useful socially transferable skills like organising dry cleaning for the entire office and avoiding Terry from the post room after lunch.
She’ll also no doubt gain an insight into the lame NPD skills of Britain’s food and drink producers, as evinced yet again by the Daily Mail’s report on plans to develop more female friendly “lagers and beers” (sic). And probably sick too, given the industry’s long track record of unpleasant confections for the ladies. Project Pink, Project Sugar and Project Patronise are the three code names for what’s on the way.
Meanwhile, I’m belatedly changing all my passwords. Domino’s Pizza’s database has been hacked and I can’t begin to imagine the shame if my order history was leaked.