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Did You Know? August 26, 2014

Published on Aug 25 2014 11:54 AM

Did You Know? August 26, 2014

Did you know… Scally's SuperValu Clonakilty will unveil Ireland's first in-store gluten-free bakery and production facility this Thursday? Former Miss World (and coeliac) Rosanna Davison and Mary Twohig, Chairperson of the Coeliac Society of Ireland will be on hand to launch the facility, which represents a 'significant investment' and will create a number of local jobs. A new gluten-free range of products will also be unveiled.

Did you know… Aurivo has held its July milk price at 37c/l, bucking the trend set by other dairy brands? This decision comes despite significant falls in the prices of butter (down 18% since January) and skim milk powder (down almost 15%). The overall drop in milk prices is estimated to be equivalent to 7c/l. Elsewhere, the Irish Dairy Board index has dropped by 9% to 118 – its lowest point for over a year. Sean O’ Leary, Irish Farmers Association (IFA) dairy chairman, told the Irish Independent that the cuts were a consequence of negative market signals during the past two weeks, rather than market returns over the month of July. He added, "The base for the IDB index was 2010 at 29.3c/l plus VAT, so a July milk price of approx 34.6c/l plus vat should be expected".

Did you know… The Baby Elegance Maternity & Infant Awards has announced its finalists for 2014? The awards, which recognise the best products and services for parents and babies, cover categories such as Best Baby Store and Best Maternity Clothing Brand. Now online voting, parent product testing and expert judges will help to decide on the top products in Ireland. As well as baby products, the awards also honour inspirational people, with categories such as Miracle Baby of the Year, Mum of the Year and Dad of the Year, as well as the Outstanding Achievement of the Year award. The ceremony will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin on Friday October 10, 2014. In the run up to the awards, anyone who votes will be entered into a weekly contest to win a family weekend away, courtesy of Select Hotels. Event Director, Tracey Carney, said, "We believe that when it comes to raising children, recommendation and advice from other parents is key. The Baby Elegance Maternity & Infant awards are the only awards in Ireland voted for and tested by parents, for parents."

Did you know… Brady Family Ham has released a new short film that goes behind the scenes at the family’s home in Timahoe, Co. Kildare? The video aims to reveal how the traditional process used by Brady Family Ham sets it apart from the rest. Produced by Marmalade Films and directed by Daniel Hegarty, the video opens with the owner of Brady Family, Bill O’Brien, detailing the history around curing and the humble beginnings of the firm. Later, Production Manager Pat Creighton takes the viewer through the journey of the ham from farm to fork, detailing the unique process Brady Family use to make ham the traditional way. "We created this video as a way of explaining the time, care and passion that goes into crafting ham in this traditional way," explained John O’Brien, Managing Director. "It is not a simple message to understand but we feel this video captures the Brady Family Story and crafting method for ‘Real’ ham in an engaging way." Visit www.traditionalham.com to see the video.

Did you know… Turnover at HJ Heinz Ireland dropped by over €47 million following its acquisition by HJ Heinz Holding Corporation last June. From April to December 2013, turnover fell from €113.2 million to €66 million, whilst profits before tax dropped from €14.2 million to €3.6 million. In the past, the company mainly produced Weight Watchers frozen ready-meals for retail in the UK and Ireland. However, after major restructuring of Heinz’s European business model, these goods are now sold directly to a supply chain hub in the Netherlands. This restructuring goes partway to explaining the dramatic drop in turnover. “However, turnover is also impacted by the continuing decline in the frozen ready-meal category and the impact of the meat integrity issues that received prominent media coverage in the first half of the current period,” the company said in a report. It added: “The directors expect the tough operating conditions in the frozen category to continue during 2015. The business will continue to focus on reducing costs in order to maintain margin.”

Did you know… Less than a third of SMEs are now in growth mode, in spite of strong signs of economic recovery? According to a survey by InterTradeIreland, the number of companies in growth fell from 37% to 29% during Q2. Dr Eoin Magennis, InterTradeIreland’s economist and policy research manager, told the Irish Independent that the survey results were in line with other research. “This could be related to external factors, such as weak growth in the eurozone market, or to the increased speculation about a rise in interest rates,” he said. “Businesses also remain concerned about cost inflation and the linked and growing issues of cash flow and late payments.” Furthermore, 19% of businesses did not export their products, despite having items that were suitable for international growth. More positively, 37% of business saw an increase in sales (a figure that rises to 55% for exporters) and 11% increased their staff numbers – the highest climb since 2009.

Did you know… 68% of Irish businesses have been targeted by illegal scams? The results come from the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association’s (ISME) annual Crime Survey. ISME said that calls to its helpline regarding business scams have increased dramatically in the last month, with the most common form being spam email, according to 86% businesses owners. The next most common scam (58%) was said to be virus infection with 61% also reporting ‘phishing’ scams. Credit card fraud has also increased from 18% to 23% while employee scams rose from 3% to 6%. Another scam related incident reported was supplier fraud, which 15% of participants affected by it in the last year. ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said: “The level of fraud and scam attempts on SMEs is rising and owner-managers need to keep themselves informed of the array of methods being used […] Scam losses are a completely avoidable evil but the effects can be catastrophic, leading to job losses and business closures.”

Did you know… Newspapers in Ireland took a slump in circulation this year according to the UK-based Audit Bureau of Circulations, commissioned by the Irish titles? The audit showed that national newspapers have dropped between 0.9% and 11.9% in circulation in the past year. The data showed that daily newspapers have declined by an average of 7%, while Sunday papers have dropped by an average of 6%. Despite losing 5.1% of its readers, the Sunday Independent is still the best selling newspaper in Ireland. The biggest drop was seen at The Herald, of 11.9% while the lowest decline was seen at Irish Farmers Journal, of 0.9%. Other drops included The Irish Examiner (-7.6%), The Irish Independent (-7.2%) and The Irish Daily Star (-8.6%).

Did you know… Dawn Meats achieved a 90% reduction in thermal energy consumption on one of its major sites, and a 50% reduction on other sites between 2012 and 2013? The company said that signing up to the Origin Green charter and developing a sustainability plan has led to the improvements. The company has also saved 56 million litres of water across four sites, due in part to the implementation of low water use technology and equipment and 80-100% of post consumer recycled content of packaging over the same timeframe. Charlie Coakley, environmental sustainability manager at Dawn Meats said, "Dawn Meats' strong sustainability focus prompted it to sign up to Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme. Since the company had already incorporated sustainability into its mission statement and due to the presence of a sustainability plan, the membership process was even more straightforward."

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson and Nathan Evans.

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