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Weekly Round Up, December 16, 2014

Published on Dec 15 2014 11:44 AM

Weekly Round Up, December 16, 2014

Tesco Ireland has revealed that its online sales are gaining more momentum than its in-store sales, according to the Sunday Independent. The newspaper spoke to the retailer’s e-commerce manager Tadhg Dolly and found that Tesco has added 350 online delivery drivers drivers to its staff and offers delivery to 86% of the country. Dolly said, “Online sales are growing much faster than physical sales. Last year we did 500,000 deliveries and that figure will be up significantly by the end of this year. And mobile shopping in particular is booming, more than doubling annually.” Dolly said that online customers still prefer to do a large weekly shop, but tend to spend more in one go, however it a more considered shop, with fewer impulse buys.

Topaz has announced plans to take over the Esso affiliate in Ireland, which will see around 38 company owned Esso service stations convert to the Topaz brand. In addition, as part of the deal, Topaz will gain supply rights to a further 60 service stations owned by independent dealers. The deal is still subsequent to competition authority approval, and is expected to be completed in Q3 2015. Emmet O'Neill, incoming chief executive of Topaz said the deal underlines the commitment of Topaz to the Irish market.

Michael Patten has been appointed group human resources and corporate affairs director at Glanbia plc. Patten rejoined Glanbia in September as global corporate affairs director, after spending approximately 11 years with Diageo. Siobhan Talbot, Glanbia managing director, said, "Given his understanding of Glanbia's global growth strategy as well as the heritage and culture of our company, [Michael] is in a strong position to lead, develop and execute a people and culture strategy to enable the next phase of our organisation's growth and development."

New EU food labelling rules came into effect on Saturday, 13 December. The new changes will provide more detail to food products including a minimum font size for mandatory information, mandatory allergen information for non-prepackaged food; harmonised allergen information for prepackaged food; mandatory origin information for fresh meat from pigs, sheep, goats and poultry; a list of engineered nanomaterials in the ingredients; and clear indication of defrosted products. Vytenis Andriukaitis, European commissioner for health and food safety told European Voice that EU citizens will “see the results of years of work to improve food labelling rules.” He said, “Key content information will now be more clearly marked on labels, helping people make informed choices about the food they buy.”

The Irish Dairy Board has changed its name as part of a business transformations strategy to capitalise on the removal of the dairy quotas. The new name, 'Ornua’ roughly translates into ‘new gold’ from Irish if the fada is used on the ‘O’, however this has yet to be confirmed. The Irish Dairy Board was formed in 1961 and has found success with the Kerrygold brand that was launched in 1962. Other brands include Dubliner and Pilgrim Choice. The dairy co-operative is owned by Irish dairy processing co-operatives and dairy companies, and through them, Irish dairy farmers. It exports to over 90 countries worldwide. Exports are expected to rise with the abolition of the milk quotas, as Ireland will be able to produce up to 50% more milk in 2015.

The Food Safety Authority (FSAI) has issued a warning that Holle Baby GmbH Serviceburo is recalling all batches of specific Holle branded and Lebenswert branded baby foods due to the presence of atropine and scopolamine. The FSAI is warning that anyone with the affected baby foods should not feed them to infants and/or children. Consumption of implicated products may cause some short-term side effects including change of heart rate, dilated pupils, mouth dryness, constipation and flushed skin. All batches of Holle Organic Millet Porridge Apple-Pear, Organic Millet Porridge with Rice, Organic Milk Porridge Millet, Organic 3-Grain Porridge and Millet and Rice Whole Meat Porridge are being recalled. All the aforementioned pack sizes are 250g. There are no long-term health effects as the chemicals present will be excreted from the body. If concerned, customers should seek medical advice. One can call the FSAI Advice Line, on 1890 33 66 77 from 9.00am-5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

The Larry Goodman owned ABP Food Group has announced a new beef deal with Japan, the first Irish processor to do so since a ban in 2000 due to the outbreak of BSE. The contract is valued at over €4 million, starts immediately and first deliveries are expected to hit Japanese shores early in the New Year. Ireland is only one of three European countries with access to the Japanese market. Mark Goodman, International Commercial Director, ABP Food Group, said: “Japanese consumers are among the most discerning in the world. Over 60% of locally produced beef is Wagyu, so I think it's a testament to the competitiveness and quality of Ireland’s grass-fed beef offering that we have succeeded in gaining entry to this market”. Last month, ABP Food Group was awarded the multi-national exporter of the year award by the Irish Exporters Association.

AJ Noonan has been re-elected by the Small Firms Association (SFA) as the chairman for the 2015-2016 term. Noonan was previously chairman for the 2013-14 term, and has been a national council member for over 10 years. His stated aim for the next term will be campaigning for equal tax treatment of entrepreneurs, specifically removing the additional 3% USC of self-employed and proprietary directors. He also plans to continue lobbying for the introduction of a special capital gains tax rate (CGT) for entrepreneurs of 10% and a general reduction of the CGT to 20%. Noonan runs Rhonellen Group, a property company involved in the provision and management of healthcare infrastructure.

Businesswoman Karren Brady, from the BBC TV series The Apprentice, has partnered with haircare brand Pantene to launch a new £20,000 fund to empower women in the UK and Ireland to achieve their dreams. Called the Pantene Shinestrong Fund, it will assist with women who might benefit from specific financial assistance and expert mentoring. It is targeting women who are not taking the usual path in their chosen field. Brady will chair an expert panel of judges, including P&G marketing director Roisin Donnelly and Cosmopolitan Magazine editor-in-chief Louise Court will select recipients of fund bursaries. Winners will also receive a one-on-one session at the House of Lords with Brady in early 2015.

Co. Down-based Kilmegan Cider is to launch three new ciders, Irish Farmhouse Cider, Real Cider, and Wild Elderflower Cider. The new ciders are produced on the family farm by Andy and Karen Boyd, and have already been endorsed by McKenna Guides. Kilmegan Cider first emerged in 2009, and is produced without additives or preservatives. It is also free from added acids, sugar, water, or concentrates. Andy Boyd said: “We choose the apples to be blended for our cider very carefully. The juice is extracted and left to mature for up to eight months. The ciders are all made with 100% fresh pressed juice to ensure a rich and different flavour”. All the new ciders are produced in 500ml bottles.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson and Robert Moloney.

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