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Weekly Round Up, February 17, 2015

Published on Feb 17 2015 8:22 AM

Weekly Round Up, February 17, 2015

Gala Retail has concluded a triumphant 2014 campaign with the Jack & Jill Foundation, committing to an exciting new chapter with the charity in 2015. The ‘Gala Up the Hill for Jack & Jill’ campaign, thanks to the efforts of customers and retailers, has assisted the Jack & Jill Foundation in raising €144,000. The partnership focuses specifically on fundraising for the home nursing-care programme. Every €16 raised provides one hour of nursing care for terminally ill children. “We are all inspired by this Irish children’s charity, which is a lifeline to families seven days a week, 365 days a year. Like Gala, Jack & Jill is at the heart of the community, so we are delighted to support their great work,” said Gary Desmond, chief executive of Gala Retail Services. The partnership has ambitious plans for 2015, with several national and store-level initiatives underway.

The Irish Farmers Association has said that almost a third of a sample of 91 pork items available in Irish supermarkets and butcher shops were wrongly sold as ‘Irish’. The IFA bought a number of products in Wexford, Galway, Cork and Cavan in December including back rashers, loin chops, back bacon and ham fillets. Before purchasing, each butcher was asked was the meat Irish, and in all cases the answer was ‘yes’. However, when 91 products were tested, some 29% did not come from the Irish boar database, which contains the DNA of every Irish boar serving sows in Ireland. IFA Pigs and Pig Meat Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty has referred to the findings as the “blatant misleading of consumers”.

Heineken Ireland has said that the off-trade sector in Ireland remains ‘challenging’. A spokesperson for Heinken Ireland said: “Signs do exist of some stabilisation of beer volumes within the pub sector. However, the off-trade sector remains challenging following another year-on-year decline in volume in 2014.” Despite this, Heineken’s other brands Coors Light did however experience growth in 2014 in the off-trade sector, while Desperados and Tiger both delivered “double-digit” growth, according to the company.

Consumers with nut allergies have been advised to take care when purchasing supermarket curries and other products containing cumin. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK has launched a nationwide testing programme after traces of almonds were discovered in products not advertised as containing nuts. Over the weekend, Aldi’s Fiesta brand Fajita Dinner Kit was recalled on a precautionary basis, the third product to be recalled in the past fortnight. It is feared that peanut and almond proteins may have been used as a cheap substitute for cumin. Closer to home, Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has expressed concern at the withdrawal, calling the recall, “particularly worrying given the potential for allergic reaction to nuts.”

A number of commercial properties are due to go for auction this Wednesday at the RDS Dublin. The first Allsop Space auction of the year will include a number of tenanted lots coming up for sale including Tralee Shopping Centre. Other commercial lots include an Argos, Next, Ladbrokes and an Irish Development Agency building. In total, there are 221 commercial and residential properties to go under the hammer, with a total reserve of €40 million. According to a spokeswoman for Allsop, the level of enquiries about the upcoming property auction has been “extremely high”.

Only one in three workers takes the recommended level of exercise for a healthy lifestyle each week, according to research by the Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF). Three in 10 workers undertake no physical exercise during work time, the study found. The research was conducted ahead of what will mark Ireland’s first National Workplace Wellbeing Day on Friday 27th of March 2015. Professor Niall Moyna, Chairman of NHF is calling on employers and employees across Ireland to sign up for the day, “Ireland’s workplaces are essential to encouraging healthier lifestyles amongst adults, given the considerable amount of time people spend there.”

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) chief executive Alan Reilly has called the food chain an “easy target for criminals”. Reilly also insisted that food companies must have a threat assessment procedure in place to identify where the food supply chain could be vulnerable to fraud. He has said that the FSAI is working with its European counterparts in a major clampdown involving fish and manuka honey. “We know there are problems in both these areas, in the substitution of lower-value species for higher-value species in the fish chain and the use of lower-quality honey and marketing it as top-quality honey,” he told The Irish Times.

Heinz, Walkers and Cadbury’s have been named amongst the UK’s ten ‘most loved’ brands by advertising agency Isobel. In a poll of 1,500 consumes people, five of the top 10 were food and retail brands, with Cadbury (2), Walkers (3), Heinz (4), Kelloggs (7) and Tesco (9) all registering high on the list, which was topped by Amazon. The country’s ‘most hated’ brands on the other hand, included Marmite (3) and food and drink retailers McDonald’s (7), Starbucks (8) and KFC (10). Paul Houlding, Isobel’s managing director said, “It would seem that longevity works wonders for most. All, bar two of the top 10, predate the 1960s. Affection, it seems, has been hard won.”

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Hannah Popham. 

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