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Weekly Round Up, January 27, 2015

Published on Jan 26 2015 12:14 PM

Weekly Round Up, January 27, 2015

The Irish Dairy Board will pay a record bonus for 2014 of €11 million to co-ops which sell through it – up 12% year-on-year. 60% of Ireland’s dairy produce to 100 international markets is exported by IDB, with roughly 14,000 dairy farmers depending directly or indirectly on its returns. The bonus comes as IDB chairman Aaron Forde told the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and Marine; “We had a record year in 2014 for product price. Product purchases and exports were up 16%, some 41,000 tonnes.” However, he warned of a difficult 2015 for Irish farmers, and explained that milk prices lag dairy product prices by about three months because of contractual situations. He noted that in late 2014, a drop in Chinese demand fell to low levels and Russia banned a wide range of imports, which took two of the major dairy importers in the world out of the market. The Irish Dairy Board announced recently it is to change its name to Ornua, following shareholder approval.

The Sales Institute of Ireland has unveiled details of its current Diploma in National & International Selling, which commences on February 10th in the National College of Ireland, in Dublin's IFSC. The diploma was developed to reflect the fact that the 'role of the sales person has changed profoundly in recent years'. The diploma in sales has been developed through the partnership of National College of Ireland (NCI) and the Sales Institute (SII). The programme is highly applied and all module assessment is work related and will also benefit the employer. The programme has been designed to be relevant both to indigenous Field Sales and International Inside Sales roles. Click here for more information

Poundland, trading as Dealz in the Republic of Ireland, has announced that it is on track to meet profit expectations for 2014-15. The discount retailer reported that its sales rose 10.2 percent on a constant currency basis in the 13 weeks to December 28. This translates to sales of £328 million in actual currency, up 9.8%. Poundland had an overall successful Christmas period, though its growth did slow from the 15% reported for its first half. Chief executive Jim McCarthy listed the retailer's ‘festive highlights’ as the sale of 50 million chocolate items, 1.5 million advent calendars and 600,000 boxes of crackers.

New figures reveal that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, earned €389,681.35 over a four year period. The figures, which were uncovered by RTE, includes his salary and expenses, which stood at were €65,443.50 and €9,333.31 respectively last year. His salary dropped from €92,672.04 in 2012 and €89,965.02 in 2013, while his expenses also saw a decline (€19,775 in 2012 and €16,000 in 2013). These earnings are relatively low compared to others; with Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kitt claiming €625,543.51 and Sinn Fein's Gerry Adam's receiving €517,976.64. Ann Phelan, Minster for Rural Affairs, has earned €495,432.48 since her election in 2011. The figures cover the period from March 2011 to July 2014 and do not include the extra salaries paid to the Minister, as that money is paid by the Department of Agriculture.

Unilever Chief Executive Paul Polman claims to have maintained ‘good relations’ with Tesco despite the current accounting scandal at the retailer. Polman has said that the consumer goods group retains mutual respect with British supermarkets despite talk of conflict in the supply chain. According to Polman, Unilever has worked with Tesco “through good times and bad” and its auditors are happy with its account. “This is a company which operates with a high level of integrity,” he added. He also gave his endorsement of new Chief Executive of Tesco, Dave Lewis, who has previously worked in Unilever’s personal care business; “He left here with a good track record, and I am sure he will be the same there.”

Carbery Group have officially opened Nutrifront in Brazil, a whey processing joint venture between the Cork-based group and leading South American food company, BRF. The facility, located in the Southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, measures over 70,000 sq ft, and will make added value nutritional ingredients for the sports nutrition, infant formula and bakery sectors. This is not Carbery’s only presence in Brazil, with the group having a Synergy Flavours in Vinhedo, Sao Paulo. Carbery employees have relocated to Brazil to bring their knowledge of process technology, operations, finance and sales to the new venture. Carbery chairman Donal Tobin commented on the new operation, “Carbery’s ability to produce high quality whey protein ingredients locally will strengthen our offerings to the leading brands in Brazil, and ensure we are positioned for further growth in a dynamic and upward economic region.”

A minimum price on alcohol will be introduced in Ireland, though plans to ban drink companies from sponsoring sports will be dropped, according to sources close to the government. A minimum price for alcohol is set to be approved next week, with a cabinet sub-committee meeting set to approve the measures. It is thought that a minimum price could be in place by summer. Health Minister Leo Varadkar is aiming for a reduction in alcohol consumption in Ireland. He commented, “The overwhelming long term priority has to be a healthy Ireland, reducing the amount of alcohol we consume to an average for the western world.”

Irish consumers spent over €28 billion on Visa debit and credit in the year to September 2014, an increase of 32%. The average transaction value was €56.40, a 4.95% decrease over the 12 month period, as consumers are increasingly using cards for smaller transactions. This means that €1 in every €3 of spending is now done so by Visa card. Visa cards alone, excluding credit cards, increased by approximately 39% also, while contactless payment was shown to have grown, with an average spend of €8.09 in Ireland. Additionally, 20% of Visa card spending is done online, with Irish cardholders spending €3,867,044 online every minute on an average day.

Bord Bia and six Irish meat firms attended the biennial SIRHA food service trade fair in Lyon, France last week. The event is a prime opportunity for the meat companies to target international meat buyers, with an estimated 200,000 visitors in attendance, including 19,000 international chefs. The Irish exhibitors include John Stone, Kepak, ABP Ireland, Liffey Meats, Slaney Foods, Irish Country Meats and Kildare Chilling and the event also featured an Origin Green Ireland pavilion. Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia said, “France is our largest eurozone market for beef and at €260 million, accounts for 23% of Irish beef exports to Continental Europe.” He said that France is also Ireland’s biggest export market for sheep meat, with a value of €90 million or 42% of Irish total global sheep meat exports. “This endorsement from a country renowned for its culinary and fine dining tradition will enhance our attractiveness to the non-French presence at SIRHA who account for 13% of visitors.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson and Jenny Whelan.

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