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Weekly Round Up, November 18, 2014

Published on Nov 17 2014 10:26 AM

Weekly Round Up, November 18, 2014

Minister for Agricuture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, has helped resolve an ongoing dispute between farmers and factories over beef prices, at least for the moment. After nine hours of negotiations at the Beef Roundtable, Minister Coveney said the outcome was "very positive" and demonstrated a strong commitment to the beef industry by all at the forum. He said, "I’m satisfied that this very comprehensive set of measures, agreed jointly between farmers and processors, represents the best possible outcome from the negotiations. I strongly believe that this is a response which the whole sector can get behind and support. It is time to move on from the difficult relationship which has characterised the sector over the last number of months and get back to focusing on a positive future.” All parties agreed on number of actions regarding weight specifications, age specifications, quality payment system, quality assurance, farm movements and price transparency. Minister Coveney said, "the benefit of communication across the supply chain has been demonstrated through the Roundtable and improved dialogue must continue to form part of the beef sector […] Improving the bargaining power of producers is the next challenge and, in this regard, next year I will be again pushing the Beef forum to deliver, this time through the introduction of Producer Organisations."

Smithwicks has relaunched its seasonal ale Winter Spirit for a limited time. In keeping with its seasonal roots, Winter Spirit provides a deeper flavour from the roasted barley added to the brewing process. Fermented using Smithwick’s signature yeast, the inclusion of aromatic hops late in the brewing makes this winter ale a smooth pint for the festive season. Smithwick’s Brewer Luis Ortega said, "We’re thrilled to see the return of Winter Spirit this autumn. This premium, dark ale was a hit with craft beer drinkers last year and we’re hoping to see a repeat of that this season. Winter Spirit is a deep, dark ale enriched with roasted barley and our prize Smithwick’s yeast and it’s great to have it back as part of our product range." The Smithwick’s Winter Spirit brew is available in 500 ml bottles priced at €2.59 RRP ABV 4.5%.

Mac Ivors, Northern Ireland’s award-winning cider-maker, has introduced its first draught product, the first craft cider to be made commercially available on tap in Ireland. The family-owned and managed business has begun shipping its successful medium cider (ABV 4.8%) to outlets in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and expects to add customers in Great Britain and Germany soon. The company already sells its bottled medium and dry ciders, launched in 2011, to Great Britain, the Republic, Germany, Sweden and Finland and expects the new draught product to help expand its business in these markets. Cider maker Greg Mac Neice, commenting on the new product, says: "The new draught builds on the success of our existing bottled ciders and also uses apples from our orchards in Armagh, Northern Ireland’s orchard county." Mac Ivors Cider has won a host of prestigious awards over the past two years for its bottled ciders including UK Great Taste Award and National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards, in successive years. It has also gained an International Brewing Award and recognition from Cider Ireland.

Battery producer Duracell has been bought by billionaire Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway in a deal worth $3 billion, from Procter & Gamble (P&G). Buffet said, "I have always been impressed by Duracell, as a consumer and as a long-term investor in P&G and Gillette. Duracell is a leading global brand with top quality products, and it will fit well within Berkshire Hathaway." Duracell employs around 2,700 people accross the world and brings in sales annually of around $2.2 billion. P&G announced last month that it was willing to sell off Duracell, which it has owned since 2005. The deal with Berkshire Hathaway is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

Irish consumers will likely spend €1.55 billion on Christmas this year, according to a survey by Webloyalty. This is 3.5% higher than last year with the average budget being €578, while 13.5% have a budget of €1,000 or more. While 63.2% of respondents said their spend will be the same as last year, just 8.8% plan to spend more this year at Christmas. Additionally, 24.7% plan to spend less on Christmas this year. Guy Chiswick, Managing Director of Webloyalty Northern Europe said, "While Christmas spending has not fully recovered from the economic downturn, our latest research shows positive signs for retailers with spending up 3.5% year-on-year. Unsurprisingly a large portion of the estimated €1.55 billion will be spent on Christmas gifting. What was interesting to see from the report was that almost half of people say they don't intend to shop in the sales and those who do will not begin until after New Year's Day. This represents an opportunity for retailers to hold off on discounting and sales until after the busy and lucrative Christmas period."

Irish food company The Butler’s Pantry has opened pop-up stores in Brown Thomas in Dublin, Limerick, and Cork, with its range of Christmas foods. Jacquie Marsh, The Butler’s Pantry managing director said: "We are bringing a premium Irish handmade selection to Brown Thomas where we will showcase the most popular foods in our Christmas, gift and hamper range. We will also be launching a number of new products including our signature range of chutneys, hampers and gift items. And we look forward very much to our first venture in both Limerick and Cork." Butlers Pantry was founded in 1987 and has ten stores in Dublin.

Henderson Wholesale has announced its collaboration with CHEP pallet company to find new opportunities for improvement in logistics efficiency, worker safety, sustainability, and sales performance. Henderson Wholesale distributes food and grocery-related products to a network of independent retail partners and company-owned stores throughout Northern Ireland. Henderson Group warehouse manager, Alan Abraham, said: "CHEP is more than a pallet company to our business. They act more like a facilitator between retailer and supplier, joining forces with our entire team to find ways to make the supply chain work better for us all. They’ve done the research to understand our operations and now they’re bringing us solutions that can help improve areas such as health and safety and supply chain efficiency, which are crucial to the way we operate our business."

Coca-Cola Zero has extended its Bike Scheme to Galway, Limerick, and Cork. The Galway launch will take place on November 24th, followed by Limerick on December 8th, and then Cork on December 18th. People can pre-register as of now and can use the bikes as soon as they are available on the streets. Pre-registrations will be offered a 50% discount, and will receive a special offer of €5 for an annual subscription, available until the end of 2014. With this subscription you will receive a welcome pack in the post along with details and your subscription card. "The bikes will be an exciting new addition to the cities of Limerick, Cork and Galway for business and recreational users alike," said Gerry Murphy, CEO of the National Transport Authority. Frank O'Donnell, general manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said, "Our investment in Coca-Cola Zero Bikes is part of our wider commitment to help encourage active healthy lifestyles and we hope this scheme will enable more people integrate cycling into their everyday lives, with the option of a healthier and happier commute."

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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