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Weekly Round Up, November 4, 2014

Published on Nov 3 2014 3:11 PM

Weekly Round Up, November 4, 2014

Aldi has been criticised over the naming and price point of its ‘Beluga’ caviar. The discounter announced plans to sell the product at €12.99 per 20g jar, which is 75% less than it retails in other stores. According to the Irish Independent, ‘foodies’ were sceptical that the product met true ‘Beluga’ standards, and claimed that caviar farms would not sell authentic Beluga caviar at the price listed. Aldi has relabelled the product as such, as ‘Specially Selected Caviar’ instead of ‘Amur Beluga Caviar’ to avoid confusion. The Aldi caviar will be on sale from December 19.

The chief executive of Microfinance Ireland has welcomed the Strategic Banking Initiative, an €800 million Government scheme to help fund small businesses. Michael Johnson, the newly appointed chief executive, said it is now critical that the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland also present opportunities to other lenders, such as Microfinance Ireland. He said, “The role of Microfinance Ireland, which is Government-backed, is to lend to small businesses and new start-ups which are not catered for by mainstream financial institutions. Through lenders, such as Microfinance Ireland, the benefits of lower rates and flexible terms could be passed on directly to indigenous businesses, that are deemed ‘too risky’ for the pillar banks.” Johnson also confirmed that Microfinance Ireland has more than doubled its loan activity in 2014. It has now lent over €5.5 million to small business owners and new start-ups, supporting over 800 jobs in every part of Ireland.

Dealz has opened its 36th store at the Quayside Shopping Centre in Sligo. The latest store brings 30 new jobs to the area and will boost trade to the centre. Leonard Brassel, Dealz regional manager, said at the opening last week, “At Dealz we are committed to bringing amazing value every day to customers with our €1.49 price point, and are looking forward to bringing an extensive range of products offering amazing value to new customers in Sligo.”

Flanagan's Foods are preparing for Christmas by unveiling an extended Elizabeth Shaw luxury chocolates range. This premium confectionery range is perfect to accompany an after-dinner coffee or afternoon tea. The range includes the Crisp range, including Dark Mint, Milk Mint and Amaretto Crisp, the Flutes range in Mint, Orange, Cappucino, Amaretto and Cocoa crunch, a Liqueurs range and a Food Service range. For more information, click here

The Irish Farmers Association’s executive council has sanctioned further action against beef factories as it attempts to seek better prices paid by meat processors. The decision was made after 24-hour protests were held by thousands of farmers outside 30 meat plants last week. An emergency meeting was held by members of the IFA’s executive council and its Livestock Committee on Sunday night. IFA President Eddie Downey said that an urgent response was necessary from the meat factories because farmers could not afford to go any longer without further instruction. IFA President Eddie Downey said, “We had a lengthy discussion about the price and specification issues that have to be resolved. The clear message from members of the Executive Council and the Livestock Committee was that farmers are very angry that the price gap has not been addressed. Unless there is significant movement on this and the specification issues, farmers will not let another week go by without further action”.

A new SuperValu store has been granted planning permission in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, after several appeals had been made on its initial request in May. The new SuperValu will be at Lisanaskey on a site that is owned by the charity group Kingscourt Community Enterprise Centre. The contract application requests the permission for ‘A SuperValu supermarket with ancillary off licence (1,394sqm gross floor area of which 929sqm is net retail sales area). Permission is also sought for car parking (83 spaces), service yard, plant, building mounted and freestanding signage, bicycle parking, hard and soft landscaping, boundary treatments and all associated site and development works’. The existing 25 year old SuperValu outlet on Main Street, Kingscourt, will be closed once the new store opens.

40% of SME owners say they have had to borrow money from friends and family in order to keep up with their costs as a direct result of late payments owed to them. According to the latest quarterly Viking Small Business Barometer, late payments have been one of the biggest difficulties that SME owners are facing today, with a third of them complaining that delays that have caused problems for their business. One of the hopes is that the transition to electronic payments will help to resolve the issues. Almost 68% of respondents to the Viking survey said that the government does not seem to be doing enough to persuade the banks to increase lending to SMEs. Since September 19, under the National Payment Plan, the public sector will no longer be using cheques and cash payments in their dealings with businesses and will use online payments only.

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), has ruled that Tesco unfairly dismissed employee Mary Adeniyi, who has worked for the company since 2004, but fell ill in October 2010 and three months later was diagnosed with lung cancer. Adeniyi was on sick leave, but she claimed that she had always intended on returning to work and did not expect to be dismissed. The EAT stated that Adeniyi more than complied to her requirements and had satisfied all of her obligations to Tesco. The tribunal ruled that Tesco’s procedures had been flawed and caused a grievance to Adeniyi by not allowing her to appeal the termination of her employment and awarded her €1,800 in damages.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson and Kalli Ringelberg.

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