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Did You Know - January 21, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Did You Know - January 21, 2014

Did you know… William Grant & Sons has appointed Caspar MacRae as the new global brand director for Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey? MacRae previously worked as vice president of marketing for William Grant & Sons in the US. As global brand director, McRae will drive growth of Tullamore Dew across the US, UK and mainland Europe. The firm is set to open a new distillery in Tullamore later this year, following a €35 million investment. 

Did you know… Eric T Sheppard of Johnson Brothers has won two tickets for the 2014 Checkout Conference, in association with Rabobank? In last week's Retail Intelligence, we asked our subscribers to nominate a question for our 'Ask The Audience' segment at the Conference. Eric's question, 'Have payments to your suppliers been delayed as a result of the current economic climate?' will be among the questions asked on the day. For more information on the Checkout Conference, visit 

Did you know… Fonterra has issued a recall of 8,700 bottles of fresh cream in New Zealand as a precaution against the presence of E.Coli discovered in some bottles? The brands affected are the 300ml and 500ml bottles of Anchor and Pams fresh cream, with a best before date of January 21 2014. Managing director of Fonterra Brands NZ, Peter McClure said, "We are sorry for the inconvenience and concern this recall might cause, but food safety and quality are our top priorities." Although there were no confirmed reports of illness from public consumption, the company has received some calls from people with minor stomach upsets. This is the latest public scare from Fonterra, who last year recalled its baby milk powder in the Asian market, after fears that certain products may be contaminated with botulism. 

Did you know… The Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance (IFSA) and the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) have announced the launch of the first Dublin Coffee & Tea festival? The festival will run from September 12-14 in the RDS Dublin. Sean Martin, Chairman, IFSA said at the launch, "This is a very exciting event for the coffee and tea community in Ireland. Through the platform of the Festival and this collaboration between IFSA and SCAE, we will be focussing our efforts on educating and inspiring the public and the national media to embrace speciality coffee and teas and the associated culture and lifestyle." 

Did you know… Aldi has opened a new store in seaside town Greystones, County Wicklow? The Mill Road premises is the fourth Aldi to open in Wicklow, with others located in Arklow, Blessington and Bray. The store is 1,125 square metres and includes 93 car parking spaces. Aldi Greystones has sourced local suppliers including Glenhaven Foods form Arklow and Kerry Foods from Shillelagh. This latest opening is part of a nationwide expansion which will see a total of 300 new jobs created across the country.


Did you know… Ireland’s main five city councils collected nearly €46 million from parking chrges last year? In Dublin, the city council earned around €30 million from parking, while €4.3 million came from clamping 56,000 vehicles, according to RTE news. Cork City Council generated €9 million from parking, Galway €3.5 million and €4 million in Limerick and Waterford combined. RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley said “businesses are afraid that over-zealous driving regimes are driving people away from town centres all over the country. We need to be sure that parking management is not just about revenue generation for councils." Buckley said that there needs to be a uniformity between local authorities and how they run the parking services across the country.

Did you know… Tesco considered bidding for Mothercare in a bid to refresh its UK hypermarkets? The Sunday Times reported that Tesco weighed up the option to bid on the mother and baby retailer about six months ago, but has put the plans on hold for now. Mothercare’s share price fell 42% in the past 6 months, which, the report suggests, may lead to renewed interest in a takeover. Tesco and Mothercare declined to comment on the report.

Did you know… Food exports could be affected by industrial action at the Department of Agriculture? Trade Union IMPACT has warned that if strike action develops, food exports and payments to farmers could be sidelined. Over 600 technical staff have announced plans to cause 'administrative inconvenience' to management, which will not immediately cause issues for farmers. However, IMPACT says that if the dispute isn’t resolved quickly, grant payments to farmers for February and March could be affected. Workers are reportedly pursuing strike action because the Department failed to allow lower paid technical staff to carry out farm inspections, instead using higher paid civil servants and contractors. IMPACT national secretary Eamonn Donnelly said, "The agriculture department has effectively collapsed the industrial relations process at a time when agricultural officer duties are diminishing because of rationalisation and reforms." 

Did you know… The Government will overhaul its Micro-Enterprise Loan Fund? The initiative was created to boost credit for small and medium companies, with an allocated €90 million available for loans. However, there has been a slow uptake of the programme, so the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has announced its plans to review the scheme to further boost its impact. Just €2.16 million of the fund has been allocated as loans since it became operational in October 2012. Micro Finance Ireland, who runs the initiative, has approved a total of 139 loans since then, which would have helped support 313 jobs. However, the government had hoped the scheme would support as many as 7,000 jobs across 5,000 businesses. 

Did you know… The rate of decline of household income is slowing down? New research from the National Consumer Agency (NCA) in collaboration with Behaviour & Attitudes showed that 44% of Irish families think their income is lower than a year ago. Almost half (47%) of households however, believe that their income has 'stayed the same'. On the other hand, 49% of those surveyed also felt that their household expenditure has increased in the past year, which is a rise of 11% from last years survey. 


Did you know… The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) has called for a year-long pay freeze among SMEs? ISME launched a new report on employment and wage figures, which showed 18% of SMEs expect to increase their employees this year, but the majority of companies will not increase wage rates. The survey demonstrated that 13% of SMEs are hiring more people in January of this year compared to last year. ISME CEO Mark Fielding said, "This indicates that SMEs will continue to play a pivotal role in revitalising the economy over the coming months. However, the emphasis must be on increased productivity, leading to increased jobs, rather than wage increases." 82% of SMEs do not think employee wage rates will be changed or reduced this year, and 82% of companies did not change wages last year either. 10% of owner-managers said that they may have to decrease their own salaries in 2014, while 76% expect they will not have to reduce it this year.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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