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Did You Know? July 29, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Did You Know? July 29, 2014

Did you know… Boyne Valley President Malachy McCloskey has supplied AIB Bank with a bee colony and beekeeping equipment, which has been installed on the roof of its headquarters in Ballsbridge? Over 200,000 bees will be housed in the apiary, which is the first to be housed on a commercial building in Ireland. Commenting, Simon Scroope, Head of AIB Corporate Banking said, "When Malachy McCloskey approached us and asked us to support Boyne Valley's work on the sustainability of the Irish bee population we were delighted to help. The apiary illustrates our commitment to do all that we can to support our corporate banking customers, while enhancing the environment in the local area."

Did you know... ECR has revealed the success and widescale participation from companies and young unemployed people in Feeding Ireland’s Future 2014? David O’Neill, MD, SHS Sales & Marketing, Director of ECR Ireland and a key organiser of the inaugural Feeding Ireland’s Future (FIF) 2014 initiative, announced that 29 companies took part, hosting 167 sessions for 1,519 young people in 56 locations throughout Ireland. Participant feedback was excellent, with 97% of the attendees saying they felt more confident in applying for jobs after FIF, thanks to the numerous sessions on CV writing and interview tips provided by HR departments within companies. FIF took place during the Skills for Work Week from 3rd to 7th March 2014. Every participant received a Certificate of Attendance signed by the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD. O'Neill revealed that the companies, the Department of Social Protection and ECR Ireland are already preparing to organise the initiative again for March 2015 and urges companies to contact ECR Ireland for details if they wish to get involved next year.

Did you know… A new bank aimed at small and medium enterprise (SME) customers will be launched in Ireland next month? The Finnish bank, Holvi, is an online bank that provides free current accounts, debit cards and business functions to SMEs. Holvi is already active in Finland and Austraia, and makes its money by charging a 3% commission on sales conducted on its platform. The bank offers invoicing, ecommerce, accounting and an e-commerce portfolio, but will not offer loans straight away; instead they will be rolled out over the coming months. The bank service provider is backed by Nordea Bank, a major lender in Scandinavia, and is partly funded by SpeedInvest, a venture capital outfit. Holvi Ireland spokesman Tom O’Reilly told The Journal, “I think it’s natural for people to be sceptical, but if you look at the likes of Rabobank, they’ve been very successful in Ireland without being regulated here.” 

Did you know… 86% of CEOs in Ireland are more confident of the economy and their own business compared to last year? The result comes from a survey conducted by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) of 256 chief executives, which shows a rise in confidence in the economy, despite many firms being worse off that they were in 2007. PwC senior partner Ronan Murphy said, “The survey shows that the pendulum has swung with levels of confidence across many areas of business now higher than 2007 and pre-recessionary times.” The survey also showed that more than three-quarters were optimistic about the future prospects for their own businesses, which is up from 44% on last year’s results. Furthermore, 77% said they expected growth in revenues, while 69% were looking forward to higher profits. Nearly 90% of CEOs also said they considered their company’s investment in Ireland to be a success, and over half said they planned to increase the size of their workforce, up from 34% last year. Contrastingly, one in ten are looking to reduce staff at their companies.

Did you know… Linden Foods has seen sales pass the £300 million mark as a result a rise in the price and volume of its products? In the year to September 30, 2013, the Northern Irish meat processor boosted turnover to £337.2 million from £283.9 million the year before. It attributed its £53.2 million sales growth to a mixture of volume and price increases during the year, although pre-tax profits remained static at £4.2 million. Employee numbers were also boosted to more than 800 staff after Linden Foods, which is headquartered in Dungannon, County Tyrone, created 179 jobs in May 2013. The job creation was part of a £5.6 million investment in its production facilities, with chairman Trevor Lockhart calling the move an "important part" of its long-term development. 

Did you know… Sata from Australia has shown that the number of 12 to 17 year olds smoking cigarettes on a daily basis has risen since plain packaging was introduced? According to the Australian Government’s national drug strategy household survey, the proportion of children who smoked daily grew from 2.5% to 3.4% between 2010 and 2013. However the same data also showed that there was an overall fall in daily smokers, from 15.1% to 12.8% in 2013. Rural Shops Alliance (RSA) chief executive Ken Parsons said, “The introduction of standardised packaging has had no discernible effect on the number of people smoking in Australia.” He said that the evidence suggests that the proportion of smoking was declining before standardised packaging was introduced and continued to decline at the same rate afterwards.

Did you know... The Barry Group are 'Happy'? The Mallow-based company appears to have caught some of the summer sunshine, as staff released their own video version of Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’ last week. The video, available to watch on Youtube (here ) was inspired by #HappinessDay, which aims to raise awareness for the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). CERF is one of the fastest ways to directly support critical aid operations for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts. The Fund was established to help the UN and its partners provide fast and reliable humanitarian assistance. Contributions are received year-round from governments, the private sector, foundations and individuals.

Did you know… Dart Mountain Cheese Company in Northern Ireland has launched a new blue cheese? Known as Sperrin Blue, the cheese is the first to be developed by Dart Mountain, named after a nearby peak in the Sperrin range of mountains in the Northwest of Northern Ireland. The artisan business recently agreed a distribution deal in Northern Ireland with Henderson Foodservice, part of the John Henderson Group which is the region’s main Spar business. Cheesemaker Julie Hickey said: “During 2012 and 2013, we completed many trials of variations of cheese to establish the type most representative of our region, and which gave the best taste and flavour. We officially launched Sperrin Blue, our first cheese, in March.”

Did you know… RGDATA has called on the Government to assist retailers to create 10,000 jobs by reintroducing the 4.25% Employers’ PRSI rate in Budget 2015? The group submitted its Pre-Budget Submission last week, which also calls for specific measures to aid town centre regeneration. Tara Buckley, director general, RGDATA, said that the policies adopted by the Government in Budget 2015 will have a direct impact on the capacity of the SME sector to create employment, particularly in sectors of the economy that have suffered the brunt of recession. “RGDATA supports Government policies to stabilise the public finances, underpin Ireland’s competitiveness, put money in people’s pockets and support small and medium sized family owned businesses as the key drivers of job creation and local economic activity.” 

Did you know… European event and brand activation firm Verve has secured the highest possible global standard in recognition of its sustainability management systems? The Irish-based company, which partners with companies such as Diageo, Coca-Cola and Google across Western Europe, attained the ISO 20121 standard, an internationally recognised mark of event sustainability management systems. Founder and managing director, Ronan Traynor notes that an ability to demonstrate sustainability is a requirement when working with companies in Europe, yet it is not yet a pre-requisite in Ireland. Despite this, Verve pushed ahead to secure the accreditation and strengthens its competitive advantage as a result. Commenting he said: “Live communications is about shaping and providing a complete experience, so it makes sense to pay attention to how an event or brand activation sits within the context of the wider world. We view environmental considerations as intrinsic to the entire event and brand activation delivery process, from the planning and design stages right through to execution.” The ISO 20121:2012 Event sustainability management systems is a voluntary international standard for sustainable event management created by the International Organisation for Standardisation. The accreditation process is rigorous and involves two external audits and an audit of a live event.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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