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Weekly Round-up... 07 July, 2020

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Round-up... 07 July, 2020

The European Union should stop importing agricultural goods made using pesticides that are banned within the bloc, the EU's top farming official has said. "Regarding imports, I don't think we can allow the import of products made with pesticides that are banned in Europe," the EU's agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, said during a video hearing with French senators, reports Reuters. The EU has outlawed a large number of crop chemicals in recent years on health and environmental grounds, and the bloc's executive aims to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2030.

German animal-rights activists have protested outside a meat factory in North Rhine Westphalia where hundreds of employees tested positive for the coronavirus last month, prompting local quarantines and shutdowns, reports Reuters. Activists climbed the roof of the slaughterhouse and processing plant in Toennies and unfurled a banner saying "Shut down Tierindustrie [animal industry]". Protesters also blocked a major access road and demanded changes to current meat industry practices. Some 600,000 people in nearby Guetersloh were forced back into lockdown on June 23 after more than 1,500 workers at the plant tested positive for COVID-19.

Dutch retailer Albert Heijn has announced that it is to take over five Heerschap stores in the Netherlands, currently operated by Jumbo. The stores will be converted to the Albert Heijn format in January 2022, after Heerschap Groep’s contract with Jumbo expires on 31 December 2021, reports As part of the collaboration, the retailer will add Bakkerij Heerschap’s artisanal products to its Streeckgenoten range.  Stan Heerschap, director and owner of Heerschap Groep, commented, “This collaboration marks a new phase in the history of our more than 50-year-old family business. The bakery is the origin of this and is still the core and pride of Heerschap Groep. This fits in well with Albert Heijn's attention to traditional craftsmanship and local products.” Heerschap Groep operates six stores in collaboration with Jumbo in Nederweert, Heythuysen and in Weert in the districts of Leuken, Boshoven, Moesel and on Collegeplein.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has said that it utterly condemns the drinking on city streets that took place in Dublin during the weekend of 4 July. The association issued a statement saying, "This is in no way acceptable and completely jeopardises public health, given the lack of social distancing observed. "Unfortunately, scenes like this have been taking place over the last few weekends in Dublin city centre. We are reminding pubs who are serving takeout of their responsibilities. Legal advice issued by the Gardaí in May said that any drinks purchased as takeaways must be consumed more than 100 metres from the pub which sold the alcohol. The advice also indicated the Gardaí have the power to confiscate drink being consumed on the road or in a public place.

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