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Weekly Round-up... 30 March 2021

By Maev Martin
Weekly Round-up... 30 March 2021

The Spar FAI School Zone initiative has been a runaway success with 92,992 pupils registered to take part in lessons. 1,755 classes from 1,129 schools are now engaged with the curriculum. Spar has been a sponsor of grassroots football in Ireland since 2015 through title sponsorship of the Spar FAI Primary School 5s programme. Each year, a noteworthy positive benefit derived from the programme has been the year on year growth of numbers of girls participating; in 2021 participation levels of girls interacting with football through the SPAR FAI School Zone is an impressive 45%. This year’s programme is particularly significant for primary schools as it keeps both children and teachers engaged in football through fun and inclusivity which mirrors the ethos of the Spar FAI Primary School 5s programme. Developed as a new digital learning platform for teachers and parents of school children in 4th, 5th and 6th class, it offers interactive and engaging lesson plans designed with both the classroom and home schooling in mind. Supported by SPAR, the lesson plans have been designed in consultation with a panel of teachers and promises to engage with activities for kids all based on the theme of football and includes fun modules such as watching videos about Italia ‘90 and answering questions…all cleverly disguised as a history lesson!For further details, visit

Above average rains mixed with sun last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa-producing regions have bolstered expectations for a strong April-to-September mid-crop, farmers have said. Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is entering its rainy season, which runs from April to mid-November. The West African country's southern and coastal regions are expected to see particularly high rainfall this year, the national weather forecasting body has said. Farmers said the October-to-March main crop was tailing off, and that they anticipate new farmgate prices to be set in early April. The guaranteed farmgate price is currently 1,000 CFA francs ($1.81) per kg. "Everyone is waiting for the price of the mid-crop, because there will be a lot of cocoa," said Etienne Boka, who farms near Agboville in the south of the country. The price is set by the Coffee and Cocoa Council. Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Agboville was 30.3 millimeters (mm) last week, 10.9 mm above the five-year average.

Portuguese supermarket chain Continente has launched 'Powered by Plants', a new range of private label vegetarian products. The product range consist of meat-free burgers, nuggets and meatballs made exclusively from vegetable protein, reports esmmagazine.comThe products, made with wheat and pea or soy protein, replicate the sensory characteristics of meat by combining natural aromas, herbs and spices, without using flavour enhancers, the retailer said. The range features four varieties – beef-flavoured burgers and meatballs and chicken-flavoured burgers and nuggets. The Powered by Plants product range was developed in partnership with a national supplier and approved by over 250 consumers in blind tastings, the retailer noted.

British retail sales rose in February, helped in part by consumers buying outdoor furniture ahead of a partial relaxing of coronavirus restrictions which will allow people to meet in gardens from next week. Sales volumes increased by 2.1% from January - in line with a Reuters poll of economists - after a plunge of more than 8% in January when England went back into a lockdown and the rest of the United Kingdom was also under tough restrictions. Retail sales were down 3.7% compared with February 2020, before the pandemic struck most Western economies, with many non-essential retailers still closed as authorities kept a tight grip on social distancing rules. Many retailers have rushed to improve or launch their online shopping operations over the past year. The Office for National Statistics said the share of shopping done online stood at a record high of 36.1%.

© 2021 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.


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