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Weekly Round Up, April 1, 2014

Published on Mar 31 2014 1:37 PM

Weekly Round Up, April 1, 2014

Senator Feargal Quinn gave an address at the Plan Ireland Business Breakfast last week at Dublin's Fire Restaurant, where he offered an interesting take on the rebrand of Superquinn stores to SuperValu. "If you see your daughter getting married, you're sorry to lose her, but if she's marrying the right person, you're happy to let her go," Quinn told the audience. "When Musgrave, an Irish family-owned business came in and took over Superquinn, I knew she was marrying into the right family." Quinn also called for Seanad reform, which has been promised by government following the public's rejection of proposals to abolish the Seanad last year. "We didn't fight the campaign in order to keep the present Seanad, we fought it in order to reform it," he said. Quinn was interviewed by business journalist Tom McEnaney at the event.

Keohane Seafoods is aiming to grow its exports by 20-25% over the next three to four years. The Cork-based seafood company has recorded a turnover of €11 million in four years, and attributes its success to its innovative 'skintight' packaging. Managing director of Keohanes, Colman Keohane told the Irish Examiner, “The skintight packaging removes the air from the product and adds an extra two days of shelf life to fresh fish. The value added microwaveable packs with sauces are created for those who are afraid of cooking fish.” Colman set up the company with his father Michael and brother Brian in 2010. The Keohanes spent six months developing packaging and products in conjunction with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and secured funding from the South Eastern Cork Area Development Programme. The company won the overall Small Firms Association small business award for 2014.

A car air freshener based on Unilever's Funny Feet ice cream has been unveiled in the UK. The 3D strawberry-scented air freshener looks just like the ice cream, with a pink foot shape and a stick, and retails in the UK at £2.99. Airpure International has licenced the brand from Unilever and intends to launch other products based on the group's ice cream selection. Julie McCleave, Unilever licensing head said, “We are confident bringing Funny Feet to market in this format will excite consumers who recognise the foot-shaped product from their childhood.”

There was an average of 127 new start up companies established in Ireland every day in the first three months of the year according to data from Vision-net. The corporate analysts revealed that there were 10,741 new business and company start ups in the first quarter of this year, which was an increase of 6% on the same period in 2013. Over 60% of the new companies were in retail, wholesale, professional services, social and personal services, as well as IT and construction. Managing director of Vision-net Christine Cullen said that the figures are a sign that the Irish economy is on the mend. “The large number of new business start-ups, combined with the highest number of company incorporations in the first quarter since the crash, indicates that businesses are operating in a less hostile environment, where greater access to credit is improving.” The figures from Vision-net also show that the overall numbers of insolvencies was down by 23% in the first three months of the year. 

Aramark Ireland is celebrating its 'Right Track Pledge' campaign by hosting a Q&A with Olympic champion boxer Katie Taylor on Twitter. Taylor will answer questions about health and fitness at the event held on April 3 at 5.30pm. Taylor said, “I’m really excited to take part in a Twitter Q&A as I think Twitter is a great way of getting a message out there, particularly about the importance of health and wellness. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for me to share my tips and experiences with people directly and encourage them to get involved with the Right Track Pledge campaign.” The Right Track Pledge campaign is an initiative to promote healthy eating and work life balance. Aramark is encouraging people across the country to make their ‘Pledge’ to Katie to change one thing in their lives, be it big or small, physical or emotional wellbeing. To submit a question use the hashtag #RightTrackKatie or tweet @RTPledge. For each ‘Pledge’ received, Aramark will make a donation of 20 cent to the company’s four chosen charities for 2014 and is aiming to raise a total of €7,000.

Drinks giant Diageo has made changes to its global management team. CEO Ivan Menezes said that China and India were key growth engines for Diageo, and with this in mind, the company has appointed Gilbert Ghostine as president and chief corporate development officer of Diageo India and Greater China. Ghostine was previously head of Diageo Asia Pacific, a role he held since 2009. Ghostine will also be responsible for Moët-Hennessy, which Diageo hold a 34% share in, majority-owned by LVMH. 

Over 230,000 farmed salmon were estimated to be lost during the recent storms in Cork in February this year, according to the Marine Institute and engineers from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The fish farm site most affected is run by Murphy’s Irish Seafood Ltd at Gearhies in Bantry Bay, Cork. Storms in the first week of February caused damage to the farm’s mooring system and multiple cages, and a site inspection could not be carried out until February 18 due to the turbulent weather conditions. The Marine Department has now confirmed that only around 20,000 of the original 250,000 salmon remain in the farm with speculation that some escaped, while others were killed. 

The Avoca retail and café business has signed a major new fuel electricity and gas deal contract with Energia. The €750,000 yearly deal will involve Energia supplying electricity and gas to Avoca’s five shops and cafés in Monkstown, Rathcoole and Suffolk St in Dublin and Kilmacanogue and Ashford, Co Wicklow. Ann Smyth, Avoca, said, “We looked for an established supplier who could offer us a competitive tariff and attentive customer service. That is why we chose Energia for this multi-site energy supply deal. We can reduce our energy costs while knowing that we are not sacrificing on the quality of the service provided.” Smyth said that as part of the deal Energia are carrying out a number of energy saving audits which have assisted Avoca in developing new practices to promote energy management, helping to reduce consumption and energy costs. Energia has a 28% market share of the Irish business electricity and gas market supplying the energy needs of over 65,000 business customers.

The Armagh Cider Company has won two medals at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition held at St. Johns, Michigan, USA. Armagh Cider gained separate bronze medals in the New World Ciders category for its bottle-conditioned Carson’s Premium and Madden’s Mellow products. The company, which sources apples from its own orchards in county Armagh, launched its first cider, Carson’s Crisp, in 2006. Helen Troughton of Armagh Cider Company said, “We are delighted to have won such important recognition and endorsement from experts in a market which we see as offering tremendous export potential for our handcrafted ciders. It will certainly raise our profile there.” The international competition, now in its ninth year, is run by The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association, a not-for-profit organisation, which aims to showcase and promote fermented apple and pear beverages throughout the US.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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