Weekly Round Up, August 6, 2014
Published on Aug 5 2014 2:19 PM
Nestlé Ireland has said that it is on track to achieve 100% cocoa from sustainable sources by the end of 2015. The company currently sources 60% of its cocoa from certified farms working with the Nestlé Cocoa Plan. In 2009, it announced that it would spend ten years investing £90 million into plant science and sustainability initiatives to assist small scale farmers with production. Nestlé has been working with the Fairtrade Foundation, an independent certification body which licenses the use of the Fairtrade Mark on products. Nestlé has independent third parties monitor its farm suppliers to ensure sound agricultural practices, safe and healthy working conditions are in place.
Aldi is branching out into the smartphone market. The discounter has created the ‘Medion Life E4001’ with a 4-inch touchscreen, powered by a 1GHz dual core processor. As with most smartphones, the phone has access to wifi and bluetooth and a camera offering 2 megapixel quality. However, it has just 4GB of memory, so a microSD card would likely be required. With 180 minutes talk time and 130 hours stand by time, the Aldi Medion Life E4001 will be available from August 7 for €99.99.
Procter and Gamble (P&G) has revealed that it is looking to sell off or discontinue half its brands in an effort to resuscitate sales growth and cut costs. P&G, currently the world’s largest household products producer, has been under pressure to streamline its business, and is considering either selling or winding up 90 to 100 brands in its portfolio. Chief Executive A.G. Lafley said that the cull is going to create a “faster growing, more profitable company” that is “far simpler to manage and operate”. The company has not revealed which brands it will keep, but has said it will sell off some non-core brands in the next year or two. However, Lafley said that it is likely that the company will keep key brands such as Gillette, Pantene, Oral B, Olay, Always and Old Spice.
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Marine Harvest Ireland (MHI), seafood company and producer of farmed salmon has signed a deal with Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta for €20 million worth of fish to be processed in Connemara in 2015. MHI already employs 15 staff at the Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta site in Kilkieran Bay. The new deal will see around 85% of the processed ‘Irish Organic Salmon Co’ product exported to 15 countries. Pat Connors, sales and processing director, Marine Harvest Ireland said, “This is a significant investment and if we can bring the stock safely through to harvest in the spring of next year, will represent a major supply line for our global export business.” Cill Chiaráin Éisc Teoranta was founded in 1988 and employs 45 people, and is part of the Irish Seafood Producers Group (ISPG).
A new report from Responsible Retailing of Alcohol in Ireland (RRAI) shows that three out of every 20 supermarkets and convenience stores do not comply with the grocery sector’s voluntary code of conduct on the display of alcohol. At 83.5%, this is the lowest level of compliance since the code was initiated five years ago. 400 stores were surveyed as part of the annual independent audit, which showed 66 stores not complying with the Code. The main reason for the results drop this year has been attributed to the stores failing to produce a copy of briefing documents for staff and for not properly displaying a copy of the Code in their stores, however the number of complaints of breaches of the RRAI Code did fall this year. RRAI represents about 2,600 licenced stores in Ireland including Dunnes Stores, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, SuperValu, Centra, Spar, Mace, Londis, Topaz, Aldi, and Lidl.
Ibec has said that the economy is well into recovery mode as more confident consumers are spending again and investment is recovering strongly, while exports have been boosted by a better than expected recovery in the UK. In its pre-Budget submission, Ibec also said that unemployment is still too high in Ireland and that putting more people back to work must be the leading priority for the new Cabinet. Ibec has also said the Budget 2015 only needs to deliver a fiscal adjustment of €200 million, not €2 billion, and adopting this lower amount would mean 10,000 additional people at work in 2015. Ibec Head of Policy and Chief Economist Fergal O'Brien said the upcoming budget presents the Government with an opportunity to stimulate growth and get more people back to work.“There is now good momentum in the Irish economy and we have revised upwards our 2015 GDP forecast to nearly 4% to reflect this. However, this forecast takes into account that our recommended reduction in the budget adjustment would lead to positive feedback on both private consumption and investment.”
West Cork Pies (WCP), an artisan producer of savoury hand-made pies, has signed a distribution deal with Musgrave. WCP was founded by Paul Phillips 18 months ago and now employs five people in Schull. The deal with Musgrave came about through the Bord Bia and Musgrave Group Food Academy Start Up programme and will see the pies placed in 18 retailer outlets for a 12 week trial. The individually packed pies include Melton Mowbray-style pork pie, varied meat pies and a range of pasties. Phillips started the business due to boredom two months after he retired. He told The Southern Star: “If they sell well, Musgrave will be looking to us to supply other outlets across Munster.”
Nearly two thirds (63%) of small businesses are affected negatively by late payments, according to the latest quarterly survey by the Close Brothers Business Barometer. Over half (53%) said that late payments impact on their daily cash flow management, while a fifth said it has caused them to recalculate their necessary spending. Nearly a fifth (17%) also said that delayed payments threatens their ability to trade. Close Brothers Commercial Finance managing director Harry Parkinson said, “This increasing debt burden is a worrying situation for small firms. Of the businesses we spoke to that are facing problems due to unpaid invoices, 50% say that they are owed more than €20,000. This is constricting their cash flow and the knock-on effect is that it prevents them from being able to pay their suppliers on time, thus creating a vicious cycle.” The survey also revealed that 31% of small Irish companies spend more than 10 hours per month following up on unpaid bills.
An Iceland outlet in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary closed its doors on Saturday after a failure to reach a lease agreement with its landlord in the Showgrounds Shopping Centre. The supermarket chain said that Iceland was committed to the development of its Irish business and will “look at re-opening in Clonmel should the right site become available.” In the interim, Iceland will seek to redeploy its 12 Clonmel staff to other Iceland stores where possible. Showgrounds Shopping Centre is among three Irish shopping centres in NAMA to be bought by investment company Varde. Blackpool shopping centre in Cork and Milford Shopping centre Balbriggan in Dublin have also been sold to Varde.
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© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson