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Weekly Round Up - January 21, 2014

Published on Jan 20 2014 6:13 PM

Weekly Round Up - January 21, 2014

RDGATA has called for the inclusion of> a discreet mark on proposed plain packaged tobacco products to help retailers distinguish between brands. The representative body put forward the suggestion in an RGDATA submission on the proposed Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill 2013. RGDATA said it did not challenge the public health policy objectives of the bill but wanted to ensure that it did not have an unforeseen impact on legitimate retailers who are licensed to sell tobacco products. A major concern of legitimate tobacco retailers is that packs that essentially look the same may be incorrectly stocked in gantries, leading to consumers purchasing a brand of tobacco that they did not choose. The submission also calls for a reduction in the amount of Duty Free Cigarettes that a person is permitted to bring into Ireland, and a commitment from Government to introduce practical measures to tackle illegal and counterfeit tobacco sales in advance of the introduction of plain packaging.

Diageo has plans to to invest £30 million it its Scotch whiskey distillery in Sutherland as part of its £1 billion programme to increase production. Diageo has submitted plans to Highland Council, which include adding an additional mashtun, along with 10 new washbacks and six new copper stills for distilling the spirit. This would add to the 10 washbacks and six stills which the distillery currently has and would effectively double the production capacity to nine million litres of alcohol each year. The expansion plans will also add a bio-energy plant for the site to provide non-fossil fuel energy to power the distillery.

ARAMARK Ireland has announced that it has won the contract to provide full catering services to Croke Park, home of Gaelic games and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The company, which is the country’s leading integrated services provider, has signed a seven-year contract worth over €9 million per annum. Donal O’Brien, CEO of ARAMARK Ireland said, "We are delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious contract as Croke Park. We are delighted to bring our global experience in Stadiums and Arenas home to Ireland and look forward to delivering our first of many stadium events and welcoming visitors to the home of the GAA." 

Bord Bia is recruiting 20 people to take part in a year-long Marketing Fellowship programme in association with the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. The programme is an initiative to develop new talent for the sector and supporting the Irish food and drink sector drive to reach a €12 billion export target by 2020. Michael Murphy, Director of Markets, Bord Bia said, "We are looking for some of Ireland's most ambitious, energetic and motivated individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds to represent us on the world stage and make a real difference to the future of our food and drink industry." The Fellowship offers graduates from all disciplines the combined opportunity of obtaining an MSc International Marketing Practice masters from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, while completing action learning assignments on behalf of Irish food companies in one of 12 key overseas markets. Participants receive a bursary of €22,800 in addition to having their tuition fees paid.

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Limited has created a €5 million manufacturing milk price stability fund to gain long-term interest from both and manufacturing milk suppliers. The Glanbia board has removed a proposed contribution of two cent per litre which was to be levied on milk suppliers when the milk quota abolition comes in in 2015. The new stability fund will aim to stabilise the milk price, if needed, in 2014/2015. A Glanbia statement said, "As outlined at the many farmer shareholder meetings in 2012, the business anticipated that the two cent per litre contribution from suppliers would raise circa €60m in the period from 2015 – 2020, which was subsequently to be repaid. Given the scale of the GIIL investment in the Belview site and the existing business, our funding requirement remains the same. However the board is confident we have the financing capability necessary to fund this investment, without recourse to our milk suppliers, which leaves them firmly focused on their on-farm requirements." Glanbia is also building a €150m new dairy processing facility at Belview in County Kilkenny.

Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton has launched 'Feeding Ireland’s Future', an initiative supporting young unemployed people. The scheme aims to benefit young people by offering free pre-employment skills provided by food and grocery companies during a ‘Skills for Work Week’ taking place in March. Figures show that 15% of young people were on the live register in December 2013. Over the course of the month, the Department of Social Protection will be contacting young people (aged 18-24) who could benefit from the scheme. Speaking at the launch, Minister Bruton said: "The skills mix of young people seeking jobs is vast. We need to offer a diversity of options for young jobseekers because they are not a homogenous group, their needs are very different and we have to provide for this diversity of needs. This Initiative is a key component in meeting those needs." The initiative is being led by two board members of ECR Ireland, Jill Ross, Managing Director of Unilever Ireland and David O’Neill, Managing Director of SHS Sales & Marketing.

Access 6, the latest phase of the new food EU-funded export programme has been launched in the German market with three Irish, four Northern Irish and two Scottish food and drink companies taking part. The companies were selected on their suitability to the German food retail and food service sectors. The Irish companies are Donegal Rapeseed Oil, Dan Kelly’s Cider and Kinnegar Brewing Company while the Northern Irish companies are Elliott’s Tradition, Portadown (sausages), Dragon Brand Foods, Strabane (Curry sauces), Echlinville Distillery, Belfast and Rainbow Foods, Cookstown (frozen foods). The Access 6 programme aims to increase export sales by £19m sterling across 90 regional food and drink manufacturers over the next three years.

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents Ireland (NFRN) has warned the government that plain packaging will fuel illicit sales. In a submission made to the Department of Health this week, NFRN Ireland cautioned that the only people to benefit from standardised packaging are criminal gangs that sell smuggled or counterfeit tobacco. A spokesperson for the NFRN said, “Criminals are highly unlikely to ask children for I.D and therefore willing to sell them tobacco, meaning the smoker is exposed to the health risk earlier." The NFRN suggests that the Department should consider other ways to stop people from starting to smoke, such as better education for teenagers as to the the dangers of smoking, and the promotion and support of electronic cigarettes. NFRN Ireland also called on the Government not to regulate e-cigarettes for pharmaceutical sale only. "By removing electronic cigarettes from newsagents and convenience stores and placing them in another building with shorter opening hours the likelihood of a smoker spontaneously deciding to try an alternative cigarette is diminished."

Unilever UK is aiming to boost sales of its PG Tips brand with a new range of green teas and new herbal and fruit blends. Sales of everyday tea has been in decline, 6.1% by volume, and as a result Unilever is allocating £5 million in marketing support to roll out the ten new products this month. This will include five green tea blends and five fruity tea blends, with flavours like mandarin orange green tea, jasmine green tea and red bush and vanilla. PG Tips had previously launched green teas in 2008, however they failed to make any long term impact in the multiples.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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