Weekly Round Up, May 7, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, May 7, 2014

A number of Irish seafood suppliers are set to launch new products at the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels this week. Kush Organic Seafarms based in Kenmare, Co. Kerry will launch its new organic mussel soup, which has been nominated for the Prix d’Elite at this year’s exhibition, a prestigious competition that recognises and rewards the best new seafood products of the year developed for the European marketplace. A total of 34 products from around the world will compete for the accolade. In addition, Cork-based Good Fish Processing plans to launch its new brand ‘Mr. Good’s Fabulous Fish’, a range of three simple multi-cook pouch products. The range comprises Amazin’ Cajun Spiced Salmon Supreme, Glorious Garlic & Herb Cod Fillets and Heavenly Zesty Lemon Hake Fillets and Rockabill Seafood

Dublin-based convenience outlets Spar Dame St, Centra Foodhall on Lower Abbey Street and Topaz Dublin Airport have been named in the final shortlist for the 2014 International Convenience Retailer of the Year Awards, which will be presented at the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) Insight Convenience Summit on 4 June. The three Irish operations will go head to head with retail outlets from the UK, Norway, Chile and the US to land the coveted prize. Commenting on his store's nomination for the award, the owner of Spar Dame St, Charles McCarthy said: “It is extremely gratifying to have made it to the finals, particularly given the investment and effort that’s gone into the store in recent times to make it best in class.” The NACS Award recognises the highest standards in convenience retailing worldwide, with over 3,500 retailers and suppliers voting on who they believe are the leading stores, before going to be judged by a panel of esteemed business leaders.

Fulcrum, the Northern Irish craft beer, has secured its first export business. The recently launched beer, developed by Clearsky Brewing Company at Dungannon in County Tyrone, is now on sale in pubs, hotels, restaurants, on and off-sales in Dublin and other centres across the Republic of Ireland. The announcement follows a distribution deal with Coman’s Wholesale in Dublin. Clearsky launched Fulcrum, Northern Ireland’s first wheat beer in November last year, and was developed by Stephen McKenna, a drinks industry professional, who said that his “aim is to grow business throughout the Republic and then to explore opportunities in Great Britain and further afield where demand for premium artisan beers and ales is growing strongly. Research shows that craft beers from microbreweries are now driving sales in the beer category.”

The European Beer Consumers Union (EBCU) has started an election poll among candidates for the European Parliament to learn their view on the consumption of beer and beer culture in Europe. The survey asks the candidates to react on five statements about beer consumption. Henri Reuchlin, Chairman of EBCU said, “The European beer market is evolving rapidly. We see many new breweries starting up; also in countries not typically associated with beer, such as Italy or Spain. Other countries celebrate their newly re-found beer traditions.” However Reuchlin says that beer culture is burdened by the threat of unilateral focus on irresponsible drinking and excessive taxation in many countries and that people have the right to know what is in the bottle and who brewed the beer. The EBCU is a federation of thirteen independent national beer consumer organisations across Europe, with a combined membership of over 220,000 members, representing the views and interests of beer consumers across Europe.

Unilever has withdrawn three varieties of its Slimfast Meal Bars as a result of some bars having been packed into incorrect boxes, where the allergen information on the boxes regarding peanut, wheat, oats and gluten may not match the product in the box. Customers are advised to check the writing on the wrappers of the bar. If there is a different variety on the wrapper compared to the box, customers at risk are advised not to eat the implicated bar(s). The products in question include: Slimfast 4 x Chocolate Crunch Flavour Meal Bar (240g), Slimfast 4 x Chocolate Peanut Flavour Meal Bar (224g), and Slimfast 4 x Summer Berry Flavour Meal Bar (240g). All batches and best before dates require checking.


The appeal decision on a Lidl store proposed for Westmeath has been delayed by An Bord Pleanala until May 27. Westmeath County Council had turned down the initial application on the site of the Horizon ballroom in Mullingar, due to it being “too remote.” Lidl had applied to build a single-storey store with an off-licence of 1,902 sqm, with a 79-space car park. The council felt that the store would draw customers away from the local town and affect the viability of local stores, which would be contrary to both the Retail Planning Guidelines 2012 and the Westmeath Retail Strategy 2007, as well as contravening retail policies in the Westmeath County Development Plan 2008-2014. If the store is approved by An Bord Pleanala, it will create 20 new full time jobs. 

Ferrero has had to pay two of its former employees nearly €30,000. The employees were let go in July 2010 for “gross misconduct”, for reportedly changing the recipe on a batch of Tic Tacs. The employees, Declan Cotter and Lisa Ryan O’Connor brought their case to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) who said that the punishment of firing them "did not fit the crime". EAT ordered Ferrero to pay Cotter €19,000 and O’Connor €10,000 for the unfair dismissal. Both were long term employees of the Cork based plant, with Cotter employed there from 1999 and O’Connor from 1998. Ferrero maintained that the two had breached the procedural protocol and that “trust was vital in food production.” The ex-employees maintain that the recipe was only changed because the production equipment was not working correctly. 

HB Hazelbrook Farm aims to raise €300,000 for Down Syndrome Ireland with its Ice Cream Fundays Campaign. The campaign runs during May and June with hundreds of ice cream parties being hosted across the country supported by thousands of volunteers. Pat Clarke, chief executive of Down Syndrome Ireland said, “We are humbled by the support and generosity from all the volunteers around the country who held 1090 HB Ice Cream parties last year; and of course the generous personal support by HB Hazelbrook Farm. Without their support this annual national fundraiser would not have been possible.” Over the past 11 years, the HB Hazelbrook Farm Ice Cream Fundays campaign has raised more than €3.3 million for Down Syndrome Ireland. Sarah Atkins, brand manager for HB Hazelbrook Farm said, “Down Syndrome Ireland is a fantastic charity and one that we are incredibly proud to support. We are so thankful to everyone who got involved in raising funds and we hope to make this year’s HB Ice cream Fundays campaign an even greater success.” To host your own party and receive your party pack, call 1890 37 37 37 or go to www.downsyndrome.ie 

Moy Park has reported a 10% increase in turnover to £1.2 billion for 2013. The Armagh-based food producer also posted an increase in pretax profits to £33.8 million. Moy Park employs more than 11,500 across 16 production sites in Ireland, the UK, Holland and France and is one of the largest poultry producers in Europe. Moy Park chief executive Janet McCollum told the Irish Times, “We achieved strong growth across both retail and food-service channels in the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe. Moy Park is now Ireland’s leading poultry brand and is purchased by over 50% of households.” McCollum said that the company is “well positioned for growth” in the future as poultry meat continues to be popular, and the company also aims to expand its fresh poultry range and convenience food sales. 

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson


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