Weekly Roundup... 04 August, 2020

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Roundup... 04 August, 2020

Europe's been eating more fruit under lockdown, by all accounts. The problem is, it could struggle to find people to pick it. The region's growers are preparing for upcoming summer and autumn harvests of apples, pears and grapes, including those of the Champagne variety - though they say they may have little to celebrate. Many fear there will be resurgent outbreaks of COVID-19 in parts of Europe - like the current one in Spain - leading to localised lockdowns and the risk they will be cut off from the migrant workers they have long relied on. "We are worried," said Daniel Sauvaitre, head of a French apple and pear association and deputy head of fruit and vegetable federation Interfel. "We had the manpower we needed for the thinning work in orchards, and the harvest looks pretty good. But we may very well have a country that's closing again."

Tesco Ireland has announced that it will dedicate the fifth round of its 2020 Community Fund Programme to community-based projects that support children’s organisations impacted by COVID-19. This is the third consecutive round to be dedicated to those affected by the pandemic. The local causes that will receive the donations from the Tesco Community Fund include neighbourhood youth clubs and schools, as well as local branches of organisations that support young people including the Irish Girl Guides, ISPCC, and Barnardos. In recognition of the major challenges and great changes that young people have experienced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 450 local causes and organisations that provide supports for young people will benefit from the latest round of funding. Every eight weeks, each Tesco store donates up to €1,000 between three local causes in its community; during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, each of these causes receives an even share of the donation.

South African supermarket chain Pick n Pay flagged a more than 50% fall in first-half earnings on Tuesday, weighed down by constraints on alcohol, tobacco and clothing sales during the lockdown, and by voluntary severance payments, reports Reuters. President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed a nationwide lockdown from the end of March to curb the spread of coronavirus, banning retailers from selling non-essential items. These account for about 20% of Pick n Pay's group revenue, with higher gross profit margins relative to basic food and grocery lines.

Sligo Oyster Experience has launched a new seafood experience called the Sligo Oyster Farm Tour. The new experience involves a 15-minute coastal walk with Sligo Oyster Experience owner Aisling Kelly Hunter, a guided tour of the Coney Island working oyster farm in Sligo bay, an oyster shucking demonstration and a tasting of Sligo oysters. Kelly Hunter stated, "The tour really gives people an opportunity to appreciate Sligo. The Sligo Oyster Farm Tour adds an exciting 'hands-on' element. People really get to see how the oysters are grown, the impact the weather has on the farm and the hard work involved from the beginning of the process to the final product. I feel like the appreciation of the tasting experience that follows is heightened greatly by this element."

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