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Weekly Round-Up ... 1 November 2023

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Round-Up ... 1 November 2023

Minister for Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., joined Tesco Ireland CEO, Natasha Adams, and FoodCloud Co Founders, Aoibheann O’Brien and Isuelt Ward, at a special event in Dublin recently, to mark a decade of partnership between Tesco and FoodCloud. In 2013, Tesco made its first surplus food donation through FoodCloud and then became the social enterprises first national retail partner in 2014. Since then, Tesco’s Surplus Food Donations Programme has provided almost 20 million meals to people living in food insecurity in Ireland. Powered by FoodCloud technology, every day surplus food from each of Tesco’s 167 stores is distributed to 350 community groups and charitable organisations across the country. This has enabled the charitable sector in Ireland to reduce its food bills by €23 million directly because of the food they receive from Tesco and FoodCloud. At the event, Tesco Ireland CEO, Natasha Adams, announced that the company has written to 500 of its suppliers, encouraging them to join Tesco in committing to the EPA’s Food Waste Charter and help steer Ireland towards its commitment to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Carrefour has reported weaker third-quarter sales growth than expected, as food price inflation declined and consumers kept cutting back on spending. Chief executive Alexandre Bompard had warned in August that French consumers were massively cutting their spending on essential goods and blamed consumer goods firms for not bringing prices down fast enough, reports Reuters. Third-quarter sales came in at €23.63 billion, marking like-for-like growth of 9%, a slowdown from 10.3% growth in the second quarter, but Carrefour stuck to its 2023 targets. The weaker sales, missing analysts’ expectations of €24.22 billion, were due to food inflation slowing in France and food prices falling in Brazil, the company noted. “In a context of continued pressure on the purchasing power of our customers, our group confirmed the solidity of its commercial momentum and the attractiveness of its model,” Bompard said in a statement.

Britons are turning to unregulated ‘buy-now-pay-later’ credit in ever-increasing numbers to pay their bills, the Financial Conduct Authority recently noted, in the latest sign of how the country’s cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, reports Reuters. Companies that offer ‘buy-now-pay-later’ (BNPL) unsecured loans are not regulated by the FCA, though it has used Britain’s consumer rights law to make contracts fairer. The government set out draft legislation in February to regulate the business. The watchdog noted that its latest Financial Lives survey showed that 27% of UK adults, or about 14 million people, have used BNPL at least once in the six months to January 2023, up from 17% in the 12 months to May 2022. Since then, Bank of England interest rates have risen further, making credit more expensive. BNPL is offered over a short period to shoppers who buy clothes or other retail goods. Frequent users were more likely to be in financial difficulty and to have missed a payment of a bill or credit commitment, the FCA noted.

Sonnländer Holding GmbH, a subsidiary of Edeka Zentrale Stiftung & Co., has agreed to acquire mineral water company Wilhelmsthaler Mineralbrunnen from Hassia Mineralquellen GmbH & Co. KG for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, effective from 1 January 2024, will see Sonnländer taking over the entire workforce of the company, along with the mineral water plant, based in Calden, northern Hesse. “We are pleased about the opportunity to include the Wilhelmsthaler Mineralbrunnen in our network,” said Markus Mosa, chair of the board of Edeka Zentrale Stiftung & Co. “In this way, we are strengthening our independence and flexibility to ensure the long-term supply of our merchants and consumers with products of high quality and at attractive prices,” Mosa added. Built in 1978, the mineral water facility will be modernised in the coming months, with new filling equipment and water resources.

Read More: Weekly Round-Up ... 24 October 2023


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