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Weekly Round-Up ... 14 November 2023

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Round-Up ... 14 November 2023

A search to find Ireland’s fittest school has been launched by three of Ireland’s best-known athletes – World Para Rowing champion, Katie O’Brien and Olympians, sprinters Phil Healy and David Gillick. Working in cooperation with banana distributors Fyffes, their aim is to find a school whose focus on fitness will replicate the success of previous ‘Ireland’s Fittest School’ winners – Scoil Na Croise Naofa, Dunfanaghy (2022) and Gilson National School, Oldcastle (2023). Launched alongside the resumption of this year’s Fyffes ‘Fit Squad’ programme – in which an expected 10,000 young pupils from primary schools, north and south, will partake in live in-school fitness visits – all three athletes have recorded a series of workouts for viewing online which they hope schools will adopt as part of their PE course. Running from January to March, the top four schools will then progress to a live ‘grand final’ hosted by patrons O’Brien, Healy and Gillick at which the prize package will include €8,000 worth of sports equipment. Registration is now open and further details can be found online here.

Dutch retailer Jumbo has joined Tony's Open Chain initiative as it seeks to make its cocoa supply chain 100% 'slavery-free', reports The first products made from Tony's Open Chain cocoa are to hit the shelves at Jumbo in the summer of next year, the retailer noted. It will include, among others, new private-label chocolate bars, chocolate letters and Christmas cookies and will be available in over 700 Jumbo stores as well as online, via Boukje Staring, senior lead assortment manager at Jumbo, said, "Making our chains more sustainable has been important to us for years, including for cocoa. Now we are taking the next step and choose to cooperate with Tony's Open Chain. This way, we make it ever easier for our customers to choose responsibly produced chocolate and thereby make a positive impact on the lives of cocoa farmers."

British Land wants to increase the proportion of retail park assets to about one third of the value of its total portfolio in the medium term from a fifth currently, the landlord's chief financial officer Bhavesh Mistry recently said. Retail parks, which mainly house discounters and value-based retailers, have performed well during a prolonged cost-of-living squeeze in the UK, while office and discretionary retail spaces are witnessing a tentative recovery from pandemic lows, reports Reuters. British Land on Monday forecast an annual overall rental increase at the top end of its previous forecast range. The group, the largest owner and operator of retail parks in the UK, had already in September raised its rent growth expectations for theretail parks division to 3%-5% from the 2%-4% range. "As we reshape our portfolio, you would expect us to grow retail parks and we want that to be up to a third of our portfolio in the next sort of three to five years," Mistry told Reuters. Office-focused Campuses, which include leisure, retail and hospitality facilities, form 63% of British Land's overall portfolio by value. Retail and London urban logistics account for the remainder, with retail parks accounting for 61% of the segment.

Read More: Weekly Round-Up ... 7 November 2023


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