In the papers this week 21 – 27 November
Jacob Fruitfield threatens retailers over sourcing from UK; Tributes flood in for Quinnsworth founder Pat Quinn; Irish-owned supermarkets see no need for security tags on meat
27 November 2009
Jacob Fruitfield Foods has sent legal warnings to retailers who have sourced its popular biscuit products such as cream crackers, from a rival in the UK.
The Irish Times reports that while some retailers have started sourcing the biscuits more cheaply in Britain from McVitie’s – which owns the rights to sell and distribute them in the UK – that Jacob Fruitfield has pledged to take legal action in defence of its trademark to sell and distribute the biscuits in the Irish market.
Gardaí are still searching for the man who killed a shopkeeper during a robbery in Arklow, Co Wicklow, on Wednesday night. The Irish Times reports father of two John Deasy was stabbed to death when he confronted a robber who demanded money from a female assistant at Brauders shop. Gardaí have revealed that the sum of money stolen was in the hundreds and not thousands of euros, and that while the man could have been acting with someone else or alone, that so far there are no suspects.
The Irish Independent paid tribute to Quinnsworth founder Pat Quinn, following the sad news of his passing in Canada this week aged 72. He was fittingly described as "a pioneer, wooing customers to his shops using the latest American marketing techniques in an era when Gay Byrne and the ‘Late Late Show’ were arbiters of public taste." And according to Senator Feargal Quinn: "He was a breath of fresh air, full of energy and never shy about what he was proud of."
Irish-owned supermarkets have ruled out putting security tags on meat, despite Tesco and M&S already using the tags in a small number of their stores here. Superquinn and SuperValu have said they have "no plans" to bring in tags, which have been implemented in M&S’ three Dublin stores and are also being trialled in five Tesco outlets. However, Dublin Central TD Joe Costello described this measure as "Dickensian," and said it represented a "discriminatory" move against his constituents.
Kerrygold is the only Irish brand that can be regarded as significant, international or global, according to Damien McLaughlin, marketing expert at UCD’s Smurfit Business School. The Irish Times reports that McLaughlin discounts Guinness and Baileys as they are owned by a British multinational. In his view, the absence of strong brands in our food sector has resulted in a largely commodity business, whereby Irish exports such as beef have little or no value added, and are thus subject to market volatility and the demands of retailers.
Retailers are joining bank officials and jewellers, in signing up for a new tiger kidnap awareness course to protect themselves. The Herald reports that kidnappings increased by 86% in the third quarter of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008. According to Sean Griffin, of Seek Academy, which is running the course in Galway and Rathfarnham, Dublin, he has received up to 80 phone inquiries already, and subsequently believes "awareness will kill it."
Farm income will drop by 28% this year, the Irish Farmers’ Association has claimed, with average income from full-time farming falling to €16,000. The Irish Times reports IFA president Pádraig Walshe is highly critical of the State agencies, including the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency, which had been complicit in allowing the dominant retail multiples to "cannibalise" farm incomes "and undermine the livelihoods of farm families across the country."
Approximately one third of minors are able to purchase cigarettes from retailers, a new study has found. The National Tobacco Retail Audit 2009 Monitoring Report published this week actually showed compliance among retailers was up 8% however, from 60% in 2008 to 68% in 2009. The Irish Times reports that according to the Office of Tobacco Control, while a clear improvement in compliance culture had occurred among retailers, there was still a long way to go.
As the €250 million Employment Subsidy Scheme, which was originally intended for exporters, is opened to all industries, up to 95% of retailers have said they will apply for funding in order to protect 21,000 jobs in the sector. The Irish Examiner reports that David Fitzsimons, chief executive of Retail Excellence Ireland, believes more funding is needed as things are looking very bleak in the sector.
Irish food wholesaler Musgrave, which also has operations in the UK and Spain, has won the John Sainsbury Award for Learning and Development at the prestigious IGD Food Industry Awards in London. Business and Leadership reports that the Greencore Group and Nestle UK were also in the running for the award, which "recognises companies who have made a real commitment to people development within their organisations."