In the papers this week 28 Feb – 6 Mar 2009

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Pictured: The 48 Irish producers at a workshop in Lidl HQ in Tallaght, County Dublin (Photo by Andres Poveda)

Asda could offer home shopping to ROI customers, Irish retailers are being charged a “Paddy Tax”, Cadbury announced major ethical initiative, Herald AM and Metro might merge



6 March 2009

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Asda could be one step closer to offering a home shopping service to customers in the Republic, reports The Sunday Tribune.

The supermarket has set up several Irish websites, and recently indicated it “would love to” offer this service. The British retailer has also held preliminary talks with developer Treasury Holdings about opening sites here

Dundalk retailer Brian O’Neill has lodged a complaint with the Competition Authority after a supplier refused to allow him to pay for products in sterling. O’Neill told the Sunday Business Post that Irish retailers are being charged a “Paddy Tax”

Hot on the heels of its recent announcement of a 30% profit rise, Cadbury has announced a major ethical initiative; switching to Fair Trade cocoa beans. The move has been hailed as a major breakthrough for the increasingly popular ethical standard, reports the Irish Independent

The latest word on the freesheets, according to The Irish Times, is that the two loss-making Dublin dailies Herald AM and Metro could possibly merge into one, called Metro Herald    

After only recently “temporarily” pulling the plug on Irish personal loans, Tesco’s personal finance services remains a lucrative division nonetheless. Tesco now believes it can more than double profits of this venture from £400 million to £1 billion in the UK, according to The Daily Mail

C&C has reported it is writing down assets worth €141m in order to streamline operations in the face of declining sales. The Irish Examiner takes a look   

Also in The Examiner, Trevor Sargent remains upbeat about the organics sector, which he says is continuing to grow. A recent TNS mrbi study showed that out of a sample of 1,000 adults, two-thirds who currently purchase organic food anticipate spending at least the same on organics in 2009

Glanbia received a lot of coverage in the papers this week. The Irish Times reports that the Irish food group posted a 18.5% rise in full year earnings

But despite its recent growth, Glanbia, which produces one-third of all milk and cheese in Ireland, is currently processing 226 redundancies and said it faces a “difficult market environment” in 2009

Supplies of new season lamb are scarce, reports the Irish Independent. Most Irish plants have said that “while there were no huge supplies coming in there was enough to supply a sluggish and slow trade”

Total Produce, the fruit and vegetable distributor spun off by Fyffes Plc, is also concerned about the future. The company has said net profit fell 19% in 2008 and those earnings may not be matched again this year, according to The Irish Times

Also from The Irish Times this week, the economy in Northern Ireland is set to fare better than the rest of the UK, boosted by southern shoppers attracted to sterling value. The latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Economic Outlook said the North’s economy will contract 3% but is still expected to perform better in 2009 than any of the remaining 11 UK regions

The saying ‘you win some, you lose some’ certainly applied to Tesco this week. The (British) Daily Mail has it that the retailer pulled a major coup in the UK when a competition tribunal found that councils couldn’t prevent dominant supermarkets opening new branches

The decision prompted The Independent (UK) to ask the question if Tesco was getting far too big for its boots?

In Ireland however, Mayo County Council then refused planning permission to Tesco Ireland for a four-island filling station and shop in Ballinrobe, on the grounds that it would be too close to the River Robe and would constitute a pollution threat

Finally, Casey’s Castlebar has been judged Centra of the Year 2009. The Western People tells all about what made Casey’s Castlebar stand out from amongst 474 Centras nationwide



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