Top stories in the papers this week 24 Sept – 1 Oct 2010

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Food poison risk from a third of sandwiches; Two-thirds of Londis retailers want JLC rates abolished; Sales rise for 75% of Love Irish Food members



30 September 2010

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1. Food poison risk from a third of sandwiches

Nearly a third of pre-packed sandwiches are stored at the wrong temperature, providing a fertile breeding ground for potentially lethal bugs. The Irish Independent reports the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) tested 948 sandwiches from retailers and caterers across the country, and found 99% of sandwiches were satisfactory, ie, clear of any harmful amount of listeria and other bacteria – yet some 29% were kept at unsuitable temperatures above 5C.

2. Two-thirds of Londis retailers want JLC rates abolished

Almost two-thirds of Londis retailers have called for the abolition of the Joint Labour Committee (JLC) mechanism for fixing wages in the grocery sector. The Irish Examiner reports retailers highlighted the existing JLC system raises retail wage rates by up to 25% higher than the national minimum wage. Furthermore, an ADM Londis survey revealed almost 90% of retailers believe that it will be the second quarter of 2011 and beyond before the Irish economy returns to growth.

3. Sales rise for 75% of Love Irish Food members

The Love Irish Food (LIF) organisation has announced that 75% of its members have seen their sales rise since the initiative was started a year ago. The Irish Times reports most brands achieved a less than 5% increase. LIF membership has also more than doubled, from 29 brands at first to 77 now. The paper highlighted a lack of formal commitments from some leading retailers, including Dunnes Stores and SuperValu, yet LIF said the active use by producers of the organisation’s logo on packaging, meant retailer involvement was less critical than it had originally been.

The Irish Examiner reports LIF has also been a success for Cappoquin Chickens in Dungarvan, who attributed a sales jump of 6% or 7% directly to the initiative.

4. Irish apples can’t be found in Irish supermarkets

An absence of Irish apples from the country’s supermarket shelves, has been observed by readers of The Irish Times Pricewatch column. However the paper reports that Tesco “which was at the centre of the apple storm” the previous week said it was a big supporter of the Irish apple growing industry and will buy over 1,626 tonnes of Irish apples this year. “Like all retailers, our Pink Lady and Braeburn varieties are currently sourced from the southern hemisphere as supply from the 2010 European region harvest is only now beginning to come on stream,” a spokesman added.

5. ‘£700m windfall’ from alcohol minimum pricing in UK

Large supermarket chains would benefit from a £700 million windfall if minimum pricing for alcohol was introduced across the UK, new research has indicated. The Belfast Telegraph reports Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, stands to reap the most rewards, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). The think-tank researched the likely impact of a 45p minimum unit price for alcohol – the controversial measure proposed by the Scottish Government but recently rejected by opposition parties.


What will Tesco do now in Banbridge? (Belfast Telegraph)
-Tesco is  reportedly licking its wounds after plans to open a 130,000 sq ft store at Bridgewater Retail Park, on the outskirts of south Down town Banbridge, failed at the final hurdle.

Wal-Mart sets sights on Africa in £2.9bn bid for Massmart (The Guardian)

Sainsbury’s in talks over China store openings (Irish Examiner)

Part-time staff ‘can’t afford’ to work more hours (Sunday Independent)

Imperial Tobacco loses bid to stop Scottish cigarette ad ban (The Guardian)

Which? report finds supermarket ‘value’ packs more costly than single items (The Guardian)



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