June, 2012


29
Jun 12

Redmills makes first shipment of horse feed to China

Redmills makes first shipment of horse feed to China

Redmills makes first shipment of horse feed to China

Joe Connolly, MD, Connolly’s Redmills

Based in Goresbridge, Co Killkenny, animal feed company Connolly’s Redmills has increased the export proportion of its revenue from 2pc in 2007 to 15pc last year.

This family-run business, in operation since 1908, recently became the first foreign company in the world to be registered to distribute horse feed into China.

Group business development director Michael Connolly says taking part in leadership development programmes run by Enterprise Ireland has helped the company to have a strong focus on strategy and significantly increase exports.

His brother, managing director Joe Connolly, took part in Enterprise Ireland’s Leadership for Growth programme last year. Another brother Bill is joint managing director and there are various other extended family members working at Connolly’s Redmills, which now employs 100 people in Goresbridge and a further 250 in the wider group.

“These courses have helped enormously to relieve ourselves of some of the baggage old family companies can be burdened with and facilitated us to develop our business on a more global scale,” says Michael.

Joe adds: “The course was great in terms of confidence building. Every one of the 32 companies taking part got something out of it, from each other as much as anything. There is one man from the course that I now ring every week to bounce ideas off.”

Redmills is split into three divisions: agri-business; pet food; and horse feed. In terms of its exporting strategy, Redmills has been most successful in its horse feeds division. Having started exploring outside markets in the early Eighties, it’s now exporting to 38 countries with Enterprise Ireland support.

“We have used several different forms of market entry depending on the potential we have identified. This varies from appointing a sole distributor to appointing a number of distributors; a distributor with a number of our salespeople on the ground to having a fully-controlled export environment with our own offices and warehouse,” Michael explains.

The China journey

Redmills started investigating the Chinese market in 2004. In the rest of Asia, Japan is its biggest market and it also sells into Korea, the Philipines, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

“In 2004 we realised we’d missed the boat in terms of pet food in China. However, we saw the potential for horse feeds. The market is underdeveloped – it is growing slowly and only finding its own feet,” Connolly notes.

“Since the Olympic Games, consumer self-confidence has grown and the emerging middle class have found equine sports of tremendous interest, particularly show jumping. China’s horse racing business is not fully developed as its government has held back on allowing betting. It’s anybody’s guess when betting on racing will start in China as there have been a number of false starts since 2004.

“We decided that despite the fact that the business is small now we will benefit from having first-mover advantage.”

The application process to be granted permission to sell into China has been laborious, involving five years of jumping through regulatory hoops and passing test after test.

“There is a huge emphasis on regulation imposed on European providers of feed because of the risk of BSE since 1989. This has been a competitive advantage for us. Most companies see complying with standards as something they have to do, but we have embraced them and incorporated them into our whole management structure and how we do things,” says Michael.

Redmills is shipping its first orders of 10 containers of horse feed to China this month. It has broken the market down into three segments: professional horse riders sponsored by owners in the show jumping and racing markets; semi-professional horse riders; and the purely leisure market.

Connolly notes that Redmills’ packaging system gives it a critical competitive advantage when exporting. “Over seven years we have developed a unique process of packaging and preservation which is natural but preserves the product much longer, giving it a shelf life of six to seven weeks. Having crossed the equator twice going from a cold Irish summer to temperatures of 40–50 degrees, for instance, the feed still smells great when the bags are opened at their destination.”

The pioneering technology is called Nutrient Fresh Management System and has been supported by significant R&D grants from Enterprise Ireland.

“Transportation makes up 20-30pc of horse feed product cost, and confidence that our products will stay fresh allows many of our customers to order larger quantities and reduce transport costs by up to half.

“Trainers and breeders must cut costs, but not the quality of the products. This new technology allows us to be able to offer the benefits and efficiencies of complete diets to new markets that hither to could not get such a choice of affordable, good quality feed.

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27
Jun 12

Minister Bruton announces 30 R&D jobs at EirGen Pharma

Minister Bruton announces 30 R&D jobs at EirGen PharmaMinister Bruton announces 30 R&D jobs at EirGen Pharma

In more good news for the south-east, Ireland’s Minister Richard Bruton, TD, announced that EirGen Pharma will create 30 new jobs for Waterford, in an expansion supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

EirGen Pharma is an export-focused, Irish pharmaceutical company specialising in the development, licensing and manufacture of highly specialised oncology drugs. The jobs announced today will support in-house R&D on a range of oncology products for the global pharmaceutical market.

“We are delighted to announce an additional 30 new highly skilled jobs for EirGen Pharma,” said Patsy Carney, co-founder of EirGen Pharma. “Our continuing export-led growth is a fantastic endorsement of the achievements made by our staff to date to help us continue to grow our business in more than 40 countries worldwide. We are especially pleased and proud to be able to grow our employment levels in Waterford in these difficult economic times for our city.”

Carney and Tom Brennan, who previously worked for another multinational pharmaceutical company in the region, founded the Waterford-based pharma company in 2005. EirGen Pharma currently employs 50 people in Waterford.

“EirGen is a prime example of the successful companies that will help drive our economic recovery,” said Bruton. “Through continued implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs, I am determined to ensure that we can see more announcements like this around the country over the coming years.”

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27
Jun 12

Danone to create 45 new jobs

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said Danone's ?20million investment in Wexford manufacturing plantMinister for Jobs Richard Bruton said Danone’s ?20million investment in Wexford manufacturing plant

Food company Danone is to create 45 new jobs as part of a €20 million expansion plan at its manufacturing facility in Wexford.

The multinational manufacturer is investing in the Wexford facility to meet growing demand for its infant nutrition products across Europe.

The investment will fund a new processing and packing line, doubling the capacity of the facility to 70,000 tonnes annually in finished packed product of brands including Aptamil and Cow & Gate.

The new jobs will be created in operations, food science, engineering and logistics.

The €20 million investment at the facility is supported by the Government through Enterprise Ireland.

Speaking at the facility in Wexford, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said: “Today’s announcement that Danone is investing €20 million in its Wexford manufacturing plant and creating 45 jobs is a real endorsement of the quality of our agriculture and our industry, and is great news for the south east.”

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22
Jun 12

Bord Bia programme looks to build Irish food and drink’s green cred

Bord Bia programme looks to build Irish food and drink's green cred

Bord Bia programme looks to build Irish food and drink’s green cred

Pictured: Aidan Cotter, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney and Michael Carey

Bord Bia has this morning launched a national programme designed to help Ireland become a world leader in sustainably produced food and drink.

Origin Green is a voluntary programme whereby participating food manufacturers commit to developing a sustainability plan, in conjunction with Bord Bia. Interested parties will sign up to a new sustainability charter setting out clear targets in areas like emissions, energy, waste, water, biodiversity and CSR activities.

Once approved, successful members will be entitled to use the Origin Green logo as part of their trade marketing, communications and customer relations. Each year, participants will be required to submit independently verified progress reports.

In turn, Bord Bia said it will promote, communicate and develop trade awareness of the Origin Green programme among buyers, international media and relevant stakeholders in key export markets.

“Retailers are looking for suppliers that can align with their commercial strategies and offer them a point of difference,” said Aidan Cotter, chief executive of Bord Bia. “Our research has highlighted the significant opportunities that exist if the Irish food and drink sector can demonstrate its commitment to delivering continuous improvement.

“With Origin Green, we can effectively begin to add proof and assurance to our sustainability claims, and provide the evidence that our export customers are looking for.”

“The development of a sustainability programme to build Ireland’s brand reputation around green credentials is one of the four key strategic priorities for Bord Bia over the next three years,” said Bord Bia’s chairman, Michael Carey. “In addition we will be focusing on enhancing competitiveness; promoting exports and building a vibrant domestic market for the agri-food sector.”

As part of a pilot programme, Bord Bia is currently working with nine Irish food and drink companies – Kerry Group, Glanbia (Dairy Ingredients Ireland), Marine Harvest, Country Crest, Dawn Farm Foods, Flahavans, Irish Distillers, ABP and Errigal Seafoods.

Bord Bia said its objective is that 75pc of Irish food and drink exports will be sourced from signed up members to the programme before the end of 2014, and 100pc by the end of 2016.

The programme was launched at Bord Bia’s Pathways for Growth Food and Drink Leadership Summit, which is taking place in UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business.

The vision behind Origin Green was introduced to the delegates in an audio visual presentation setting sustainability in an Irish context and fronted by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.

Bord Bia said it commissioned extensive trade research with leading retailers, food manufacturers and foodservice organisations, including M&S, Sainburys, Unilever, McDonald’s and Subway, to support the development of ‘Origin Green’.

“The research, currently being undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has shown that sustainability is now more deeply engrained in retailers’ commercial strategies than ever before and increasingly they see sustainability criteria as becoming a critical requirement of suppliers looking to do business. They view sustainability as helping them boost the efficiency of their supply chain while also driving brand reputation and securing supplies over the longer term.”

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22
Jun 12

Dealz opens 13th store – creates 30 new jobs

Dealz opens 13th stores – creates 30 new jobs

Discount retailer Dealz has opened its 13th store, in Shannon, Co Clare, creating 30 new jobs.

Located, at unit 40A, Skycourt Shopping Centre, Shannon, with a retail space of 6,900 sq ft, Dealz Shannon is the newest edition to the Dealz portfolio. The new store brings the total number of jobs created in Ireland to date to over 390.

An integrated part of Poundland, Europe’s biggest single price discount retailer, Dealz has additional stores across the Republic of Ireland including Blanchardstown, Portlaoise, Letterkenny, Killarney, Newbridge, Limerick, Cork, Athlone, Santry, Mullingar, Gorey and Drogheda, which are overseen by Cork native Leonard Brassel, Dealz senior business manager in Ireland.

Commenting at the new store opening, Brassel said:  “We are very excited to be expanding the Dealz portfolio in Ireland with the opening of our new store in Shannon. The new store is the 13th Dealz store to open in Ireland to date and has created 30 new jobs for the Clare area. Dealz is committed to bringing amazing value every day to customers with our €1.49 price point as we are looking forward to expanding further across Ireland throughout 2012.”

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21
Jun 12

Cork IT employers to pool ideas on kickstarting Ireland’s economy (video)

Cork IT employers to pool ideas on kickstarting Ireland's economy (video)Cork IT employers to pool ideas on kickstarting Ireland’s economy (video)

European Tech Cluster, an initiative spearheaded by it@cork, plans to spearhead a series of initiatives and ideas aimed at creating jobs and rebalancing Ireland’s economy.

On 26 June at County Hall Chambers in Cork city, IT industry employers will gather to present detailed proposals to create jobs in multiple industries and help eliminate the country’s budget deficit.

The forum will hear from Denis Collins of IBM and chairman it@cork, who will present details of research from PwC, which will outline the real opportunity that exists to allow Ireland to benefit from bringing the top technology talent in the world to its shores.

A win-win opportunity for Ireland’s economy

Collins said each experienced technology worker that joins companies in Ireland results in multiple jobs being created. “There are thousands of jobs in the technology sector in Ireland and if we fill them, further jobs for graduates and those unemployed can be created.”

Collins said that while the title of the forum is ambitious, the economic arguments behind this will be set out in detail by a panel of speakers, including representatives of the Irish Business Employers Federation (IBEC) and international leaders including Bob Savage, vice-president and general manager at EMC, and Sean O’Sullivan, managing director of Avego.

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21
Jun 12

Cork entrepreneurs launch sightseeing bus tours

Cork entrepreneurs launch sightseeing bus toursCork entrepreneurs launch sightseeing bus tours

A new sightseeing tour bus company, Happy Tours, based in Cork, has recently been launched to offer fun and cost-effective day tours to tourists visiting Ireland.

Happy Tours was established by three Cork-based entrepreneurs and friends who all have a background in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Enrico Zoppi and Julia Lynes of EazyCity, an accommodation provider for international visitors, have joined forces with Joan Walsh of Partnership Europe (which brings international clients to Cork on trade delegations, study visits and cultural programmes.

“We are bringing real Irish hospitality to bus tours around Ireland” explained Joan Walsh, “So our guests on board see the sights but also experience local culture and some fun along the way!  For example, our tours include stops at the renowned De Barra’s music pub in Clonakilty, where passengers taste Guinness and Clonakilty black and white pudding, as part of the package.

A Happy Tours guide is also present on all tours, to ensure that there is history and local knowledge commentary on the various tours, as well as guided walking tours which are standard on all the Happy Tours.

“Our aim is to provide the best value tours, while delivering a truly memorable tour in Ireland with tour guides, ‘insider sightseeing’ and great fun”, said Enrico Zoppi, an Italian who came to Ireland over 11 years ago and fell in love with life here.

Happy Tours currently runs tours to West Cork, Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Blarney, Midleton and Cobh.  The service has recently expanded to include tours to Galway and Dublin.    All tours can be booked online at www.happytoursireland.com and Happy Tours also offers special rates to tours booked through local hostels, hotels, B&B’s and group bookings.  See www.facebook.com/happytours or t: 085-2345417

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21
Jun 12

SSE creating 100 full-time jobs; 600 temporary construction jobs

SSE creating 100 full-time jobs; 600 temporary construction jobs

SSE creating 100 full-time jobs; 600 temporary construction jobs

Pictured: Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Gregor Alexander

Following its earlier announcement that it is buying Endesa’s Irish power plants in a package totalling €488m, SSE has revealed that it is creating 100 new full-time jobs in the next year, as well as a further 600 indirect jobs over the next two years through construction works associated with its energy projects and acquisitions.

The new jobs were announced this afternoon in Dublin by Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Gregor Alexander, finance director of SSE and its lead director for Ireland.

The company said it has created more than 100 new full time positions each year that since its entry in to the Irish market in 2008, following the acquisition of Airtricity. The company’s utility business currently includes Airtricity, Airtricity Utility Solutions, SSE Renewables and SSE Generation.

The new jobs will bring SSE’s total employee numbers in Ireland to 900.

“I welcome today’s investment announcement by SSE as a great vote of confidence in Ireland and our economy, and for the new jobs that will be created in the coming years,” said the Taoiseach. “Secure energy supply is crucial for future investment and jobs and also presents other significant economic opportunities for Ireland, particularly in the export of renewable power.”

“Today’s announcement is part of SSE’s long-term commitment to Ireland, serving customers, employing people, and providing a sustainable, secure and competitive supply of energy to power our rapidly growing energy supply business, Airtricity,” said Alexander.

“The completion of this acquisition and that of Phoenix Supply announced in May will make SSE the third largest energy company across the island with 750,000 customers. Furthermore, it will take SSE’s total investment into the future of Irish energy to over €1.7bn in the last five years, of which half relates to the period since Airtricity became part of SSE in 2008.

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21
Jun 12

IMF sees G20 focus on growth, jobs, euro crisis

IMF sees G20 focus on growth, jobs, euro crisis

A Group of 20 summit in Mexico next week will likely focus on ways to spur global growth, job creation and on the euro zone debt crisis, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

The meeting of developed and developing countries will also assess progress made in raising new resources for the IMF, Gerry Rice, spokesman for the IMF, told reporters. He denied there was backtracking or delays by some donors to make good on their promises to bolster the IMF’s war chest by USD 430 billion.

Frustrated with the slow pace of IMF voting reforms, Brazil has said it would not contribute fresh money to the IMF until there was headway in giving emerging economies greater say in the fund.

Rice said the G20, at the leaders’ summit next Monday and Tuesday in Los Cabos, Mexico, will review progress in coming up with the new money. “Discussions have continued with the various donors, and it was never expected the package would be completed with every detail fixed by this time,” he added.

The G20 meeting comes just after Greek voters go to the polls on Sunday in an election that is expected to determine whether the debt-stricken country stays in the euro zone.

Rice said the IMF was ready to engage with Greece’s new government on the future of a 130 billion euro international bailout package, partly funded by the IMF, once the election was over.

“We need to take this one step at a time,” Rice said. “We should respect the democratic process in Greece and once there is a new government, the IMF will engage in a dialogue with it.”

Meanwhile, Rice said an IMF assessment of the Spanish economy, part of annual consultations with the government, will wrap up its work on Friday in Madrid. He said the Spanish authorities had not requested IMF financial help to deal with the country’s banking crisis.

Rice said the IMF believed that the 100 billion euro EU backstop to deal with troubled Spanish banks agreed last Saturday was the “right step.”

“It is also important that the reform program that the Spanish government has undertaken continues to be implemented, as they are doing, and there has been no request for IMF financial assistance nor are there any plans at the IMF for such assistance,” he added.

He said the IMF thought it “desirable” that the Europeans strengthen their crisis management instruments and stand ready to use a pan-European facility to take direct stakes in banks, as opposed to doing it through governments.

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7
Jun 12

Ernst & Young: Despite Tough Economic Times Entrepreneurs Are Creating Jobs and Growth

http://www.ey.com

  • Entrepreneurs expanded their workforce by 16% globally in 2011
  • Over two thirds expect to recruit in 2012
  • 81% of jobs were created at “experienced hire” level
June 06, 2012 07:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time

MONTE CARLO, Monaco & LONDON–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–While other businesses struggle to create jobs, entrepreneur led companies expanded their workforce by 16% in 2011. Global job hot spots: Help wanted, a survey of 400 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs released today by Ernst & Young highlights that despite tough economic times, over two thirds of them also expected to hire in 2012. Nor are they temporary or low quality jobs. The majority of the positions require university degrees or substantial experience.

“With just a few regulatory changes could greatly improve entrepreneurs’ access to funding, which would make even more of an impact on job and wealth creation. Governments worldwide, led by the G20, should really appreciate entrepreneurs for what they are – an engine for growth”

Entrepreneurs creating new jobs across the world

Nearly all of those entrepreneurs surveyed had increased their headcount last year, often by a substantial amount. On average the entrepreneurs surveyed from the Americas grew their headcount in 2011 by an impressive 18%. In Asia-Pacific and Europe the increases were 16% and 12% respectively.

Jim Turley, Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young says: “With historically high levels of unemployment, especially among young people, there is a pressing need for economic growth. At this time the importance of entrepreneurs, the companies they lead and the jobs they create is even more critical.”

Entrepreneurs recruit an experienced workforce

When entrepreneurs were asked what kind of jobs they created (administrative, entry-level with and without university degrees, or experienced), 81% said they created roles for ‘experienced personnel’, while only 35% said to have recruited at ‘entry level with a degree’ and 29% recruited ‘entry level with no degree’. This trend was most obvious in the US where 92% of the respondents confirmed that they hired at an experience level, followed by Australia, 81%, Canada, 80%, UK, 78% and Ireland 76%.

Entrepreneurs anticipate growth and are recruiting now

Sixty-eight percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed anticipate increasing their workforce in the country where their company is headquartered in 2012. When asked for more details about their recruitment strategies, entrepreneurs confirmed that ‘growth in their product and service markets’ was the main reason for expanding their headcount followed by ‘technological and innovation improvements’.

Forty-four percent also expect to increase their workforce outside of their headquarters country. When asked to name the countries where they anticipated creating the most jobs – the US, China, the UK and India were the most popular destinations. When asked why they were recruiting outside their national market in 2012, 74% of entrepreneurs confirmed this was in order to help them enter new markets. Only 14% said they were recruiting internationally to ‘take advantage of lower labor costs’ and only 8% said they wanted to benefit from ‘better government incentives’ in other countries.

Maria Pinelli, Global Vice-Chair for Strategic Growth Markets at Ernst & Young explains: “Whether at home or abroad, in good economic times or bad, entrepreneurs are constantly looking for new opportunities to expand their business and services. Despite an uncertain global economy, entrepreneurs are actively looking to recruit high-qualified and experienced staff.”

Factors that may affect 2012 recruitment plans

When the entrepreneurs were asked which factors in their domestic market could potentially impact their bullish 2012 hiring plans, government policies (23%) and a negative regulatory climate (16%) came on top. Concludes Maria: “With just a few regulatory changes could greatly improve entrepreneurs’ access to funding, which would make even more of an impact on job and wealth creation. Governments worldwide, led by the G20, should really appreciate entrepreneurs for what they are – an engine for growth”

-ends-

About Ernst & Young’s Strategic Growth Markets Network

Ernst & Young’s worldwide Strategic Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of rapid-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many of the world’s most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business achieve its potential. It’s how Ernst & Young makes a difference.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit www.ey.com.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global Ernst & Young organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

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