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Tag Archives: food

Put Irish food on the Christmas table

AGRI Aware, the independent Irish agri-food educational body, is asking shoppers to think local and support Irish farmers and food producers when purchasing food for the festive season. By filling your shopping basket with quality and seasonal Irish produce, consumers are making the smart choice. “Irish food is of the highest quality, it is sustainably produced and traceable and it is affordable for consumers,” explained Agri Aware’s chairman and organic farmer, Richard Moeran. Agri Aware is asking consumers to be mindful of the damage which below cost selling can have on farmers and food producers. Below cost selling and heavy discounting of fresh produces diminishes the value of food to consumers and removes the link between the costs of production for the farmer and the price charged for the product. “Simply put, continuous below cost selling results in consumers expecting heavily discounted food year-round. Unfortunately, these discounts mean that over time, lower prices become the norm in shops across the country, …

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€1m on offer from Enterprise Ireland

Two Competitive Start Fund (CSF) competitions – the International Entrepreneurship CSF and the Graduate Entrepreneurship CSF, combining a total of €1million in funding from Enterprise Ireland, open for applications today (Wednesday). Applications are invited from graduates and international entrepreneurs with early stage companies capable of succeeding in global markets, creating jobs and growth. Twenty successful applicants will receive high-level business development support and an investment of up to €50,000 each. The CSF is designed to accelerate the growth of start-ups and enable companies to reach key commercial and technical milestones. The funds are open to companies active in manufacturing and internationally traded services targeting Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Cleantech and Industrial Products. The International Entrepreneurship CSF is a competition specifically for start-ups that are currently based overseas but are willing to relocate to Ireland. Successful applicants from outside the EU will be eligible for a Startup Entrepreneur Visa. Applicants for the Graduate Entrepreneurship …

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Gaining confidence, inch by inch

FOR the last few months, Mark Kearney has been drawing puzzled glances from people he meets on the streets, even from people he has known for years. He is close to unrecognisable from the man he was on St Patrick’s Day, after shedding almost 11 stone in the space of seven months. The weight loss came after a religiously-observed diet and the re-introduction of exercise into his life. When he started the weight loss programme in April, Mark, who lives in Ennis, was 25 stone and nine pounds but when he finished in early October, he was down to 14 stone and 11 pounds, a fairly appropriate weight for his 6’5 frame. It’s hardly surprising that he wasn’t satisfied with life at 25 stone and he says the weight was draining the positives from him in all sorts of ways. “Being that weight was affecting my whole life. Going in for interviews for jobs [he was then unemployed], it was …

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Online applications for farm scheme

THE Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney this Wednesday announced the opening of iNet, an online application facility for the Single Payment Scheme It will open on this Thursday and the closing date for receipt of applications as 15th May. “The opening of iNet over two months before the application closing date is very much in line with my commitment to maximise the use of technology for farmers’ benefit,” he said. The minister said that over 73,000 applications were submitted online under the 2013 Scheme, representing a ten-fold increase since iNet was launched. “With almost 40,000 applications submitted under the 2013 Scheme with no change recorded from the previous year, there is huge scope for many applicants to submit their 2013 applications sooner rather than later,” Minister Coveney noted. “Initially, farmers and their approved agents were attracted to iNet by the fact that it guaranteed immediate, verifiable receipt by my department of their applications,” he added. Minister …

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Biofuel the route to more jobs

CONVERTING by-products to biofuel, particularly residues from agriculture, forestry and food processing, can deliver a significant jobs boost, but only if the right policies are put in place now, according to An Taisce. James Nix, policy director of An Taisce notes that “the better use of by-products could create up to 300,000 jobs across the EU and supply some 16% of road transport demand – but only if this sector is maximised,” he said in commenting on a new report,  Wasted: Europe’s untapped resource. The report, backed by a range of industries and environment organisations, found that provided the right safeguards are put in place significant volumes of wastes and residues could be converted to biofuels without creating sustainability problems. Key by-products highlighted by the study include residues from timber-processing as well as residues from harvesting certain food crops. The report draws particular attention to the recovery of increased volumes of used cooking oil, something it pinpoints as having the potential …

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The gorgeous E-Type with St Michael's Mount in the background.

To St Ives in an E-Type

It’s easy to forget that you don’t have to travel far for a great holiday. We’ve all been so spoiled by cheap flights that we seem to have abandoned the option of hopping on a ferry and visiting our nearest neighbours. Last year, my wife and I decided to try a holiday in Devon and Cornwall, mainly because of my fond memories of the area from a childhood trip in the mid 70s. At the same time, we were marking our 20th wedding anniversary and Shelly came up with the bright idea for my anniversary present of renting a vintage car for a few days while we were over there. I was definitely game for that and quickly decided that nothing short of an E-Type Jaguar convertible would do.   The problems began when I tried to find one for hire. It was easy enough to find cars, but none of them were near Cornwall. I got a lead on …

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