Tag Archives: Food Retail & Distribution (TRBC level 4)

Percy Pig faces tariffs entering the EU market, M&S UK warned | Instant News


LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer warned on Friday its popular Percy Pig candy could be subject to tariffs if it re-exported the product to European Union countries, including Ireland.

Chief Executive Steve Rowe said the pink candy, along with about a third of the product in the M&S food business, was subject to the very complex “rules of origin” regulations that are part of the UK trade deal with the EU which takes effect on Christmas Eve.

The rules relate to the composition of individual products and how much they have been changed in the United Kingdom.

Any product manufactured in Europe, imported into the UK and then redistributed to EU countries will be subject to a tariff.

“The best example I can give you is Percy Pig,” Rowe told reporters, as M&S updated on the Christmas trade.

“Percy Pig is actually produced in Germany. “If we come to England and then we send it to Ireland, in theory there will be a tax on it,” he said.

M&S warned on Friday that the tariff issue would have a significant impact on its businesses in Ireland, the Czech Republic and franchises in France.

He said he was working to reduce the problem.

Reporting by James Davey; Edited by Kate Holton

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ANALYSIS-Hungry for change: A damaged food system is being exposed by COVID-19 and the climate crisis | Instant News


ROME / LONDON, December 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – From wildfires in California and locust attacks in Ethiopia to job losses caused by the lockdown pandemics in Italy and Myanmar, climate change and COVID-19 are disrupting food production and starving millions more . 2020.

Now there are fears the situation could worsen next year as the coronavirus crisis and wild weather exacerbate the fragile conditions associated with conflict and poverty in many parts of the world, aid officials told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Even before COVID-19 hit, 135 million people were marching toward the threshold of starvation. This could double to 270 million in a few months, “said David Beasley, head of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), in emailed comments.

In April, Beasley, whose organization in Rome was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, told the UN Security Council that the world was facing a “hunger pandemic” and “various famines in biblical proportions”.

“That warning is supported by stronger evidence today,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, noting that Burkina Faso, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen are facing famine, and the full impact of COVID-19 is yet to be felt in many places. .

At the same time, the coronavirus crisis has shown how faster international action and better cooperation in areas such as science and technology can help tackle the problem, he added.

Farmers and the urban poor have borne the brunt of the pandemic so far, meaning inequality between and within countries could deepen by 2021, said Ismahane Elouafi, chief scientist at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Cut off from markets and with falling customer demand, farmers struggle to sell their produce while informal workers in urban areas, who live hand-to-mouth, find themselves unemployed because of the lockdowns, he said.

As a result, millions of people – from Texas and Geneva to Bangkok and Accra – were forced to rely on food aid for the first time.

Meanwhile, more than 50 million people in East and Central Africa are in need of emergency food aid – and that number will increase as the region prepares for severe drought related to the La Nina climate pattern, as well as more locust swarms, Oxfam said.

With 2020 set to be one of the hottest years on record, African farmers have seen a spike in harsh climatic conditions as well as plant-destroying pests, said Agnes Kalibata, UN special envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit.

“The double blow due to extreme weather and COVID-19 has greatly relieved the weakness of our global food system,” said Kalibata, former Rwandan agriculture minister.

‘HARBINGER’ CLIMATE CRISIS

Two UN reports recently warned that the coronavirus pandemic could lead to an extreme spike in poverty.

One in 33 people will need humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs such as food and water by 2021, up 40% from this year, said one.

Others say a billion people could fall into poverty by 2030.

COVID-19 is a “harbinger” of what the climate crisis will bring, said Saleemul Huq, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh.

“(The virus) hits us in a matter of days and months. Hopefully, this will end in a year or two, if all goes well with the vaccine – but the climate change problem will last much longer, much longer, “he said.

“One of the major impacts will likely occur on food production, on all continents of the world, on agriculture, fisheries, on livestock,” he added.

Climate action is often focused on reducing planet-warming emissions from energy and transportation, but changing food systems is also essential to keeping global warming to a manageable level, says a recent study led by the University of Oxford.

Even if fossil fuel emissions are eliminated immediately, food production could still push temperatures beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, the lowest target in the Paris climate pact, he warned.

But transforming a highly complex and increasingly global food system network is a major challenge, not least because there is no substitute for food, says lead author Michael Clark.

Making food production more sustainable will require focusing on how it is grown, what is consumed and ways to reduce loss and waste, he said.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHANGE

The lockdown triggered by the pandemic has prompted a shift in attitudes in rich countries towards food waste and meat consumption, both of which fuel greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, there is growing recognition among experts that the narrow focus on crop productivity is at the expense of the environment, equity and nutrition, said James Lomax, a food systems expert at the United Nations Environment Program.

Many in the food industry are starting to understand this too, even before COVID-19 disrupts supply chains, eating away at income and highlighting the links between agriculture, animal products and zoonotic diseases, he said.

This shift, together with a high-level summit scheduled for next year on the interconnected issues of food, health, nature and climate, offers an opportunity to radically change the way food is produced and consumed, experts say.

“We have a chance to fix it,” as thoughts gathered around the meeting, said Elouafi of FAO.

UN envoy Kalibata hopes the food systems summit will produce ambitious goals and clarity on what countries, communities and businesses should do differently over the next decade, as well as more financing to help achieve those goals.

Solutions already exist to make food systems sustainable and environmentally friendly, such as seaweed-based animal feed to reduce methane emissions and a plant-based diet, said Jessica Fanzo, professor of global food policy and ethics at Johns Hopkins University.

But political will is needed to push them to the forefront, he added. With regard to climate change, he hopes a youth movement will emerge around food to advocate for more ambitious change.

Most people participate in the world food system two or three times a day when they eat, he said.

“It has to be something that society really appreciates, (but) often it isn’t,” he added. (Reported by Thin Lei Win @thinink and Cormac O’Brien, Edited by Megan Rowling. Please pay tribute to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Thomson Reuters charity, covering the lives of people around the world who struggle to live free or fair. news.trust.org)

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Northern Ireland looks south as Brexit nibbles at Britain’s trade links | Instant News


DUBLIN / LONDON (Reuters) – As a major food supplier in Northern Ireland, Lynas Foodservice is procuring more goods such as cheese from across the open border with EU member Ireland to circumvent the bureaucratic trade hurdles it established with Britain after Brexit.

FILE PHOTOS: Scenes showing boats tied up in Portavogie Harbor, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, near Newtownards, Northern Ireland, England, April 25, 2020. REUTERS / Jason Cairnduff / File Photo

Coffee chain suppliers, fast food giants and pubs have rerouted European stocks through Dublin and are looking for Irish or EU suppliers to ease the pressure once British goods need customs and paperwork checks to enter the province when Britain exits the European Union in December. 31.

Northern Ireland will remain in line with the EU single market and goods arriving in Northern Ireland will be subject to EU customs regulations.

Managing Director Andrew Lynas told Reuters he expects more administrative paperwork even if Britain gets a trade deal with the bloc, and has started looking for more products such as cheese and charcuterie from south of the Irish border.

“The two big things we’ve been working on are routing goods through Dublin and how to get more (product) from the EU and Ireland,” he told Reuters. “We’ve really done that and I think whatever happens, more than that will happen.”

The subtle reorientation of British-controlled parts of Northern Ireland towards the Republic of Ireland nearly a century since Ireland won independence from the British crown is one of the most compelling consequences of Brexit.

While Irish unity remains a distant dream or a distant nightmare, Brexit has strained the ties that bind Britain: Northern Ireland and Scotland chose to remain in the EU in 2016, while England and Wales chose to leave.

Maintaining the fragile peace in Northern Ireland without allowing Britain to enter the EU market through the 310-mile Anglo-Irish land border is one of the toughest issues in Brexit divorce talks.

In essence, they are agreeing to fudge that keeps Northern Ireland on both sides – part of the UK’s customs territory but still aligned with the EU’s single market for goods after December 31st.

NORTH IRELAND

While the deal eschews the tough border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and upholds the 1998 Good Friday peace deal, it does complicate trade – particularly between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain.

At 10.4 billion pounds ($ 13.89 billion), Britain accounted for 60% of all goods purchased outside Northern Ireland in 2018, more than four times the amount imported from Ireland, according to the latest Irish Bureau of Statistics and Research data. North.

While trade levels across Ireland’s border have nearly doubled since the 1998 peace deal ended Northern Ireland’s “Troubles”, Lynas said Britain was and will remain a very important market, suggesting any post-Brexit changes are likely to pick up.

Her family’s nearly 70-year-old wholesale business currently sources about a third of its food items from the UK.

However, some suppliers based in the UK are facing a more sudden change. Scottish seed potato suppliers will be prohibited from selling to the block – and to Northern Ireland – from January 1.

They will remain closed until a third country equality is granted, allowing the trade in certified potato seeds to continue.

POTATO SEEDS

Archie Gibson, executive director of Agrico UK which has 80 farmers in Scotland and 20 in the UK, said the industry had gone like a “headless chicken” trying to export as much of its crop as possible to the EU before January 1.

He worries about the long-term hit after an Irish buyer found a new supplier outside the UK to buy a supermarket.

“They tend to be quite loyal, so when they move they are unlikely to rush back,” he said.

The UK’s biggest supermarket has also warned in recent weeks that they may not be able to supply the same variety of food to their Northern Irish stores due to uncertainty about how the new terms will work.

A poll in late November by the UK Food and Beverage Federation showed that nearly 40% of companies plan to stop or reduce shipments to Northern Ireland from the UK to adjust product lines or assess whether the market remains viable.

The three and six month exemptions agreed since then to protect larger traders from some of the most formidable barriers, such as the need to produce an export health certificate for any product of British animal origin, could ease the transition in January but there is no way to do so. managing complex supply chains in the long term.

“The grace period is not too long,” Northern Ireland Retail Consortium director Aodhán Connolly told one of the closest daily webinars that the trade group is running a business grappling with major changes that have only been announced incrementally over the past two weeks.

“The term is short to medium and it shows the EU and UK appear to be leaning towards realigning supply chains from the UK towards Europe and Ireland.”

THE UNITY OF IRELAND?

Although the numbers involved were small, the politics were not.

The 1998 peace deal ended three decades of revenge killings by mostly Catholic Irish nationalists, who opposed British rule in Northern Ireland, and especially pro-British Protestant loyalists.

Any step away from decades of British supply chains in favor of all-island trade could raise the long-term case for Irish unity and thus destabilize the power-sharing government that was bestowed in Belfast.

For nationalists, the benefits of an all-Irish economy are part of the case for unity. For Unionists, such a trend is proof that the union is in danger.

The largest union party, the Democratic United Party (DUP), has said it will lobby vigorously against any permanent trade barriers with the rest of Britain.

“The (British) government must be courageous and if necessary be prepared to act unilaterally to support our full position in the most important internal market for us – namely the UK,” said DUP earlier this month.

Andrew Lynas, meanwhile, is still trying to make sense of it all, including possible new rules on tariffs, trucks, trade, labels, pallets and ports.

As a Northern Irish business buying from England to sell in the province, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland will always be difficult.

“We just want the movement of goods,” he said. “If there are documents and rates that must be handled, they can always be handled. But you want to ensure the flow of goods. “

($ 1 = 0.7485 pounds)

Edited by Guy Faulconbridge and Louise Heavens

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The US FDA warned the Amazon Whole Food Market for the wrong brand of food products | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: People queue to practice social distancing at Whole Foods Market amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in San Francisco, California, USA, March 31, 2020. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Tuesday that it had issued a warning letter to Amazon.com Inc’s Whole Food Market for not labeling some products due to food allergens, leading to a series of product recalls. .

The supermarket chain, which was purchased by Amazon in 2017 for $ 13.7 billion, has recalled more than 30 food products in the last year because the presence of major food allergens was not listed on product labels, the agency said.

The product comes mostly from the deli and bakery section of the store, the FDA said. (bit.ly/3nN1fSU)

Whole Foods is responsible for investigating and determining the causes of identified violations and for preventing their recurrence, the FDA said in a letter issued to the company on Dec. 16.

The agency said the company must respond within 15 working days of receiving the letter, listing in writing the actions taken to address the breach.

“We work closely with the FDA to ensure all practices and procedures in our stores meet if not exceed food safety requirements,” Whole Foods said in an emailed statement.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Edited by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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Britain is telling shoppers that food is plentiful but supermarkets are fretting about next week | Instant News


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said there was plenty of food in stores on Tuesday, but industry groups repeated warnings about shortages of some fresh produce starting next week unless shipping routes to mainland Europe are soon restored.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said Britons should not be worried even though Tesco and Sainsbury’s, Britain’s two biggest supermarket groups, raised warnings on Monday that cracks could start appearing on fruit and vegetable shelves within days.

Transport from France was disrupted as part of a wider suspension of travel ties with Britain to try to curb a new strain of COVID-19 that is spreading faster.

“I don’t think anyone should be worried – there’s a lot of food in our shop,” Patel told LBC radio.

UK supermarkets are facing record Christmas demand due to COVID-19 restrictions on the hospitality and travel industry and there are panic buying fears.

“UK shoppers don’t have to worry about food supplies over Christmas, but the impact on the availability of certain fresh foods on local shelves is likely to start next week unless we can restore this link soon,” said Ian Wright, CEO of the Food and Beverage Federation, who representing more than 300 food and beverage businesses.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents more than 170 major retailers including major supermarkets, is also concerned about supply immediately after Christmas, highlighting possible shortages of salads, vegetables and fruit, including raspberries and strawberries.

“The border really needs to walk freely enough from tomorrow to assure us that there will be no disruption,” Andrew Opie, BRC’s director of food and sustainability, told BBC radio.

He notes that 90% of lettuce is consumed by the British and about 70% of the soft fruit comes through Channel ports at this time of the year.

TESTING

The BBC quoted French European Minister Clément Beaune as saying Britain and France would announce an agreement to restart deliveries on Wednesday. One option is to carry out mass testing of truck drivers.

“Whatever is agreed upon, we have to be careful not to add too much friction to the supply chain which in itself causes disruption by causing delays for drivers while being tested,” said Opie.

Although massive queues resumed snaking around supermarkets across the UK on Tuesday and several shelves stripped, food retailers said they had not seen a major change in customer buying behavior.

Opie said supermarkets had been expecting and planning a Christmas queue.

“You need to remember that these are the busiest days for shopping … and remember all the shops are still operating all their COVID protocols, which means you can’t get as many people into the supermarket as you are used to,” Opie said.

“We don’t see excessive buying in volume whatever we saw around that period in mid-March,” he added.

Reporting by James Davey; Edited by Guy Faulconbridge, Alexander Smith and Louise Heavens

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