Every year Teagasc works with over 300 Irish food companies – helping them get to grips with new technologies, and to meet the needs and new demands of consumers. The agriculture and food development authority invests over €15m each year in food research, to support innovation in the sector.
Today over 40 Teagasc technologies for the food industry are being exhibited at the Food Innovation Gateways exhibition in the Aviva stadium as part of this new initiative.
Professor Gerry Boyle from Teagasc says there are very exciting trends in food at the moment in areas involving bio-actives – ingredients with healthy claims atttached to them. Consumers, he states, want healthy food.
The other area of development is in genomics. An example of this would be breeding meat that’s leaner. Professor Boyle also said that consumers are placing an emphasis on sustainability, the use of water, carbon footprints.
Teagasc are creating five different gateways or pathways to invite stakeholders to engage with them.
Danske Bank, which owns National Irish Bank in the Republic and Northern Bank in Northern Ireland, is setting up a new arm to wind down its loan portfolio at NIB. In a statement this morning Danske says that at NIB, the commercial and investment property loan portfolios will be transferred to a new, separate unit of the group that will take over the “controlled winding-up” of this part of the loan portfolio. It says the rest of its Irish banking activities will continue in their current form. The Group will use the Danske Bank brand name for all its banking operations by the end of this year. This morning it announced a profit before tax of €213m for the first three months of 2012, in line with expectations.
*** Builders merchants and DIY group Grafton, which operates across the UK and Ireland, has said group turnover for the four months to 30 April 2012 was €676m, an increase of 5.3% on the same four months of 2011. Some of this was down to exchange rates. In a statement issued before its AGM today, Grafton said its Irish merchanting business was down by 9% because of a further decline in spending on household Repair, Maintenance and Improvement. Turnover in the Irish Retailing business was down by 16%.
*** Aslo holding its AGM today is Kingspan – the Co Cavan-based firm said that the construction environment in its core markets is stable, albeit uncertain and it os unlikely that growth will occur this year. Kingspan said its performance was solid in the first four months of 2012 in a subdued global construction market environment, with total sales of €473m, which was 8% ahead of last year.
- morning business news