Wot, no Barry’s tea or Cashel blue?

A cut in the number of Irish home brands will hardly boost jobs in the Republic. Will it stem the flood of shoppers north? Will a 20% cut in Tesco Ireland prices produce a net gain to the Irish economy or to Tesco? Are we about to see the end of the trek north, as described by the Tele?

On Saturday three of the Dublin to Belfast morning trains were sold out, many seats taken by shoppers who can pre-book online. There was also a 30-minute mid-morning delay into Newry with a large number of Dublin-registered cars in the traffic tailback.

The move feels like a shrewd marketing strategy for the retail giant, leaving them with win:win whatever happens.

Adds Upbeat note from From NI Crunchtalk, the Insititute of Directors’ website:

Invest NI have been working with retailers (Asda, Waitrose, Tesco, M&S), wholesalers (Makro, Costco) and foodservice distributors (most notably Brakes, 3663 and the NISA and Sterling groups) to secure new and additional listings for local companies. New customers have been delighted with products, packaging and service levels.

  • blinding

    Does this mean that other supermarkets in the south should be able to reduce their prices by sourcing their products from more price competitive suppliers.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Having listened to a few debates on RTE about the relative prices North and South there is still a remarkable lack of clarity on the price differential – there seems to be no established and clear mechanism for agreeing the facts. This is undoubtedly a ” shrewd marketing strategy” and after the fiasco of giving in to bigotry over kids GAA shirts – some positive publicity.

  • southerner

    This is a bad day for 26 county agri foods and 26 county supply chains. Tesco is bypassing them. Might be good for the 6 county agri food industry, though.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    “[L]eaving [Tesco] with win:win whatever happens” – oh no! Imagine, a private company attempting to turn a profit, and maximise returns for its shareholders (and not become a dependent ward of the state ie the taxpayer)! The horror, the horror. Why oh why don’t we have a far more sensible system? Say, one funded by a compulsory Grocery Fee, to provide for a Grocery chain that won’t give you what you want, instead giving you tonne upon tonne of purest cr*p, but *will* employ waffley decent chaps. Let’s call it Brian’s Boring Contributions. Never knowingly undersmugged.

  • Congal Claen

    heartily agree Sammy – keep sectarian sport outta Tesco…

  • An fhirinne gharbh

    I’d like to see them take Israeli goods off the shelves. I’d pay top dollar for that.

  • southerner,

    … Might be good for the 6 county agri food industry, though.

    Hardly. Tesco is going to source all their products in Britain. It will therefore be no easier for 6 county suppliers to get a foot in the door than for 26 county suppliers.

    It will be ironic in both cases, though. They will have to export their products to Britain, from where they will be re-exported to Donabate in order to supply the whole island of Ireland.

    [PS how do unionists feel about Tesco treating the whole island as a single unit, to be supplied through a single distribution hub north of Dublin?]

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    “PS how do unionists feel about Tesco treating the whole island as a single unit, to be supplied through a single distribution hub north of Dublin?” – absolutely indifferent to how a British (or any other country’s) multi-national chooses to arrange its internal corporate structure. How about you? does it validate your precious, precarious sense of Oirishness perhaps? Aww, biddums, how luverley, cootchie-cootchie-coo.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Horseman,

    Similar to the way Aer Lingus use Belfast as their UK base ie couldn’t give a fek. Whatabout yerself?

  • southerner

    “Hardly. Tesco is going to source all their products in Britain”

    Suspect you are wrong. (Either way its bad for 26 county producers).

    The six county producers will be competitive relative to the 26 county producers. They are not going to source all their products in GB. The agri foods industry in six counties already supplies six county Tesco stores. Obviously things like exotic fruit (such as bananas) will of course not be coming from the six counties.

    But milk products, yoghurt, chicken, meats etc.–the areas that the six county producers already supply six county Tesco stores — these important employers in the six counties will get a boost from this I suspect. They are competitive and well positioned.

  • Ulster McNulty

    “Wot, no Barry’s tea or Cashel blue?”

    Yes, only Punjana or Coleraine Cheddar. At least we still got Tayto crisps.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist,

    … it validate your precious, precarious sense of Oirishness perhaps?

    Quite apart from your rather childish racism, you’re not exactly on the same page as the real Tories, are you? I suspect you’re from the unreconstructed UUP wing.

    What it validates is my thesis that the island of Ireland is a natural and sensible unit, both economically and socially. It invalidates the border, and the unionist pretence that NI is ‘naturally’ part of the UK. I presume Tescos have no ideological reason for their actions, just pure logic and rationality. Pity unionists aren’t so clever, but maybe that’s why Tescos are so successful.

  • Tayto is actually produced from bases on both sides of the border, Tandragee in Co Armagh and Ashbourne in Co Meath. I’m not sure which came first, but it is a product both parts of Ireland can claim.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    Quite right Horseman, I’m a racist because I disagree with you. I’m sure everyone who does is. That’s nice. And absolutely, how multi-nationals organise themselves internally must, a posteriori, reflect how states dispose themselves. You should get a chair somewhere. Well, you certainly sit down.

  • Congal Claen,

    … Similar to the way Aer Lingus use Belfast as their UK base …

    Ha ha.

    Belfast was their first base outside the republic. Their first base outside Ireland was Gatwick (http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2008/1219/1229523104835.html).

    Only unionists try to call Belfast Aer Lingus’s ‘base in the UK’ – they don’t. But hey, if getting sucked closer into the Irish economy amuses you then you’ll enjoy the future!

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    … I’m a racist because I disagree with you

    No, you’re a racist when you use deliberately demeaning term like ‘Oirish’. Bt you knew that when you used it.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    You’re seriously saying Belfast isn’t in the UK? Never mind passport control, show me your inter-galactic movement pass!

  • Brian Walker

    Sour “laughing unionist”, (anon., naturally). Nothing wrong in making a profit; mind your manners, please. The point is, the new policy marks a retreat from the much-trumpeted pitch of the big multiples in favour of local sourcing and branding where possible. I don’t know offhand what share of the food processing industry is home based, but it was increasing. Perhaps local producers will rise to Tesco’s challenge. Obviously a point worth making.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    You’re demeaned by the word ‘Oirish’; your nationality is valided by Tesco’s; Belfast isn’t in the UK. Golly, the people you meet on the internet. A series of tubes indeed.

  • An fhirinne gharbh

    I think we should explore further the possibility of Tayto crisps as a symbol of unity. Maybe Phil Coulter could come up with something like ‘Ireland’s Call’, only about crisps. Now, where did I leave my Cultral Traditions Grant application….

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    [Mind your manners indeed Mr Tory – don’t spoil a solid contribution with profoundly stupid man playing – mods]

    As for your point, it was the standard, sub-Monbiot whining about the thing that puts your dinner in front of you. If you’re weren’t quite such a study in unreflective, state-subsidised prejudice, you wouldn’t come in for half the stick you did on this site.

    Do, though, tell: why is it a point worth making that a free market marvel like Tesco’s should injure itself and its customers by doing what you would rather it did (but persistently, of course, neglect to state why you’d rather it was doing what you would have it do)? It’s you in a nutshell: the assumptions, bland and liberal alike, their lack of thought, the presumption that everyone well-meaning shares them, and the comprehensive inability to engage in debate on the detail as issue, as opposed to the rather more comfortable iteration of Alliancesque good-feelings.

    So again, why should Tesco, for example, do what you would rather they should (without your being honest enough to openly say what that is)? Why should any company *increase* its costs, and thus its prices, simply in order to engage in some mild protectionism? Let’s, for further example, say I’m a farmer. Well naturally I’ll be delighted if, for the privilege of selling people goods in NI, poor old Tesco are obligated to buy goods from me, regardless of their quality or price as per the open market, but who exactly does that help? Me, and, er, mine. It doesn’t help the vast, preponderant majority of people in NI who are not connected in any shape or form to local agri-industry.
    [Beyond irony, the submit word is ‘value’

  • Ulster McNulty

    an fhirinne gharbh

    “I think we should explore further the possibility of Tayto crisps as a symbol of unity”

    Yes, as a metaphor for the multi-mono-cultures of ireland and the diversity, oneness and plurality of irishness.

    But, as I understand it, although they are both called Tayto, they are completely different companies, as different as the Irish League and the League of Ireland. Personally I prefer the Tayto cheese and onion to the cheese and onion of Tayto .

  • WJHEALY

    Well oldhack, I hate to disappoint you. Tayto and Tayto NI are two different companies. Tayto came first and licenced their methods to Tayto NI. The southern crisps are now all produced in Ashbourne by the Largo Food Group and a site in Doneygall, as are Hunky Dory and Perri crisps and some supermaket Own Labels. Tayto crisps have always been marketed differently in the North as opposed to ROI with different flavouring, packaging etc. Tayto NI also own Golden Wonder.

    The most worrying thing about Tesco is that they seem to have a hidden agenda to decimate local industry no matter where they go. They can bully British and global suppliers better than Irish so will go there.

    Anyone who has lived in GB will tell you that food is more expensive, and fruit poorer that the offerings by the main multiples here in NI.

    The mystery to me why are food prices higher. Farm gate prices are lower for meat, milk etc. The supply chain has hiked up food prices over the years but farmgate prices in physical pence per unit are now lower than what they were 20 years ago, and that is not allowing for inflation.

    I don’t think that we are blind to see what the customer pays for the TESCO LAND BANK and their SUPERMARKET DEVELOPMENT programme. Is it a co-incidence that most of the sites close to the border are pretty new and cost a lot of money. Well Mr Tesco our houses also cost a lot of money. We can’t screw more wages out of the boss so why are you doing that to us every day that we shop with you.

    Here in Kilkeel a number of family run groceries including supervalue have closed down. They couldn’t compete with ASDA or Hendersons. I think that the little newsagent accross the street from Hendersons has closed. They guy who ran that sold his corner shop in England and moved back to NI.

    European and multinational food policy is tosh. We kill pigs in Cookstown, ship the carcasses to Malton in Yorkshire, cure, cut, cook and package, and ship back to Ireland. In the interim this ham/bacon etc crosses the most expensive sea in the world – The Irish Sea.

    At the end of the day we need jobs here at home. That can only be done by all parties getting a fair crack of hte whip. nor with one, in the cae of TESCO posting hteir highest profits in years. We don’t want

  • Ulster McNulty

    Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    “Well naturally I’ll be delighted if, for the privilege of selling people goods in NI, poor old Tesco are obligated to buy goods from me, regardless of their quality or price as per the open market, but who exactly does that help? Me, and, er, mine”

    Yes, but have you ever tried Tesco’s own brand chicken and mushroom pies – not nearly as good or as tasty as Denny’s.

  • USA

    Nasty (Tory) Unionist,
    Your comments are disgraceful. You denegrated the nationalities of others, called people bigoted, boring and attacked them about their age and other personal matters.
    Consequently anything you say is ignored.
    Go away and learn some manners.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “The most worrying thing about Tesco is that they seem to have a hidden agenda to decimate local industry no matter where they go.”

    I dunno if folks saw a documentary a few years ago, I think it was on C4. But it concerned the rather bland tasting food, ie vegetables, that Tesco’s and the like were selling to the public. OK, the veg looked appealing, uniform in shape and colourful but when it came to the flavour, well there was none. In the documentary some Europeans were given the Tesco food products to taste and found it bland and rather appalling overall. Maybe Tesco’s policy has changed since, maybe not, but if folks want good flavoursome and tasty food, shop local. Mass produced food for the supermarkets is really just shite when it comes to flavour. Plastic food for plastic pesonalityless people!

  • Driftwood

    Tesco/ASDA/LIDL etc don’t recognise borders until it comes to profit. In that respect they are no different to most/all multinational/transnational companies.
    But they have the capacity to change people’s lives in Ireland and the UK more so than the elected governments.
    It’s called ‘the free market’ I believe.
    So it goes…

  • -Laughing (Tory) Unionist
    “How about you? does it validate your precious, precarious sense of Oirishness perhaps? Aww, biddums, how luverley, cootchie-cootchie-coo.”

    The bad news for you LTU is that Tories on the “mainland” will regard you as “Oirish” no matter how hard you try to masquerade as a Tory toff from the Home Counties. Don’t take the tittering behind your back personally. Paddies like yourself will never be taken seriously in Tory circles unless you’re one of those unrepentant shinners with semtex in his overcoat. Now back with you to softening those broad Northern Oirish vowels.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Horseman,

    “Ha ha”

    Glad you liked it. The point I was making was that Aer Lingus regard Belfast as their MAIN UK hub not just a UK airport. Sorry I didn’t make that clear enough. So, the point is they made a commercial decision based on commercial factors. Similar to Tesco having their central distribution for Ireland in the RoI. Which is why I said I, as a unionist, couldn’t have cared less…

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Exile1,

    “Paddies like yourself will never be taken seriously in Tory circles unless you’re one of those unrepentant shinners with semtex in his overcoat.”

    A bit like Arthur Wellesley then? Probably the most famous Tory ever…

  • Hi Congal Claen,

    Well, I suppose, we can go back a few centuries to find the exception to the rule. That said, Arthur was a bit of self-hating mick (“Being born in a stable does not make one a horse” sayeth the great man). He did champion catholic empacipation however so he didn’t totally disown his Irish heritage.

    Point taken.

  • Reader

    Exile1: He did champion catholic empacipation however so he didn’t totally disown his Irish heritage.
    I would have thought that championing catholic emancipation was entirely in line with his rejection of the Ascendancy identity.

  • Reader,

    I think it was more to do with avoiding a civil revolt (oxymoron be damned) in Ireland than anything else. Plus, most MPs supported catholic emancipation at that point so it was a win:win situation for the PM. An idealist, of course, would hope Mr. Wellesley had some sympathy for the disenfranchised catholic Irish but one shouldn’t get one’s hopes too high.

  • Laughing (Tory) Unionist

    “He did champion catholic empacipation however so he didn’t totally disown his Irish heritage” – because of course Irish=Catholic. Ah Republicans, they never fail to live down to your worst expectations of them.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Exile1,

    “Well, I suppose, we can go back a few centuries to find the exception to the rule.”

    I have heard that many times – that Ireland and the Irish were just used as cannon fodder. But is that actually the case? Only a few years ago when some unionists suggested a commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar I can remember nationalists suggesting that hardly anyone from here even fought in it. When it was pointed out that about 25% of the force were Irish (there was a website giving names and birthplace produced) this quickly changed to they were forced or only joined up thro hardship and never progressed thro the ranks. Again, this was quickly debunked as some of the highest ranking commanders were Irish. The chief medical officer for example. Roll that on to WWII and the North African campaign. Practically all the Field Marshalls were from Ireland.

    Far from it being the exception to the rule being from Ireland appears to have been a major help in progression.

  • LTU,
    “He did champion catholic empacipation however so he didn’t totally disown his Irish heritage” – because of course Irish=Catholic. Ah Republicans, they never fail to live down to your worst expectations of them.”

    I don’t equate being Irish with being catholic (apparently you do). As Wellington was anglican, part of his Irish heritage included that religion, presbyterianism, the methodist faith, catholicism etc.

    I’m also not a republican but I guess you plucked that from your cliche basket. When all else fails…

  • Hi Congal Claen,

    “Far from it being the exception to the rule being from Ireland appears to have been a major help in progression.”

    I agree with you that there have been/are significant contributions from the Irish in the British military field. I also agree with you that these contributions have, until relatively recently, been downplayed by the nationalist community.

    My original point about the “exception to the rule” was in relation to the political field. While I could see a Northern Irish politician rise to the top in the British Labour party, I could never see one break into the old boys’ network that dominates the upper echelons of the Tory party. Your example of Wellington is a good one but he was a member of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy which opened doors closed to lesser mortals.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Exile1,

    Brian Mawhinney is from Northern Ireland and was a member of the last Conservative cabinet. He was also chairman of the party. We didn’t even have a Conservative party in NI during this time.

    Paddy Ashdown was raised in NI.

    Ironically, as you mention Labour, up until relatively recently people from NI were barred from joining the party. The ruling was only reversed at the threat of legal action.

    It’s also worth remembering Dublin was considered the second city of the Empire. Lavish improvements such as Phoenix Park or St Stephen’s Green were all done to enhance it’s reputation.

  • kensei

    CC

    It’s also worth remembering Dublin was considered the second city of the Empire. Lavish improvements such as Phoenix Park or St Stephen’s Green were all done to enhance it’s reputation.

    Dublin underwent a massive decline as a result of the Union.

  • Hi Congal Claen,

    –Brian Mawhinney is from Northern Ireland and was a member of the last Conservative cabinet. He was also chairman of the party. We didn’t even have a Conservative party in NI during this time.

    Paddy Ashdown was raised in NI.–

    Glad to be proved wrong. If the Tories are opening doors to candidates based on their political skills, not class, accent etc., good for them and those interested in joining them. I was not aware of Mawhinney’s background. To quote the title of a very good Van Morrison album, I guess I’ve been “too long in exile” :).

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Kensei,

    “Dublin underwent a massive decline as a result of the Union.”

    Massive? Directly related to Union?

    Dublin is the great city that it is due to British involvement in Ireland. In 1649 Dublin only had about 9,000 inhabitants. However, with involvement from Cromwell (now despised by Nationalists even though he was a REAL republican) it grew massively in size and importance to become the 2nd city of the empire. Look at the buildings in Dublin and compare and contrast with those in Belfast. Trinity is a gem. Given by Elizabeth I.

  • Vincent

    308 000 citizens 1908
    1,045,769 now that it is not being held back because some back water has second city syndrome.

  • kensei

    CC

    Massive? Directly related to Union?

    Yes and yes. If you are interested, try Google as I am not about to do your research.

    In 1649 Dublin only had about 9,000 inhabitants. However, with involvement from Cromwell (now despised by Nationalists even though he was a REAL republican) it

    I have a sneaking admiration for Cromwell in that he broke down systems of privilege and replaced them by merit. Hence the New Model Army won. But that is obvious countered by his tendency to genocide and enslavement. He was not a “true republican”, having essentially replaced himself as monarch under another name.