Bord Bia opens Insight Centre in London
A new Insight Centre, similar to Bord Bia's Thinking House, is being opened in London today.

A new Bord Bia Insight Centre is being opened in London this Wednesday to boost exports to the UK. It is being opened by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and Bord Bia’s CEO Tara McCarthy.

The centre is modelling off the ‘Thinking House’ centre in Dublin and will be housed in Bord Bia’s existing London office.

“Insight-led thinking is needed to address the challenges facing Irish exporters and indeed their customers in the UK as Brexit draws closer,” Creed said. “This Bord Bia initiative, supported by my Department, will help position Irish exporters with their customers through a shared understanding of the changes in consumer trends and how to meet them commercially.”

Over three days, the Minister and Tara McCarthy will host meetings with CEOs of Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, McDonalds, Ocado and Amazon. Online grocery shopping is the fastest growing channel in the UK, worth over £10 billion.

The CEO of Ocado said that Irish foods are growing more rapidly than the Ocado business average. The retailer serves a customer base of 645,000 and achieves a £1.5 billion growth in annual sales.

“Our relationship with Ocado, which stretches back over 10 years, has included the launch of a dedicated Irish shop section and a significant programme of business development events assisting Irish suppliers to build their business with Ocado and introducing a wider Irish product portfolio to Ocado’s customers,” McCarthy said.

The UK is Ireland’s key export market valued at €4.5 billion, which was an increase of 7% on the previous year. The UK grocery market is forecast to increase to the value of £213 billion by 2022, a 15% increase from 2017 according to IGD.

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DeLaval launches new rotary parlour
DeLaval has said its latest rotary milking parlour will focus on labour efficiency at a time when labour is becoming increasingly challenging for dairy farmers.

DeLaval has launched a new rotary parlour in Ireland and the UK. The E100 rotary is focused around animal welfare, milk quality, farm profitability and work efficiency, according to DeLaval.

Gary Edwards, CMS Solutions manager, stated: “The DeLaval E100 rotary has been designed around the customer’s and the animal’s needs. It has been designed as a complete milking system focussing on cow flow, cow comfort, efficiency and comfort for the milker.

“Combined with DelPro™ herd management software, it really offers the farmer complete control of his herd, making it easier for him to make management decisions. When working in conjunction with the unique DeLaval teat spray robot, it is incredibly labour efficient when labour is becoming increasingly challenging for dairy farmers.”

The parlour, DeLaval says, encourages calm cow flow by utilising a low-profile bail. Rapid entry and exit from the parlour is also prioritised in order to improve throughput. The parlour can be operated by one person, something DeLaval says can improve work efficiency.

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New DeLaval milking system aims to increase capacity and decrease costs

New parlour making waves in Kerry

Cows loose on Meath road
Motorists travelling on the R154 near Kiltale, Co Meath, are advised there are reports of cows loose on the road.

The AA roadwatch has received reports of cows loose along a regional road in Co Meath. The incident has been reported near Kiltale on the Trim/Batterstown road (R154).

The reports were recieved at 8.30am and gardaí are en-route to deal with the situation.

Widespread drop in points for agricultural courses
A number of agricultural science courses across the country have seen a reduction in the 2018 entry points requirement, as students opt for engineering courses.

Agricultural courses have seen a widespread drop in points, as many students opt for construction-orientated courses. Over 50,000 students will receive first-round higher-education offers today after getting their Leaving Cert results last week.

Agricultural courses at UCD, Dundalk IT and IT Tralee all experienced drops. General entry to agricultural science at UCD dropped by just four points to 451 but agri-environmental science fell by 20 points. Dairy business went in the opposite direction moving up to 30 points to 432. IT Tralee courses had some of the largest drops, with its Level 8 agricultural science course falling by 16 points and its Level 7 equivalent falling by 33 points.

Waterford IT was one of the few colleges to buck the trend, with both Level 8 and Level 7 agriculture courses jumping by 14 points and 18 points respectively. Agricultural engineering at Galway-Mayo IT saw a significant increase of 25 points.

Engineering

The increase in interest in engineering courses was reflected across the board. For general engineering courses at UCD, Trinity and NUI Galway points are up from anywhere between 10 and 30. It is likely this has been driven by the rising demand from industry for people with those skills.

Construction management at Dublin IT increased by 20 points to 346, while project and construction management at NUI Galway jumped a massive 32 points to reach 402.

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Nearly 300 agricultural science students hit top Leaving Cert marks