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Govt urged to carry out new Mercosur impact assessment given Brexit uncertainty

first_imgThe government has been urged to immediately request a full impact assessment of the Mercosur deal on the beef sector, in all Brexit scenarios.Charlie McConalogue issued the appeal on Sunday, insisting the current government were doing a disservice to beef farmers across the country by failing to act in their best interest.“In 2016, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre produced a damming report on the “Cumulative economic impact of future trade agreements on EU agriculture,” the Donegal TD said. “It reported that additional imports dominated by Mercosur countries from a trade deal would cost the EU beef sector €5bn annually, with prices collapsing by up to 16%.“The Irish Government failed to put up any fight with like-minded countries in the run-up to Autumn 2017 and acquiesced to the EU’s initial beef offer of 70,000 tonnes to the Mercosur bloc,” he added.“They also showed no urgency in building a coalition against the increased offer of 99,000 tonnes.“I find it baffling that the Government have failed to request any new impact assessment since 2016. In the intervening three years, the situation facing beef farmers has gone from bad to worse. They have been failed badly by Government. “Ireland exports around 90% of our beef into the EU marketplace, with half our total exports to the UK every year. Currently, the EU beef market is 102% self-sufficient. If the UK leaves the EU, this increases to 116% with excess produce saturating the European market.“This is why we need a new cumulative impact assessment. It’s vital to get a proper and updated assessment as to how the Mercosur beef deal would impact the EU market and depress prices further than originally calculated in 2016.“Despite the Fine Gael internal battles, which are an affront to the beef farmers who are on their knees, Minister Creed must immediately request a new assessment from his party colleague Commissioner Hogan,” concluded Deputy McConologue.Govt urged to carry out new Mercosur impact assessment given Brexit uncertainty was last modified: July 7th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

H-DNL Football: Week 2 preview

first_imgSt. Bernard’s and Del Norte, winners of opening-weekend games, will try to improve to 2-0 while a handful of other Humboldt-Del Norte League teams will look for win number one as week two of the high school football season begins tonight.St. Bernard’s (1-0) at Hoopa Valley (0-0)Hoopa Valley will have its hands full tonight as it opens its 2019 campaign against a St. Bernard’s team fresh off a dominant road win.St. Bernard’s took its season opener in style, notching a 36-7 win on the road …last_img

Woolies boost for organic farming

first_img10 January 2008South African clothing and food retailer Woolworths’ efforts to establish a local source for organic fibre for their clothing has been given a major boost, with the country’s first commercial scale trial crop of organic cotton being planted this summer.Woolworths said in a statement this week that they have, together with the ComMark Trust, Cotton South Africa and the Organic Exchange, set up a pilot programme in which a number of farms in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo provinces are growing organic cotton, under direction of the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Industrial Crops.The ComMark Trust has committed in the region of R1-million to assist farmers with start-up costs, while the Organic Exchange will be providing technical support for farmers.For its part, Woolworths has committed itself to supporting local farmers by buying the 30 tons of organic cotton expected to harvested by May this year.“Woolworths is committed not only to promoting the use of organic cotton, but – and perhaps even more importantly – to fostering the growth of a local organic cotton industry,” said Woolworths group head of design, sourcing and technology Darren Todd.“We firmly believe that South Africa offers tremendous potential for growing organic cotton and have been working very closely with the Organic Exchange and local organisations, including Cotton SA and the Agricultural Research Council, for some time now.”According to the Organic Exchange, an international organisation dedicated to expanding global supplies of organic cotton, conventionally grown cotton consumes approximately 25% of the insecticides and over 10% of the pesticides used in the world. Organic cotton, on the other hand, is produced using only natural fertilisers, pesticides and phosphates, making it much healthier for the environment and safer for farm workers.“The growing awareness among consumers of these advantages has sparked a worldwide move towards organic cotton,” Woolworths said.At the annual Organic Exchange Conference in Montrey, California In November, Woolworths announced that they had become the world’s third-largest consumer of organic cotton, since introducing South Africa’s first clothing range made from 100% organic cotton in 2004. They are behind only two giant American corporations, discount department chain Wal-Mart and sportswear manufacturer Nike.“Woolworths used 1.8-million kilograms of organic fibre in 2007 and 2.2-million kilograms is projected to be used in 2008,” Woolworths said.However, all the organic cotton they currently use comes from outside South Africa – mainly from Uganda and India – a situation that the company is aiming to change through such initiatives.Developing a new industryThe initiative is in line with Woolworths’ Good Business Journey strategy, which addresses the issue of sustainable growth within the context of changing social and environmental challenges facing both South Africa and the planet.Included in the plan is the intention to accelerate efforts to reduce the environmental impact of products and processes by introducing more textile items made with sustainable fibres such as organic cotton, organic wool, bamboo, hemp, recycled polyester and soya, with the goal of increasing sales of organic-content clothing to more than R1-billion per year, a target the company is confident it will achieve by 2010.“We are encouraged by the enthusiasm that is being shown by the farmers who are taking part in the trial and look forward to expanding local production in the future,” Todd said.He added that the company was particularly excited by the prospects that organic cotton offers, not only as a rotational crop for Woolworths’ organic produce farmers, but also as a means for empowering South Africa’s previously disadvantaged small-scale farmers.“Globally there is a huge demand for organic cotton,” Woolworths said. “Through this project, Woolworths will aim to facilitate market access so that farmers will, in due course, have access and opportunity to supply organic cotton at a global level.”“As consumers are becoming more ‘green aware’, companies around the world are using organic cotton and other organic fibres to step more lightly on the planet,” said Organic Exchange programme director Rebecca Calahan Klein. “Organic fibre production must continue to increase at a rate of 40% per year to meet projected demand.“We commend Woolworths for taking a leadership role in South Africa, and are pleased to be playing a role in the birth of South Africa’s own organic cotton pipeline.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Taking the risk out of giving birth

first_imgAfrican countries have taken to theCarmma initiative. It has been launched inover 30 countries so far.(Image: www.pbs.org ) AU commissioner for social affairsBience Ganawas with Ugandan first ladyJanet Museveni at the launch in thatcountry in 2010.(Image: Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS• South African Ministry of Health+27 12 395 9165• AU Directorate of Women, Genderand DevelopmentLitha Musyimi-Ogana+251 11 551 77 00 Ext 220RELATED ARTICLES• Healthcare in South Africa • Rural health gets R9m boost • Angola’s four-year plan for health • Booster for child health in SA Valencia TalaneThe problem of maternal deaths stopped long ago being about women’s health and care facilities – it is a power issue, between men and women, and will not be resolved until men realise it is very much their problem too.This was the firm assertion of Bience Gawanas, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, at the 2009 launch of the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (Carmma) in Tunisia.“Women need to claim their power in society, to make sure they can live better lives for themselves and their children,” said Ganawas.The Carmma programme has just been launched in South Africa.How Carmma came aboutCarmma was established three years earlier, when ministers of health from over 40 African countries gathered in 2006 to discuss a way forward in developing a strategy to curb the occurrence of maternal deaths.The campaign was born out of what is now known as the Maputo Plan of Action, a document agreed upon at the same meeting held in the capital of Mozambique.South Africa’s launch of the campaign came only recently – Friday 4 May was the date set for the big event, on the eve of the annual international day for midwives.Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi did the honours in KwaZulu-Natal province at an event that was attended by, among others, senior government officials, leaders in the health fraternity, delegates from the AU and the UN, and members of NGOs.The theme of the campaign is Africa Cares: No woman should die while giving life, which Motsoaledi quoted as a way of kicking off the proceedings.“It is important to note that maternal mortality is not just the death of a women – it is death of a woman because she dared fall pregnant!” he went on to say.Keeping MDGs in checkOne of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established by UN member countries in 2000, maternal health has been a tough challenge for health authorities in African governments for decades.The objective, in terms of the MDG, is to reduce, by 75%, the maternal mortality ratio from what it was in 1990 (430 per 100 000 women died in the world) by a set deadline of 2015. Additionally, the point is to also increase access for mothers to antenatal care that should be provided during pregnancy and delivery, as well as to the standard duration of postnatal care.Four of the top five countries with the highest prevalence of maternal mortality are in Africa, so it was not by accident that a programme of accelerated proportions was deemed extremely necessary for the continent.Seven years after its inception, the campaign has been incorporated into the reproductive health programmes of over almost all of the 40 countries present at its establishment.Part of basic human rightsThe right to health is a basic human right that every woman should enjoy, yet every day hundreds of women die in pregnancy and childbirth worldwide, according to the UN.Every year, eight-million women suffer serious pregnancy-related illnesses and disabilities, such as obstetric fistula, and two-million babies don’t survive the first 24 hours of their lives.A major cause of these tragedies is lack of access to maternity services, including the care of midwives or others with midwifery skills at childbirth.The maternal mortality ratio in South Africa is estimated to have increased from 150 to 310 deaths per 100 000 live births between 1990 and 2008.Abuse of maternity patients in health facilities can have an indelible psychological effect and drive women away from seeking care, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment, and increased morbidity and mortality.According to the Patient’s Rights Charter as determined by South Africa’s national Department of Health, all patients have the right to a positive disposition displayed by health care providers that demonstrate courtesy, human dignity, patience, empathy and tolerance.However, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) article published in August 2011, pregnant women with complications experience problems with referrals to higher levels of care and with accessing emergency transport, like ambulances, when they need it.This is despite the country having enough resources to improve care substantially.HRW research further revealed that many women in South Africa don’t believe they’ll receive good treatment if they seek medical help in a clinic or hospital during childbirth. And if they do receive poor treatment, many don’t believe the doctors or nurses will be held accountable.South Africa’s dilemmaThe HRW’s Stop Making Excuses Report is based on research gleaned from visits between August 2010 and July 2011 to health care facilities providing maternity service, and interviews with patients, medical staff, health officials, and experts in the Eastern Cape.The report finds the government is not addressing recurrent health system failures that contribute to poor maternal health outcomes. It also fails to be accountable for the implementation of existing reproductive and sexual health-related laws and policies that could greatly improve maternal health care and overcome abuses documented here and elsewhere.However, HRW acknowledges that the government has made a genuine commitment to address these problems. Since the end of apartheid in 1994, for example, South Africa has passed important sexual and reproductive health-related laws and policies, and a constitutional guarantee of the right to health.Acknowledging that maternal deaths are unacceptably high, the government has identified the decrease in maternal and child mortality as a national priority, and stated that this mission is one of four “strategic outputs” that the health sector must achieve by 2014.Today, 92% of South African women attend antenatal care, almost 87% deliver in health facilities, and South Africa is one of the few African countries where maternity care is free, abortion is legal, and there is a system of confidential inquiries to assess levels, causes of, and contributors to maternal deaths.All hope is not lostMinister Motsoaledi, in his launch speech, outlines eight strategy points that South Africa will be following. They are:• Addressing inequity through targeting of under-served areas;• Development of a comprehensive and coordinated framework for the provision of Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Women’s Health (MNCWH) & Nutrition services;• Strengthening community-based MNCWH & Nutrition interventions;• Strengthening provision of key MNCWH & Nutrition interventions at PHC and district levels;• Strengthening provision of key MNCWH & Nutrition interventions at district hospital level;• Strengthening the capacity of the health system to support the provision of MNCWH & Nutrition services;• Strengthening human resource capacity for delivery of MNCWH & Nutrition services;• Strengthening systems for monitoring and evaluation of MNCWH & Nutrition interventions and outcomes.The following are the key components of the Carmma strategy:a) Strengthening access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and rights, with specific focus to family planning services;b) Advocacy and promotion of early antenatal care attendance/ booking;c) Allocation of obstetric ambulances to every facility where deliveries are conducted;c) Establishment of maternity waiting homes, where necessary and facilities for lactating mothers and for Kangaroo Mother Care;d) Strengthening human resources for maternal and child health through:• Training on essential steps in management of obstetric emergencies for doctors and midwives;• Strengthening midwifery education and training.last_img read more

South Africa to host next Cites conference

first_img24 June 2014Johannesburg, the economic heart of South Africa, has been named as the host of the next wildlife conference of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or Cites.The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) will take place from 24 September to 5 October 2016.Cites secretary-general John E Scanlon said South Africa was a highly appropriate location for the CoP because of the frontline wildlife challenges the country faced.Inspiration and history“Africa is home to a vast array of Cites-listed species and South Africa is globally recognised for the Big Five,” he explained. “Holding the CoP in such surroundings should inspire all delegates. Cites parties and observers look forward to meeting in South Africa in 2016 for the world wildlife conference.”He also noted that South Africa was one of the first countries to join Cites after it came into effect in 1975 and since then the country had been active in the work needed.Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya have all hosted the conference previously.Cites is a global treaty between 181 member states. Its mandate is to ensure that trade of wild animals and plants does not threaten the species’ survival.Cites regulates international trade in over 35 000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment, according to the organisation. “The Cites permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable,” it says.Poaching on the riseThere has been an increase in elephant and rhino poaching, which are killed or maimed for their tusks and horns in South Africa. According to government figures, 393 rhinos were killed by poachers between January and April this year, an increase of 18% over the same period a year previously.Glad to have youEnvironmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said: “We look forward to welcoming Cites parties and observers to our beautiful country.” She encouraged delegates to experience and embrace the country’s biodiversity, culture, and historic heritage.Molewa also urged delegates to use the opportunity to engage in robust discussions and come up with resolutions that will take forward the work already under way regarding the trade in flora and fauna.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

The Sales Improvement Catwalk and Its Supermodels

first_imgSales improvement is a fashion business. The social media channels are now both the catwalk as well as one of the models; an aging model with a fashion that has started to fade a bit. The designers all march their new fashions down the catwalk to the oohs and aahs of an adoring crowd that has been waiting for something better than last year’s fashion.At first glance the new fashions are always different. Look more closely and you’ll see they are simply a derivative of what has come before. The promise is always the same: Do this and you will have wildly massive results now! But, you can’t have these results without the new “new” thing.For the last few years social selling has been all the rage, despite not having lived up to its promise. The promise was that you would never again have to cold call or use a traditional means of prospecting. A good LinkedIn profile and the ability to connect and share was going to be enough fill your funnel with more opportunities than you could possibly handle. Despite the lofty promises, the traditional prospecting methods have proven far more durable than anyone would have imagined.The digital transformation of sales is still in its infancy. It’s going to be more difficult, more complicated, and too important to be addressed by social selling alone.But as one fashion fades, another rises to take its place. Now it’s “account-based” everything. There are “account-based” marketing, and “account-based” selling concepts everywhere. Each version is someone else’s take on an old style that has finally made its way back into fashion. Or as Mr. Robinson says, “This year’s fashion is last year’s flavor.” Targeting clients and contacts with a relevant message isn’t exactly a new idea.Next, look for artificial intelligence.Every approach, every process, every methodology, every sales system, has a partial view of the truth. Each of them contains something worth knowing, and something that may-or may not-help you generate greater sales results.Where every process, methodology, sales system, or approach fails is when it pretends to be the one right way to do anything. None are a panacea. And so far, none of them has been the silver bullet. Each, however, is useful when and where used in a thoughtful way that doesn’t discount, preclude, or minimize other approaches that may also be useful.One cannot avoid the feeling that each one of these new “fashions” has at its core the goal of simplifying sales  into a one size fits all formula, and that is its falling down. What I come back to again and again: Sales has no rules, and you must know them all. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more