A small seafood company based in Rossaveal struck gold at the recent Blas na hEireann awards held in Dingle. Flemings Seafoods won the Gold Award for Shellfish for their Peeled Irish Supreme Prawns. They were among a number of Galway winners at the Kerry festival.
But better still, they were first time entrants to the competition and didn’t quite know what to expect.
“We know we’ve got a great product, but for industry experts to choose our prawns simply validates the hard work we put into producing our prawns. It’s not always easy to find good quality Irish prawns, and we’re thrilled that we can now put the Gold Label on ours,” said a delighted Freda Fleming.
The Blas na hEireann awards are now in their sixth year and reward food producers across more than fifty categories as part of the Dingle Food Festival. To win the award means winning over more than sixty judges in the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country.
With over thirty years of experience in all aspects of the seafood business, Flemings Seafood is run by husband and wife team Gay and Freda Fleming. The company specialises in hand peeled Irish prawns which are available in over twenty five high end food retail outlets and fish shops around Ireland.
“It’s very difficult to find wild Irish prawns in retail, which have been peeled while fresh before they are frozen,” explained Freda Fleming.
“Typically prawns available in shops are farmed and imported from countries such as Thailand, China and Bangladesh.”
A wild Irish prawn also known as Langoustine which has been peeled while fresh and then frozen, is very different in both taste, texture and even colour and far superior according to Flemings and their loyal customer base.
As well as Freda and Gay working in the business they have five dedicated staff who tail, peel, devein, freeze and pack the prawns. Preparing the prawns in this way ensures that the end product will be of the highest quality.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
New President for Local Ireland
The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.
Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.
Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”
Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.
He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.
Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.
Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.
Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region
The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.
At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.
Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.
“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.
“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.
Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:
- Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
- Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
- Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
- Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
- Investment in people and skills
- Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
- Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth
Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless
One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.
In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.
Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.
Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.
Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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