Its a year since the snowinduced bread rush now Brexit is causing

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first_img 19,073 Views 18 Comments Source: Shutterstock/Anzhela KlepkoIT’S BEEN ALMOST a year since the Beast from the East covered the country in snow and brought Ireland to a standstill.Flights, trains and other public transport was disrupted; students were told they had a few days off, and some companies told their employees to stay at home.But before the snow even hit, it was having an impact. On the eve before the storm hit, stores across Ireland reported that they were experiencing a surge in demand for bread (and other products).Stores looked to reassure their customers: Tesco, Lidl and Supervalu all asked their suppliers to provide extra stocks to meet the increased demand.At the end of February, ahead of a snow-ice warning brought on by the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, a spokesman for bread suppliers Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien told that the company had “significantly increased our production to meet the dramatic increase in sales being experienced” due to the “unprecedented demand levels experienced yesterday and today”.Looking back now, what made us go mad for bread?“I think it was a bit of a comfort but also a slight bit of panic,” Gerald Cunningham, president of the Flour Confectioners and Bakers Association tells Feb 24th 2019, 7:31 PM Sunday 24 Feb 2019, 7:30 PM It was the hunter-gatherer nature of people.“But there’s also the community side of it, and the fear of ‘God, if we’ve no bread what are we going to eat?’ It’s a staple in Irish houses.” Share57 Tweet Email1 Source: Melanie MayCunningham said that there is also a “very Irish feel” and a “traditional” element to bread for Irish people that makes them feel they need it in their house regularly. In a study commissioned for bread week, it analysed why people rushed to buy bread. It found that 40% of people felt reassured by simply having bread in the house, and that sharing bread increased their sense of social solidarity.The survey, which asked 1,000 adults on the island of Ireland a series of questions about their consumption of bread, found that 95% of those surveyed ate it at least once a week.Around 30% of people stockpile bread, and 40% have bread in the freezer.BrexitThis March, breadmakers (and eaters) are facing a new and totally different threat: Brexit.There are three mills on the island of Ireland, with just one located in the Republic of Ireland – in Portarlington, Co Laois. Source: Shutterstock/forstbreathHowever, it only produces retail flour, as in the bags sold on shelves for home baking. With those minuscule numbers, 95% of all flour used for making bread actually comes from the UK.In the event of a no-deal Brexit, tariffs will be placed on these flour imports which could result in a charge of €172 per tonne of flourThis would then have an knock-on impact on the price of bread; Cunningham says the price could rise by between 10% and 15% in a no-deal Brexit scenario.If this were to happen, bakers could start looking for flour suppliers outside of the UK, which could result in massive job losses to British mills.As people try to prepare for the worst case scenario, the options for bakers are limited, Cunningham says.center_img Bread is a perishable product, so you can’t stockpile it. A sliced pan might have a seven-day shelf life, while you’d eat fresh crunchy bread in more or less 24 hours.He adds that smaller artisan bakers might be able to stockpile flour ahead of the threat of increased tariffs, but that was more difficult for industrial chains that would need more space.There’s also the additional difficulty that some flour actually has a shelf life of around 4 months, meaning that if a baker buys flour now to stockpile, that baker has to be sure that all of it will be used in that timeframe.Sugar imports would also be hit with high tariffs in a no-deal Brexit; although sugar isn’t used in breadmaking, many bakers are also confectionery makers, so would be affected by this, too.Is Cunningham worried that Brexit will mean more bread shortages and empty shelves, or will they be more full than they are now because bread will be a lot more expensive? By Gráinne Ní Aodha Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article It’s a year since the snow-induced bread rush – now Brexit is causing problems A no-deal Brexit could mean the prices of bread increase by between 10% and 15%, according to a bread makers’ association. As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: I’d like to think that the shelves will be full, we don’t want to panic and put more pressure on bread-making businesses.“The main point is that ports need to stay open and free-flowing, the same with the borders,” he says.“I can’t see a benefit from a hard Brexit… I really would like to think that politicians would see common sense to postpone it and negotiate it properly.“It’s the uncertainty of it, we’re being asked all the time what’s the policy – we’re just kind of headlining a hard-Brexit scenario.” Short URLlast_img

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Exhibition Review: Chinese Prints 1950-2006 at the Ashmolean, Part 2

first_imgby Lucy ArchibaldPart Two of the Ashmolean’s Chinese Prints exhibition showcases the work of established Chinese printmakers to Western audiences for the first time. The Chinese tradition of print-making is over a thousand years old, but this modern collection is more dynamic than dusty. Without the shock value of a more avant-garde exhibit, it is subtly disarming for its plethora of “alien” terms and references to less than familiar print techniques and events from Chinese history. Nevertheless, the colourful range of styles, subjects and images on offer – spanning a period of Chinese history which has evolved at an unprecedented rate – is both satisfying and stimulating. If you consider Chinese prints synonymous with water lilies and perhaps the odd reed-warbler, this collection will subvert your expectations. The exhibition does include Zheng Shuang’s Black Peony, White Peony, which is representative of the artist’s exclusive interest in floral subjects post-1970, but in general, the collection is indicative of the powerfully politically charged tendencies of print-making now. Perhaps the most moving of these is Wong Gongyi’s delicately entitled Autumn Wind and Rain (1980) which depicts at severely intimate quarters Qiu Jin, the poet, revolutionary and symbol of female independence, who campaigned against the binding of women’s feet and selling of women into slavery. Wong Gongyi’s print depicts the moments before her execution; monochrome and cut with hard lines, the medium of the piece seems to reflect its unsettling subject. This anguish is further reflected in the artist’s description of the creative process: “…dripping with sweat and tears, in a small storage room, my heart filled with grief and indignation.”Equally unsettling, perhaps, is the sense of a pervasive propaganda “theme”, particularly in the work of the 1950-70s. Next to Qiu Jin’s intense and unsmiling face is a representative of the Sichuan School – Xu Kuang and A Ge’s The Master (1978), depicting a Tibetan farmer in the Soviet style with axe in hand as a grinning and accessible heroic figure. In Reading Hard (1962) another Tibetan figure, a male shepherd in this instance, sits placidly reading amidst a monochrome yet bustling pastoral scene. The artist, Li Huanmin, seems to suggest that Communism has thrown off this individual’s shackles and in contrast he now sits reading. The description of the subject “reading hard”, however, seems intended to collide the leisure of reading with hard work and thus imbue the subject with a level of Communist acceptability. The artist acknowledges this political dimension to his work, regarding it as providing historical insight at the level of the individual: “I depict people, their noble characters, their rich inner world and their graceful bearing, because people are the motive force of history.” Zhang Chaoyang summarised his artistic project rather differently: “Beauty and freedom have been the goal of my aesthetic pursuit.” Yet he represents a strikingly similar scene in his autumnally-hued Heroes and Heroines Are All Around (1970) which (rather obediently, we suspect) chronicles a harvest scene in the midst of the Cultural Revolution when the artist volunteered to go to the Great Northern Wilderness. Subsequently, Zhang Chaoyang’s work was to become less propaganda-influenced and instead preoccupied with female classical beauty. This development is perhaps prefigured in the pretty girl clad in communist garb, who sits scribbling in the foreground of the scene. This recurrent artistic focus upon an individual pulled from a crowd seems somewhat incongruous with the political systems they articulate.The most recent work demonstrates a more satirical or at least enquiring edge. Kang Ning’s Forest (2004) in particular shows a progression from the earlier prints, while Li Yili’s Hometown Record with its mingling of realist and fantasy elements enacts his artistic intention to ‘create’ “…one’s ideal world” rather than merely document that already in existence. Short, if not sweet, this concise exhibition will certainly leave you with plenty to ponder, and is the ideal reason to finally (!) make it through the doors of the Ashmolean. Chinese Prints runs until the 24th of February.last_img

Weekly Market Review February 18, 2020

first_imgCongressional lawmakers spent two days last week asking Fed Chairman Jerome Powell during his Capitol Hill testimony how the Federal Reserve was prepared to respond if/when the coronavirus impacts the U.S. economy. Chairman Powell delivered the expected “we’ll do whatever it takes” speech without going into the details of exactly what that means. Powell then turned the tables on committee members who were questioning him, scolding the Washington lawmakers for the U.S. government’s projected $1 trillion annual deficits over the next decade (source: Congress).The death toll from the coronavirus, officially called Covid-19, reached nearly 1,800 by yesterday afternoon (2/17/20). Estimates from the Center for Disease Control warn that the virus could linger for at least all of calendar year 2020. Only 15 positive cases have been reported in the U.S.A., remarkable given that more than 71,000 people have been infected globally. The most lethal health epidemic in the last 500 years was the worldwide flu outbreak that occurred in the fall of 1918 that killed 50 million people, including 675,000 Americans. A staggering 195,000 Americans died in October 1918, the deadliest month in our nation’s history (source: Center for Disease Control).Americans have added to their household debt load for 22 consecutive quarters through 12/31/19. The debt total nationally is $14.15 trillion today, dominated by mortgage debt (68% of the overall total), student loans (11%), and auto loans (9%) (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).Notable Numbers for the Week:E.U. AND U.S.A. – The 27-nations that comprise the European Union (post-Brexit) have a population of 446 million and a combined economy of $18 trillion. The United States has a population of 329 million and an economy of $22 trillion (source: Census Bureau).CORONAVIRUS IMPACT – China is forecasted to use 25% less oil per day in February 2020 when compared to its actual usage in February 2019, a drop of 3.2 million barrels a day, i.e., from a consumption of 12.9 million barrels a day to 9.7 million barrels a day (source: International Energy Agency).HOMES – The construction of 888,100 new single-family homes began in 2019, the 8th consecutive year of increasing home building. In the decade of the 2010s, 6.8 million new homes began construction, down 44% from the 12.3 million new homes that were started in the decade of the 2000s (source: Census Bureau).HARD TO ENJOY RETIREMENT – More than half of American workers (54%) have not started a defined contribution retirement plan at work (e.g., a 401(k) plan) or have access to a defined benefit pension plan funded exclusively by their employer (source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College).Presented by:Mark R. Reimet CFPCERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERJodie BoothFINANCIAL PLANNERlast_img

Tulip blossoms for Dawn

first_imgBakery manufacturer Dawn Foods has launched a Tulip Muffin range, consisting of five new muffins individually wrapped in tulip-style brown paper cups.They are available in toffee chocolate, Belgian chocolate and cappuccino, blueberry, lemon and triple chocolate varieties, and have been developed to meet the demands of the coffee shop and café sector. The toffee chocolate muffin contains milk chocolate chunks, toffee fudge pieces and contains a caramel cream sauce. The Belgian chocolate and cappuccino variety contains coffee, vanilla flavour, plain and milk chocolate chunks and is topped with plain chocolate flakes. The blueberry muffin features wild blueberries, while the lemon variety contains chopped lemon peel and Sicilian lemon oil, and is injected with lemon curd. The triple chocolate muffin contains plain, milk and white chocolate chunks, with a topping of milk chocolate chunks.All the products are between 120g and 134g and have a shelf-life of five days once defrosted. They also meet 2010 FSA salt targets.www.dawnfoods.comlast_img

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