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Marketing Intensification Programme 2017

In response to the additional funding allocated from The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to help address the market challenges relating to Brexit, Bord Bia is now taking applications from client companies for grant aid through the Marketing Intensification Programme 2017. The programme is designed to support companies with significant revenue exposure to the UK market to either defend that position through intensified marketing activity or to explore market diversification opportunities. Please note eligibility criteria.

Who can apply?

The programme is open to food, drink and horticulture (edible and amenity) companies that satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • 1. Produce and market agricultural products in Ireland
  • 2. Produce and sell product to independent 3rd party retailers, food service providers, distributors, to companies for further manufacturing or direct to consumers on-line.
  • 3. Operate with a minimum annual turnover of €1m and a maximum turnover of €40m. The turnover of linked and partner enterprises will also be taken into account in determining a company’s eligibility for the programme.
  • 4. Export at least 15% of their total turnover to the UK market.

Note: Eligibility does not confer an automatic entitlement to aid. The selection process is a competitive one.

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AIB Weekly Market Brief: 16th - 20th October 2017

Information for this article has been kindly supplied by AIB

It has been a volatile few days for sterling as it responded to the ebb and flow of information on Brexit. The EU Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, indicated that “sufficient progress” has not been made in Stage 1 of the Brexit talks to allow them to progress on to Stages 2 and 3, covering future trade relationships and transition arrangements. He noted in particular that the talks have hit a disturbing “impasse” on the issue of the UK’s future budget contributions or so-called ‘divorce bill’.

Thus, the EU Summit which starts on Wednesday evening, will not be giving the green light to start trade talks with the UK. However, the indications are that the tone from EU leaders will be positive and they may ask Mr Barnier to start making preparations for talks with the UK on trade and a transition phase, without actually beginning the talks with the UK on them.

Such an outcome would fuel speculation that enough progress will have been made on Stage 1 of the negotiations by the time of the next EU Summit in December to allow EU leaders to agree that formal talks can begin with the UK on trade and a transition period. This should help clear the road towards a soft Brexit for the UK in 2019, meaning that, in effect, it will continue to be part of the EU Single Market and Customs Union until an EU-UK trade deal is concluded. It all sounds a bit like Hotel California where “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave!” The EU leaders’ summit aside, the Eurozone schedule is very light this week.

There is, however, a very busy schedule of macro data due in the UK. This includes a raft of labour market updates for the three months to August. While UK growth has slowed in 2017, employment growth has generally maintained a solid pace. A 155k increase is expected this week, slightly softer than the 182k rise recorded in the three months to July. The unemployment rate looks set to have held at 4.3%, its lowest level since 1975. This partly reflects a slowdown in UK labour force growth. This tallies with ONS which show more EU citizens leaving the UK and fewer coming to live there since the Brexit vote.

Despite the low level of unemployment, UK wage growth has been subdued. This may reflect increased uncertainty amongst employers, as well as an attempt to control costs due to the sharp sterling depreciation. Average earnings are forecast to have grown by 2.1% year-on-year. Evidence that employers are facing higher costs comes from PPI data. Output price inflation is expected at 3.3% in September, far lower than input price inflation of 8.3%. Producers are passing some of their higher costs onto consumers. CPI inflation is forecast to edge up to 3% in September, the point at which the BoE thinks price pressures will peak. Despite squeezed incomes in the UK, retail sales have regained some momentum since the spring, although they are expected to fall in September following a strong rise in August. Overall UK consumer spending, of which retail sales is just one part, has slowed in each of the four quarters since last June’s Brexit vote.

Exchange Rate Forecasts (Mid-Point of Range)

Current End Q4 2017 End Q1 2017 End Q2 2018
EUR/USD 1.1864 1.18 1.17 1.16
EUR/GBP 0.8908 0.90 0.89 0.88
EUR/JPY 132.66 132 132 132
GBP/USD 1.3318 1.31 1.31 1.32
USD/JPY 111.80 112 113 114

Current Rates Reuters, Forecasts AIB's ERU