New rules for Food and Logos after Brexit
New rules and logos to protect traditional British foods such as Stilton cheese and steak and ale pies were set out by the Government yesterday ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU at the end of the year. They will guarantee the authenticity of regional and traditional foods for shoppers, whilst protecting British producers from imitation.
At the end of the transition period, the new Geographical Indications (GI) schemes will make sure that traditional produce from across the UK will be granted special status to mark out their authenticity and origin, for example Scotch whisky and Welsh lamb. The government stated that this will mean shoppers are able to buy their favourite food and drink with confidence, and producers whose foods are granted GI status will benefit from intellectual property protection so that others cannot imitate them.
GIs are valued by producers and are exemplars of the wide range of British products enjoyed around the world. They represent around a quarter of UK food and drink exports by value, approaching £6 billion in export value in 2019.
Coca-Cola profits remaining uncertain
Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected sales and profit figures in the last few days as the partial reopening of entertainment venues and the hospitality sector boosted demand for its drinks. However, the global beverage giant sounded a cautious note over new coronavirus-related restrictions and again declined to provide a financial outlook.
The Coca-Cola Company’s total revenue during its third quarter ending 25 September fell 9% to $8.7bn. However, this was a significant improvement on the 28% decline in the previous quarter which led the group to announce a major restructuring plan and accelerate moves to ditch underperforming brands. Meanwhile, operating income declined 8% in the quarter, against a 34% fall in the prior period. The group said margin expansion was primarily driven by cost management, partially offset by top-line pressures and currency headwinds.
Coca-Cola stated that the pandemic had continued to impact its away-from-home channels, although this was partially offset by raised growth in at-home channels. North America was the best-performing region with organic revenues down only 3%, compared to a 6% decline in its Europe, Middle East & Africa unit, and 8% fall in the Asia Pacific. Not quite Red Alert level yet, but still a concern for the multinational conglomerate.
Caffe Nero considers a CVA as pandemic continues
Caffe Nero is considering an insolvency mechanism to restructure its financial liabilities as the coronavirus crisis continues to inflict pain on high street hospitality businesses. The chain, which is one of Britain’s biggest coffee shop operators, is examining a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) as an option to reduce its rent bill and exit loss-making outlets. The privately owned group has yet to make a final decision about a CVA, although sources say one is expected in the coming weeks.
Further details about the consequences of a CVA, including numbers of job losses or shop closures, were unclear on Friday. Like rivals such as Pret A Manger, Caffe Nero has been heavily impacted by the reduced footfall in city centres as millions of Britons continue to work from home.