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FS Courbet Boosts EU Naval Force MED Efforts

first_img View post tag: Migrants View post tag: EU Naval Force MED Back to overview,Home naval-today FS Courbet Boosts EU Naval Force MED Efforts FS Courbet Boosts EU Naval Force MED Efforts View post tag: FS Courbet October 7, 2015 Authorities French Navy’s frigate FS Courbet joined EU Naval Force MED operation on October 2.The vessel departed from her home base in Toulon, France, with a Panther helicopter from the French Naval Aviation 36F Flottille, allowing it to significantly expand the scope of its sensors. Whilst with EUNAVFOR MED, the FS Courbet will work together with the other ships already deployed in the region.“EUNAVFOR Med” was launched on the 22 of June 2015 by the European Council with the aim of countering the activities of human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean. The mission is currently concluding its first phase focused on intelligence gathering and on October 7 will transit to the second phase as decided by Political and Security Committee (PSC).The frigate Courbet is a second-line multi-mission stealth frigate of the French Marine Nationale.Image: French Navy Share this articlelast_img read more

The quest to invest

first_imgA combination of the credit crunch, high raw materials price inflation and low business and consumer confidence makes this a testing time for owners looking to finance an early or mature phase of expansion in the food sector.Shaun Galloway, finance director at pie and pastry manufacturer Ginsters, says: “It’s far tougher now for anyone to raise funds, and it will become more difficult for companies to refinance. The credit crunch has had an effect, and banks won’t lend on such aggressive multiples any more.” New entrants could fare particularly badly, he says: “There are some quite substantial barriers to entry, and we are seeing far fewer start-ups than was once the case.”Nevertheless, there are businesses at different evolutionary stages, for which key decisions about expansion, investment, buy-outs or selling up have to be taken now or in the near future. As relationship director for food, drink and packaging at Barclays Commercial Bank, John Laud tries to be positive: “Forecasts are that the food sector will grow annually at around 3.5% over the next three or four years – and businesses can expect to grow with their customer base.”Operations which see themselves as targets for acquisition may not be disappointed either, he argues. “Food is one of the fastest-consolidating sectors in the UK,” he points out. “The supermarkets are looking for synergy savings from their supply base they can be a part of.”At one stage or another, most businesses will look to the banks for some sort of debt finance. “It’s cheap compared with equity, and the interest is tax-deductible,” Laud explains.Working with a bank will also tend to put less pressure on the owners. “Banks have to be conservative creatures, and lower margins mean less risk,” he says.One business that has navigated the first few years of growth, through a combination of personal funds and bank debt, is Higgidy Pies. MD James Foottit, husband of founder Camilla Stephens, plots the development of the company, from a turnover of some £880,000 in the year to September 2006 to a projected £3m turnover in 2008.Initially, the owners used only a small overdraft facility. “But then we changed banks to HSBC, where we had a very good relationship with the commercial manager,” says Foottit. “He was something of a maverick and was more interested in the story of the business.” That story now includes a listing of 10 Higgidy-branded products in Sainsbury’s.Last year, a move to larger premises became overdue. “We funded the new building with bank loans,” he says. “This is the cheapest way to realise investment, but it is secured with personal guarantees.”Similarly, since setting up the first café in London in 2004, Amano CEO Jonathan Cooper says that bank debt finance has been essential to the growth of that business. “As a non-covenanted company, we were also looking at personal guarantees,” he says. “But when we moved to the Clydesdale Bank, it was very supportive.”In Amano’s case, the bank agreed to waive personal guarantees. But where this is not on offer, says Cooper, the government-backed Loan Guarantee Scheme, which effectively ring-fences the bank’s risk, can be a useful option.== Fight for control ==Alongside risk, control is one of the prime issues when owners are looking for additional finance. At Higgidy, Foottit and Stephens have vivid memories of life with just a 25% stake in their business. “There was someone else calling the shots and reining us in, when we were looking long-term and losing money in the short-term,” he recalls. “We fought tooth-and-nail to get a majority stake.”The couple now own 80% of the business. But Foottit admits: “We’re out of personal funds now, so if we want to jump to the next stage of a £1m factory, we’d struggle to do that without giving away some equity. We’d just try not to give away a controlling share.”Like most ambitious owners, Foottit and Stephens have looked at private equity or venture capital finance. To date, they have avoided it for the same reason, that they are wary of losing control of the business. But these days, even when small companies court this type of investment, they may have trouble obtaining it.Some 12 years ago, Amano’s Cooper was one of the three founders of the sandwich chain EAT. “Back then, venture capital would get involved very early on,” he says. “But now, the opportunity to get that kind of finance for a one- or two-store operation is no longer there.”The nature of risk assessment for these funds has changed, he says, and this change predates the credit crunch by two or three years. “Amano talked to some quite large funds early on, but nothing was forthcoming,” Cooper states. “The notion of a ’proven concept’ for a roll-out brand has changed considerably.”Yorkshire-based private equity fund management company YFM Group explains the shift that has taken place. Investment manager Nigel Barraclough says: “The problem is not the availability of funds, it is the cost of due diligence. So for a £250,000 investment, there might be £5,000 of negotiation and other fees.” And as Barclays makes clear, most of these fees are fixed costs. Barraclough adds: “Not many people provide private equity under £2m.”Amano’s Cooper agrees with Ginsters regarding the equity gap problem for new businesses. “The capital investment required for any new site is enormous, particularly in London,” he says. “Small start-ups are just squeezed out of the marketplace.”== A guardian angel? ==One solution is the angel investor. The maverick element, and the personal, intangible appeal of certain propositions, again comes into play here – more so than with corporate funds. But while businesses may start life as partnerships of like-minded, experienced individuals, finding a new private investor at a later stage can be a daunting task.As Cooper puts it: “It’s a case of caveat emptor on both sides. Angels have to do their own level of due diligence, though it’s a lot lower, usually, than for institutions.” A robust shareholders’ agreement is essential, he adds.YFM’s Barraclough says: “Business angels are much more organised now, and their networks operate more as teams. We’ve seen this evolution over the last 10 years or so.”Another option for smaller funding levels is regional development finance. Amano was looking at an extended network of angel investors when the London-based Capital Fund began operations. This venture capital fund, managed by YFM, is aimed at supporting fast-growth SMEs in the capital. Here, funds can initially be up to £250,000, with the possibility of a second tranche up to the same limit six months later. Investors include the Department of Trade and Industry and the European Investment Fund.With a 2007 turnover of £120m, Cornish-based Ginsters is no start-up. But a year earlier, it too benefited from regional funding under the EU’s Objective One programme. This reached almost £1.3m, including matching sums from central government. “As a bakery business, with a link through to agriculture, we qualified for up to 40% funding for expansion,” says Galloway.While Objective One no longer operates, 2008 saw the arrival of EU-backed regional convergence funding. However, this is more focused on training and skills than infrastructure development. Regional Development Agencies will know about funding opportunities in different parts of the UK.In fact, as part of the privately-owned Samworth Group, Ginsters sources most of its investment internally. Galloway wonders about the wisdom of conceding influence – or control – to private equity investors. “Retailers will no doubt look at the ultimate ownership,” he says. “Quality of supply and stability beyond a three-year horizon will be important to them.”Media attention tends to be lavished on the serial entrepreneur and the perceived short-termism of private equity investors. But there are many more privately-owned businesses, which grow by sticking to what they do best.For now, at least, Foottit at Higgidy falls into the latter category. “We hope that Higgidy can be a springboard for new ideas,” he says. “A brand gives you benefits that own-label production does not. We feel we are still a long way from even thinking about wanting to sell up.”last_img read more

Baileys Marbled Cake launched by Finsbury Food Group

first_imgFinsbury Food Group expanded its range with the Diageo brand with a new Baileys marble cake. The Baileys Marbled Celebration Cake consists of a chocolate and white marble sponge filled with marble swirled, Bailey’s-infused frosting. It is on sale from this month for an rsp of £12.Finsbury Food Group has been working with drinks firm Diageo since 2018, on its Baileys and Guinness brands, introducing the first range of adults-only cakes to supermarket shelves. The firm plans to extend the range further in 2021, it said.With a focus on autumn, the new launch follows the launch of the Baileys Freakshake Cake, Baileys Chocolate Yule Log, Bailey’s Salted Caramel Cupcakes and, most recently, the Baileys Strawberries and Cream Cake.“As the autumn months approach, we want to give customers a product that echoes current trends in the baking industry, at ease. Think, sat by the fire on a drizzly day with a piping hot cup of tea and slice of Baileys Marbled Cake. We see huge opportunities to build on the momentum of the range and continue to add more exciting SKUs in the future,” said Jack Cook-Broussine, brand manager at Finsbury Food Group.The Baileys range continues to do well, demonstrated by the retailers’ response, added the firm. Baileys Marbled Cake celebrates the signature flavourings of Baileys and taps into the on-trend marble technique.“The marble effect is something we’ve wanted to put our Baileys stamp on for a while, we’ve been working hard to stay ahead of the curve and achieve the most beautiful design that still has that delicious, mouth-watering, signature Baileys taste, well loved by many. We have already enjoyed great success with Finsbury and our range of Baileys-infused cakes,” added Declan Hassett, senior licensing manager at Diageo.The Baileys Marbled Celebration Cake is available now in Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco.last_img read more

Dolly Parton Donates $1M To Nashville Pediatric Hospital Following Release Of New Children’s Album

first_img[h/t – Billboard][Cover photo via The Independent] Late last month, Tennessee-native singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, philanthropist, and all-around superstar Dolly Parton made the latest addition to her 50-year catalogue of studio albums. The new project, I Believe In You, her first-ever album specifically targeted to children. In typical Dolly fashion, she didn’t let the occasion pass without taking an opportunity to give back to the community and champion the bright futures of Tennessee kids. As Billboard reports, Parton recently donated $1 Million to the Vanderbilt University Children’s Hospital in Nashville.Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” Slowed Down To 33 RPM Sounds Like The Best Neil Young SongAt a recent visit with patients at the hospital, Parton took some time to sing and to talk about her love of children and how it’s affected her philanthropy as a public figure: “I love children. I’ve always been involved in one way or another with children’s charities or with children in general, because I love little kids. I’m from a big family of children.”Parton also heads the Imagination Library, a nonprofit organization that aims to promote early childhood literacy by giving children age-appropriate books to read. A portion of the sales of I Believe In You is benefiting the Imagination Library.Watch Dolly Parton visit the patients at Vanderbilt University’s Monroe Carell Jr. Children HospitalYou can also stream “I Believe In You” for your little ones below via Spotify:last_img read more

Cannabis abstinence for month aids memory, study says

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Participants completed regular assessments of their thinking and memory during the study period. They also provided frequent urine tests to verify cannabis abstinence in those randomized to stop cannabis use, and exposure in the continuing-use group. Members of both groups were paid for study visits, and members of the abstinence group were paid for adhering to cannabis abstinence.Throughout the study period, the levels of the urinary cannabis biomarker steadily decreased among the abstinence group, with almost 89 percent meeting criteria for 30 days of continuous abstinence. In the continuing-use group, biomarker levels remained unchanged. Cognitive testing found memory — specifically the ability to learn and recall new information — improved only among those who stopped using cannabis, and this improvement occurred largely during the first week of abstinence. A month of cannabis abstinence was not associated with improvements in attention, and no aspect of cognitive functioning improved among those who continued cannabis use. A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study finds that one month of abstaining from cannabis use results in measurable improvement in memory functions important for learning among regular cannabis users in adolescence and young adulthood.The study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry is one of the first to prospectively track over time changes in cognitive function associated with halting cannabis use.“Our findings provide two pieces of convincing evidence,” said Randi Schuster, director of neuropsychology at the Center for Addiction Medicine in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, lead author of the paper. “The first is that adolescents learn better when they are not using cannabis. The second — which is the good news part of the story — is that at least some of the deficits associated with cannabis use are not permanent and actually improve pretty quickly after cannabis use stops.”Schuster is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.The authors note that the use of cannabis among adolescents is common, with more than 13 percent of middle and high school students reporting cannabis use in a recent survey and rates of daily use increasing between grades eight and 12. But adolescence is a critical time for brain maturation, specifically for brain regions that are most susceptible to the effects of cannabis. A 2016 study from the same research team found that cannabis users aged 16 and younger had difficulty learning new information, a problem that was not observed in users age 17 and older.The current study is the first one able to determine not only whether cognitive improvement occurs but also when during abstinence this improvement is detectable. The study enrolled 88 participants ages 16 to 25 from the Boston area, all of whom acknowledged using cannabis at least once a week. Investigators compared weekly cognitive performance between a group of young cannabis users who agreed to stop for 30 days and a group that continued to use cannabis. To ensure that the two groups were as comparable as possible, they were randomized in a way that controlled for factors such as pre-existing differences in learning, mood, cognition, and motivation, and the frequency and intensity of cannabis use. The current study is the first one able to determine not only whether cognitive improvement occurs but also when during abstinence this improvement is detectable.center_img “The ability to learn or ‘map down’ new information, which is a critical facet of success in the classroom, improved with sustained nonuse of cannabis.” Schuster said. “Young cannabis users who stop regular — weekly or more — use may be better equipped to learn efficiently and therefore better positioned for academic success. We can confidently say that these findings strongly suggest that abstaining from cannabis helps young people learn, while continuing cannabis use may interfere with the learning process.“There are still a lot of open questions to be studied, including whether attention might improve and memory continues to improve with longer periods of cannabis abstinence,” she added.Those questions and others are being addressed in a larger follow-up trial that includes younger participants — ages 13 to 19 — and a group that never used cannabis to help determine whether the cognitive improvements produced by cannabis abstinence return participants to performance levels similar to those of nonusers. Another trial about to begin will follow young cannabis users who abstain for six months, investigating whether cognition continues to improve beyond 30 days and if those improvements can affect school performance.The study was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse grants 1K23 DA042946, 1K01 DA034093, 1R01 DA042043-01A1, and K24 DA030443; and the Norman E. Zinberg Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry and the Livingston Fellowship from Harvard Medical School. Schuster is a recipient of the Louis V. Gerstner III MGH Research Scholar Award.last_img read more

Moderate alcohol use linked to increased cancer risk, study says

first_img Read Full Story Among hospital patients in Japan, those with a history of even moderate drinking were more likely to have cancer compared to nondrinkers, according to a new study.Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and colleagues found that consuming one daily drink (defined as six ounces of wine, 17 ounces of beer, or two ounces of whiskey) for 10 years, or two a day for five years, raised the relative risk of a variety of cancers by 5 percent compared to nondrinkers.The study was published Dec. 9  in Cancer.The researchers looked at 63,232 cancer cases and 63,232 controls matched for sex, age, admitting hospital, and admission date. Patients self-reported their drinking history.First author of the paper was Masayoshi Zaitsu, a visiting research fellow in Harvard Chan School’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and a researcher at the University of Tokyo. In a Dec. 9 Newsweek article, he said that in Japan, the primary cause of death is cancer, and given the high burden “we should further encourage promoting public education about alcohol-related cancer risk.”The study authors noted that Japanese people have a higher prevalence of genetic variations that make people slower at metabolizing alcohol, which may mean that these results are not generalizable to other populations.But Zaitsu stressed that moderation is important for everyone, regardless of their genetic profile. “One drink a day is probably not a big problem,” he told the New York Times. “But drinking too much over long periods of time might be dangerous. We enjoy drinking, but we need to think about it.”last_img read more

Record 20.5 Million American Jobs Lost In April

first_imgMGN ImageWASHINGTON – With much of the American economy in self-imposed shutdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, April’s colossal surge in unemployment delivered a historic blow to workers.The US economy lost 20.5 million jobs in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday — by far the most sudden and largest decline since the government began tracking the data in 1939.Those losses follow steep cutbacks in March as well, when employers slashed 870,000 jobs. Those two months amount to layoffs so severe, they moire than double the 8.7 million jobs lost during the financial crisis.For many Americans who lost their jobs and their homes in the 2008 financial crisis, this moment reopens old wounds. It took years to rebound from those setbacks. When the economy eventually did crawl back, US employers added 22.8 million jobs over 10 years — a victory for all those who had weathered the Great Recession. Now, the coronavirus pandemic stings not only because of the public health crisis it has inflicted — but also because it wiped out that decade of job gains in just two months. The unemployment rate soared to 14.7% in April, its highest level since the BLS started recording the monthly rate in 1948. The last time American joblessness was that severe was the Great Depression: The unemployment rate peaked at 24.9% in 1933, according to historical annual estimates from the BLS. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Peach Crop

first_imgCooler temperatures are needed this winter to avoid another disastrous peach season, according to Jeff Cook, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension County coordinator in Taylor and Peach counties. Last year’s mild winter contributed to Georgia’s peach industry suffering an 80 percent loss. Cook estimates that 70 percent of those losses were attributed to Georgia’s lack of chill hours. The late freeze this past spring contributed to the other 10 to 15 percent peach loss, Cook said. “Chill hours are vital to the development of a peach. We didn’t have enough cold weather last year and it showed once we got to harvest time,” said Cook, who specializes in peaches. “Chill hours” refers to the time in which temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. From Oct. 1 through Feb. 15, chill hours are required for peach production. According to Cook, one Georgia peach variety requires 850 chill hours, the highest chill requirement of all varieties grown in Georgia. When that particular variety only got around 450 chill hours last winter, the result was devastating for Georgia peach farmers. At least 800 hours are needed to make a “decent crop,” he said. “We had between 650 and 700 (chill hours) year before last and did okay. Last year we were below 500 and we really need about 800,” Cook said. The biggest hit to Georgia’s 2017 peach crop was the lack of peaches from July to August, which is typically the largest yielding period. “The packing sheds were shut down the first of July,” Cook said. Unfortunately for Georgia peach producers, this year’s winter forecast is projecting a warmer winter due to La Nina weather conditions. UGA Extension agricultural climatologist Pam Knox predicts a 70 percent chance of La Nina conditions occurring from November 2017 through January 2018. La Nina is associated with above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation, especially in the southern half of Georgia. Knox emphasizes that even in a La Nina winter, outbreaks of cold air could still provide chill hours to the peach crop. “My expectation this year is that chill hours will be lower than normal but are likely to be higher than last year’s low numbers,” Knox said. “As we transition to neutral conditions in the spring, we also need to be mindful of the possibility of a late frost. Growers will have to keep an eye on conditions in the spring for any cold outbreaks that might come.”Dario Chavez, a UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences assistant professor in peach research on the UGA Griffin campus, said the peach industry in Georgia should know by the end of December or early January how this winter will compare to previous years. “It’s a weather factor so we really can’t do anything about it. It would be different if it were cold and we wanted to protect (the peaches) against the cold. That’s something we can do. Making it cold when it’s warm — it’s impossible,” Chavez said. For more information on Georgia’s peach industry, see the UGA Extension blog at read more

Into the Woods Music Festival

first_imgTICKETS Festivalattendees will feel completely transported into another world while only beinga short 20-minute drive from all the conveniences of Charleston. In true PourHouse fashion, the lineup, production, and experience will be first-rate andunlike anything else happening in the area. center_img INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK The event will be held on the grounds of a true Lowcountry gem, The Charleston Woodlands, a 6,000 acre eco-paradise conveniently located across the road from Middleton Plantation. Into the Woods Music Festival is Charleston Pour House’s inaugural camping music festival. It will feature three days of premium lakeside camping and music by national and regional touring acts including but not limited to, Leftover Salmon, Rayland Baxter, John Medeski’s Mad Skillet, Doom Flamingo, and more! last_img read more

Tips for more effective one-on-ones

first_img continue reading » We’re just over halfway through 2019. At my organization – and I’m sure at many of yours, too – our managers are holding midyear reviews with their team members to see how things are going.Part of the reason for these check-ins is to see how employees are progressing on their annual goals. As I’ve previously written, our goal-setting process at NAFCU emphasizes measurability to see how far you’ve come and to set the company and individual up for growth and success. Why? Because when your employees succeed, your company succeeds.But leadership is about more than just business. An effective leader builds relationships and demonstrates that they care. I came across this post from Charlie Buckland, a learning and development expert, about how to have more effective one-on-one meetings. His tips are great to consider during midyear reviews.Only speak business if you have time. If one of your employees is struggling with a project or task, they aren’t going to wait until their midyear review to bring it up. And they shouldn’t – managers need to be approachable for work-related problems on a regular basis. One-on-ones should be more meaningful than daily status check-ins. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more