• The competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry

      Pitts, Eamonn; O'Connell, Larry; McCarthy, B. (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      Ways of measuring industrial competitiveness are discussed and an analysis of the competitiveness of the food sector as a whole and of three sub-sectors are presented. The techniques employed were Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Porter Diamond.
    • Consumer attributes of farmhouse cheese and honey

      Cowan, Cathal; Murphy, Maurice; Daly, Eimear; Meehan, Hilary; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn; Delahunty, Conor; O'Reilly, Seamus; European Commission; CT95 -0360 (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      This study determined the ideal combination of attributes of farmhouse cheese (cheddar-type) and farmhouse honey for different consumer segments.
    • Increasing the logistics efficiency of fresh food exports

      Henchion, Maeve; O'Reilly, Paul; Pitts, Eamonn; Crowley, James; Dolan, Martina; Keary, Roisin; Collins, Alan (Teagasc, 1999-10)
      This report is concerned with the impact on the competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry of the logistics process in the food chain including transport, storage and distribution.
    • Innovation in small food processing enterprises and dynamics of local development

      Mahon, Denise; Pitts, Eamonn; European Commission (Teagasc, 2005-01)
      The extent of innovation in small food processing firms in the Border and South West regions of Ireland were examined as were the factors relating to innovation in these firms. Eighty-five percent of firms undertook some form of innovation in the five years preceding the study. Innovation within firms was related to the youth of the manager and of the firm itself and was also associated with investment in staff training and in Research and Development (R&D) by the firm and with numbers of qualified staff.
    • Projecting population and labour market trends in rural areas.

      Wiemers, Emily; Commins, Patrick; Pitts, Eamonn; Ballas, Dimitris; Clarke, Graham (Teagasc, 2002-12-01)
      This purpose of this project is to develop a spatial model to project population and labour market variables at the small area level in Ireland. The model is called SMILE (Simulation Model for the Irish Local Economy) and is a static and dynamic spatial microsimulation model. Microsimulation attempts to describe economic and social events by modelling the behaviour of individual agents such as persons or firms. Microsimulation models have proved useful in evaluating the impact of policy changes at the micro level. Spatial microsimulation models contain information on geographic units and allow for a regional or local approach to policy analysis. SMILE is based on modelling work on urban systems and employs similar techniques for analysing rural areas. The static model creates a spatially referenced synthetic population of Ireland. Each individual enumerated in the 1991 Census of Population is synthetically constructed and is assigned 11 census characteristics including a District Electoral Division (DED) location. The dynamic element incorporated in SMILE ages the synthetic population by modelling demographic processes including fertility, mortality and internal migration. The dynamic process is used to project population in the medium term; it ages the synthetic 1991 population to 1996. For validation purposes, these 1996 projections are then compared to the 1996 Census of Population. The same process was used to project between the 1996 and the 2002 Census of Population. The results indicate that the accuracy at DED and county level is within acceptable limits. The model will be extended in the next three years, beginning in 2003, with additions including validating individual attributes such as employment status and social class and also including households in the model. This project has created a basic model that can be expanded and developed in the future.
    • Regional images and the promotion of quality food products

      McIntyre, Bridin; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn; European Commission; CT96 1827, (Teagasc, 2001-02)
      This research was undertaken as part of the RIPPLE (Regional images and the promotion of quality products and services in the lagging regions of the European Union) project, funded within the FAIR Programme (1994-1999). The project objective was to assist public and private institutions develop strategies, policies and structures to aid the successful marketing of quality products in the lagging regions of the EU. The project also sought to provide consumer perspectives on the issue of regional quality products using survey research.
    • The Strategic Development of Irish Livestock Marts.

      Hennebry, T.; Pitts, Eamonn; Harte, Laurence (Teagasc, 2002-09-01)
      A study of co-operative livestock marts revealed that cumulative marts turnover decreased by 26% from 1990 to 1999: Commission income as a percentage of turnover increased from 2% in 1990 to 3.2% in 1999. However operating expenses increased by 25% from 1990 to 1999. Operating expenses have since 1997, surpassed commision income, thus putting co-op marts in a collective loss making situation from their mart activities. However overall profit from co-op mart societies (including profit generated from all business activities) almost doubled between 1990 and 1999. While overall profitability of livestock marts societies has increased, twelve of thirty nine marts were in a loss making situation in 1999. Four of these marts have been in a permanent loss - making situation since 1990. All loss making societies in 1999 have little or no involvement in non-mart activities and almost all operate from just one site. In general, the large diversified societies are showing profitability. A number of strategic alternatives to deal with their situation were placed before mart executives. A diversification strategy is by far the most likely strategy to be adopted by marts for the future Most marts are unlikely to consider merging with other societies. Most marts have no plans to downsize and exit from the industry is not considered an option by any society. There is a recognition that there is an urgent need to rationalise the industry, but this strategy is likely to meet with a strong resistance from marts . A problem with rationalisation is that there are no incentives to make this strategy a reality. On the one hand, management would be reluctant to follow this approach, as it may be perceived to reflect badly on their own performance or may result in them being forced to seek alternative employment. On the other hand, the shareholders have little to gain and much to lose if the mart closes. Projections of past trends and impact of new policies would suggest continuing decline in turnover and profitability in the co-operative mart sector. Rationalisation is therefore absolutely essential. The industry cannot sustain the present number of marts. Diversification seems the most obvious option for the future of the industry. In general marts that have diversified are profitable and there is no reason why this trend cannot continue into the future.