UK on verge of beer shortage as brewers struggle to keep up with demand

UK on verge of beer shortage as brewers struggle to keep up with demand

Pub and restaurant terraces have reopened across the whole of the UK, and in combination with sunny weather and the expanding of people’s social bubble, this has led to pubs and brewers struggling to keep up with the demand for beer. After three months of closed doors, pubs in England hit record sales of beer, wine, and sparkling wine, which were 113% higher on 12 April, when they opened up their terraces, than on the same day in 2019, the last comparable date before the pandemic took hold. Ahead of…

Read More

Sales of drinks soar in England as pubs reopen terraces

Sales of drinks soar in England as pubs reopen terraces

After three months of lockdown, pubs in England hit record sales of beer, wine, and sparkling wine, which were 113% higher on 12 April than on the same day in 2019, the last comparable date before the pandemic took hold. Despite being limited to trading outdoors – just under 40% of premises in Britain have outdoor spaces – this marks a good start for the hospitality sector, according to food and drink insight company CGA. “The first day of trading after England’s lockdown showed a fairly solid performance and demonstrates…

Read More

Ban cycling and walking to help Brussels’ taxis

Ban cycling and walking to help Brussels’ taxis

The recent decision to ban Uber from the streets of Brussels was very clearly a political move to support the taxi industry and the transport unions. As such, it makes sense to also introduce some extra measures to support the taxi industry further – namely by removing any extra unfair and undue competition from the streets. To this end, I propose that Minister President Rudi Vervoort should also consider banning other competition to the cities taxis. Namely; cycling, driving and walking. Such measures could just as easily be justified for…

Read More

Trade policy: A lever of the EU as a geopolitical global player

Trade policy: A lever of the EU as a geopolitical global player

Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis presented a new trade strategy at the College of the European Commission. EU trade policy can be an important foreign policy instrument: we should leverage our trading power to promote EU interests and values and build a fairer and more sustainable form of globalization, writes EU High Representative Josep Borrell (pictured). On 17 February, the European Commission approved a new EU trade strategy, prepared by my colleague Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis in charge of trade, in cooperation with the European External Action Service. It is based on the concept of “Open…

Read More

Half of Le Pain Quotidien bakeries are closed in Belgium

Half of Le Pain Quotidien bakeries are closed in Belgium

Le Pain Quotidien has decided to temporarily close 13 bakeries due to the coronavirus crisis, the chain announced on Wednesday. “With closed restaurants and too little support, this is not sustainable,” said CEO Annick Van Overstraeten. Belgium’s aid only amounts to 1.5% of fixed costs, Van Overstraeten said, a far cry from countries like France and the UK, where over 30% of costs are covered. “Le Pain Quotidien is very disappointed with the announcements made at the end of last Friday’s Consultative Committee,” she added. “The government’s message about a…

Read More

Minister Paul Magnette demands clear routes to reopen Belgium

Minister Paul Magnette demands clear routes to reopen Belgium

Today’s Consultative Committee has to set a clear timetable for the reopening of all closed sectors in Belgium starting from April or May, according to Paul Magnette, leader of the Francophone socialist PS party. Priority for relaxations should be for education, Magnette said, echoing earlier statements from Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, but a clear timetable for other sectors is needed. “We need a timetable that opens up a clear outlook,” he told Sudpresse on Friday morning. “We cannot leave a meeting this Friday with something vague or with a…

Read More

Ikea stores will offer second-hand items within two years, modeling Belgian flagship

Ikea stores will offer second-hand items within two years, modeling Belgian flagship

All Ikea stores worldwide will offer second-hand items for sale within the next two years after an expansion of the system already in place in the Mons store in Belgium, called the “Circular Hub.” The system allows for customers to bring their old Ikea furniture back to the store and exchange it for vouchers worth up to half of its original value. The one in the Belgian store was the first of its kind. Although the Circular Hub was closed in the Mons store due to the coronavirus, it opened…

Read More

Port of Antwerp deploys first autonomous drone

Port of Antwerp deploys first autonomous drone

The Port of Antwerp today deployed its first autonomous drone, intended to be the first of a network to support the port authority in its core tasks. The port of Antwerp covers a territory of more than 120 square kilometres, or about ten times the size of Heathrow airport. Not only is it huge, it forms part of the country’s critical infrastructure, with the presence of strategic industries and Seveso facilities. The drone is intended to carry out safety tasks, and eventually be joined by more of the same, covering…

Read More

400 horeca employers must ask staff to repay premium paid by mistake

400 horeca employers must ask staff to repay premium paid by mistake

About 400 employers in the hospitality industry have been asked to recoup a premium accidentally paid out twice to employees, because of a computer problem, according to the Gazet van Antwerpen. The problem occurred in the system of paying out year-end premiums to workers in the industry, which has been closed down since November. It has nothing to do with temporary unemployment payments related to the lockdown. “When paying year-end bonuses in the sector, the Fund acts as a third party payer. This means that the Fund does not calculate…

Read More

Trade policy should by greener and more assertive, Commission suggests

Trade policy should by greener and more assertive, Commission suggests

A tougher approach with partners and more focus on climate and labour rights will be key pillars of the new EU trade policy outlined by the European Commission on Thursday (18 February). The Commission’s executive vice-president responsible for trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said that the three key words of the new approach will be “open, sustainable and assertive”. He explained that any future deal will include the Paris climate commitments as an “essential element”. The EU’s approach could include liberalisation of trade in certain green goods and services, or agreements to…

Read More