China earthquake appeal launched

first_imgSix Oxford student societies have made a joint effort to raise relief funds for those affected by the earthquake in China on 12 May.The Committee will send all donations to help purchase necessary teaching equipment for temporary schools. In the next three to six months they hope to have enough money to contribute towards the rebuilding of a school in Sichuan.The group, called the Oxford University Sichuan Earthquake Fundraising Committe, comprises: the Oxford Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the Chinese Association, the Asia-Pacific Society, the Chinese Drama Society, ‘Oxbridge China’ and the PPE Society.Guagua Bo, PPE undergraduate and current President of PPE Society, said, “As with any national disaster we feel very strongly for the people in China. Just looking at the earthquake pictures is very touching, in a time when there is so much hatred this disaster is bringing people together and bringing out their warmth.”In the last week groups of students have taken to the streets of Oxford to collect money for this cause. Bo said, “We have already raised £15,000 just from street collections. It is nice to see that something like this can bring out a lot of emotions from people. One elderly lady walked past and just dropped £100 into the collection box.”Charlie Guo, Vice-President of the Asia-Pacific Society, agreed, saying, “It is very touching seeing so much support from people; one guy I distinctly remember, he just took all his notes and coins out of his wallet without hesitation and put it into our donation box. I sincerely thank all that have helped and supported our action.”Bo added, “Our financial support will never match some of donations from big banks, but we do want to do something concrete to express as much of our effort as possible. “We want to set this up as a long running cause and since lots of schools have gone down and lots of peoples academic aspirations have been severely affected, we felt that this would be a suitable way for us to help.”last_img read more

Food firms warn of no-deal shortages and price hikes

first_imgConsumers could face availability issues and higher prices, major retailers and foodservice businesses have warned.Companies including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Pret A Manger have a signed a letter to MPs highlighting their concerns about the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on food supply, and urging politicians to find a solution that avoids this happening on 29 March.They flagged up that, in March, 90% of lettuces, 80% of tomatoes and 70% of soft fruit were sourced from the EU and needed to be moved quickly from farms to stores.“This complex, ‘just in time’ supply chain will be significantly disrupted in the event of no-deal,” stated the letter. “Even if the UK government does not undertake checks on products at the border, there will still be major disruption at Calais as the French government has said it will enforce sanitary and customs checks on exports from the EU, which will lead to long delays.”This, in turn, will reduce availability and the shelf life of many products in stores, the signatories have claimed.Business have been stockpiling where possible, but all frozen and chilled storage was already being used, according to the letter, and there was little general warehousing space available in the UK.“Retailers typically store no more than two weeks’ inventory and it becomes difficult to restock stores if the supply chain is disrupted. We are also attempting to find alternative supply routes but there are limited options and not enough ferries, so this could only replace a fraction of the current capacity.”Another major concern is the impact of tariffs as only 10% of food imports are currently subject to tariffs, but if the UK reverts to World Trade Organization (WTO) Most Favoured Nation status – which is expected in the case of no-deal – this would ramp up import costs and put upward pressure on food prices.“We are extremely concerned that our customers will be among the first to experience the realities of a no-deal Brexit,” concluded the letter. “We anticipate significant risks to maintaining the choice, quality and durability of food that our customers have come to expect in our stores.”The BRC letter was signed by:Mike Coupe, chief executive, J Sainsbury plcRoger Burnley, chief executive, Asda (Stores) LtdSteve Rowe, chief executive, Marks & Spencer plcJo Whitfield, retail chief executive, The Co-opRob Collins, managing director, WaitroseDarcy Willson-Rymer, chief executive, Costcutter SupermarketsPaula MacKenzie, CEO, KFC UK&IClive Schlee, chief executive, Pret A MangerChristian Härtnagel, chief executive, LidlRichard Pennycook, chairman, British Retail ConsortiumHelen Dickinson, chief executive, British Retail ConsortiumPaul Pomroy, chief executive, McDonald’s Restaurants Ltdlast_img read more