Mill with a message

first_imgMatt Scott knew he faced a battle to make flour sexy when he bought Bacheldre Watermill seven years ago. After all, producing organic and traditional flours from a 16th century Welsh water-powered mill in Powys was, literally, miles away from his former life as a postman in Gosport.Yet he and his wife, Anne, are delivering a hugely successful business, selling flour to bread-makers around the world. Turnover from the watermill, located on the border with Shropshire, has doubled annually since 2001 and should top £500,000 this year.Fundamental to this success is, of course, the quality of the flour, made using conventional production methods and organically-grown grain. Local wheat is also cultivated on the Bacheldre Farm and used as it would have been hundreds of years ago.The range of 100% wholemeal, malted blend, rye and spelt flour was extended in January, when Scott collaborated with The Organic Smokehouse in Shropshire. Malted wheat flakes are cold-smoked over oak chippings in the smokehouse, then mixed with the mill’s Organic Stoneground Malted Blend Flour. Scott says the process infuses a wood-smoked aroma and taste, reminiscent of bread being baked in a wood-fired oven.An ability to create such exciting imagery around his products is helping Scott punch above his weight against the big millers, whose production systems are highly automated. It is just one part of a considered marketing strategy, which Scott believes is as crucial to any small business as having quality and innovative products.While Bacheldre still supplies craft bakers directly with speciality flours, 85% of its flour is now sold branded to consumers through retail. In its simplest form, marketing is about ensuring your business meets your customers’ needs and wants and making sure they can buy your products or services in the right place at the right time. It is also about shouting loudly about what you do.The Scotts took over Bacheldre Watermill when it was nothing more than a working museum, producing less than two tonnes of flour a month to sell to a local shop and brewery. “We were complete novices, so one of the first things we did was visit a grain merchant to find out what was the best grain in the country. To have a fighting chance, we needed to boast we used the best ingredients,” he says.He also realised it was vital the product looked good on the shelf and he instigated an important packaging change by switching to a traditional white bag with a Celtic print. “We had to show suppliers and bakers the mill had new owners and we were serious about making it work.”== Broader recognition ==With quality ingredients and packaging, Bacheldre Watermill began to get noticed – not just within the world of flour and baking, but within the wider Welsh food industry. In 2003, the mill received a commendation from the Soil Association for its Stoneground Strong 100% wholemeal flour and scooped gold in the Welsh TrueTaste/GwirFlas Awards (organic). It repeated the feat a year later. “Entering awards is crucial to winning new business. It means when you visit retail buyers, they sit up and listen, because you have third-party endorsement,” says Scott.With the award certificates on his office wall, he arranged meetings with influential buyers from the Fresh & Wild organic retail chain and Harrods. He was never going to retire on the orders secured from the top people’s store in Knightsbridge, but the flour’s presence on its shelves raised interest among other retailers. This included top-end supermarket Waitrose, which now stocks the mill’s spelt flour in all its stores and its 100% wholemeal, malted blend and rye flour in more than 30 branches. “We cannot compete on price with the big millers, so with a well thought-out marketing strategy, aimed at the niche organic end of the market, we can price our flour accordingly and retain our margins,” says Scott.The marketing activity included making the most of the public relations opportunity presented by the deal with Harrods. It was a great story that a tiny mill in Wales was supplying the big stores in London. Whatever your product – and let’s face it, flour is not the sexiest – you must work out your point of difference and shout it from the rooftops,” he says. “If you don’t have a PR company, look at the magazines you want to be in and email the journalists directly.”At the same time as talking to the press, Scott was busy finding new distributors by attending trade shows in the UK and Europe.== Keeping the look fresh ==As publicity and sales increased, Scott was determined not to rest on his laurels and he decided to repackage his flour again. He had ideas in his mind about what would work, such as children running through fields of corn, but he decided to ask the experts. He spent months talking to buyers about what would have an impact on their shelves. The original idea was considered too American and stockists suggested using images of the watermill instead.”It sounds obvious when someone else points out what would work. All the photos were taken around the mill, in our dining room and the bread oven. Being able to show where the flour is made is so important when marketing organic products.”The repackaging generated even more awards – and more publicity. The flour won Best New Packaging Design at the Organic and Natural Product Industry Awards in 2005 and the mill was named Supreme Champion and Category Winner in the Waitrose Small Producers awards. Another gong in the most recent True Taste Awards included the prize of a year’s free PR support from a specialist firm, which would usually cost a small business thousands of pounds. Bacheldre is benefiting from the expertise of London-based Focus PR.The rest of the mill’s marketing is undertaken by Scott himself, who estimates he spends about one day a week on promoting the business. Measuring the value of any marketing activity is tricky and companies must take a medium- to long-term view when analysing any return on investment and spend time researching which activity is right for them. “I cannot put a figure on how much money we spend on marketing; it is just such an integral part of the business. I just know we are growing and constantly attracting new buyers, so it must be working.”Effective marketing has also raised the mill’s profile internationally. It now sells flour to restaurants and bakers in Russia and Trinidad. And in March, it secured its first order from Greece. The marketing strategy for 2008 includes revamping the mill’s website, so that domestic and overseas customers can order online.As the price of grain roc-kets, clever marketing will be crucial for Bacheldre Mill, so that its margins are protected. It is a challenge this former postman is relishing.—-=== Making time for the media ===Matt Scott aims high when seeking publicity for his business and he is no stranger to television. Celebrity chefs, including Jamie Oliver, have used his flour and specialist channel UKTV Food has filmed at the mill. The channel’s most recent visit was at the end of the year for its Market Kitchen programme.Another TV crew visited in February to film footage for a news story about the rising cost of grain. “We don’t turn anything down. This is all about putting yourself forward and making time for the media, so more people notice you and your products,” says Scott.There have been occasions where expected television coverage has not materialised. The Channel Four series No Going Back, which follows the lives of families starting a new life, filmed the Scotts’ first few weeks at the mill. “But they dropped us in the end, probably because nothing went disastrously wrong or we didn’t end up getting divorced. Perhaps we were a bit more media-savvy than many of the people they interview.”—-=== The principles of DIY press releases ===One of the easiest ways for small businesses to get media coverage is to write press releases giving journalists the latest news on what is happening.This is not as scary as it might sound. The secret is to keep your announcement simple and interesting and ensure the information is sent to the right people at a local newspaper or trade magazine. What are you doing and where? When are you doing it and why? How are you doing it?Write a snappy headline and try and sum everything up in a punchy first sentence which, ideally, should not be more than 25 words long.Try and include a third-party quote from an existing customer or industry expert to endorse what you are saying. Make sure you include your contact details and you are available when the journalist calls.last_img read more

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John Medeski, Adam Deitch, & Skerik To Bring DRKWAV To Brooklyn Comes Alive

first_imgBrooklyn Comes Alive Artist Lineup:Joe Russo (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead)Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers/Dead & Company)Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits)Aron Magner (The Disco Biscuits)John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood)Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident)Adam Deitch (Lettuce/Break Science)Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars/Mike Gordon)Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead)Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band)Alan Evans (Soulive)Neal Evans (Soulive)Eric “Benny” Bloom (Lettuce)Jesus Coomes (Lettuce)Adam Smirnoff (Lettuce)Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce)Roosevelt CollierMichael League (Snarky Puppy)SkerikTodd Stoops (RAQ)Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green)Borahm Lee (Break Science)Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band)James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band)Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy)Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power)Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power)Nate Edgar (The Nth Power)Courtney J’Mell Smith (The Nth Power)Manic Focus (special guests)Will Bernard (Stanton Moore Trio)Tim Palmieri (Kung Fu)Jay Lane (Primus/RatDog)Rob Compa (Dopapod)Eli Winderman (Dopapod)Adrian Tramontano (Kung Fu)Holly BowlingBrasstracksFareed Haque (Garaj Mahal)Cochrane McMillan (Tea Leaf Green)Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule/The Black Crowes)Dan Edinburg (The Stepkids)Jen Durkin (Deep Banana Blackout)Johnny Durkin (Deep Banana Blackout)Rob Marscher (Matisyahu)Rob Somerville (Kung Fu)Benny Rietveld (Santana)Samora Pinderhughes (Emily King, Branford Marsalis)Raul PinedaFarnell NewtonDanny SadownickShowcase Sets:RIPEOrgan FreemanArtists-At-Large:Brandon “Taz” Niederauer (School of Rock)Elise Testone (American Idol)Supergroups:The All Brothers Band: Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge, Neal Evans, Alan Evans[Br]eaking [Bi]scuits: Adam Deitch, Borahm Lee, Marc Brownstein, Aron MagnerReed Mathis and Electric BeethovenJoe Russo, Scott Metzger, Robert Walter, & Andy HessDRKWAV: John Medeski, Adam Deitch, & SkerikThe Nth Power Presents Earth, Wind & Power ft. Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge, Natalie Cressman, Skerik, The Shady Horns, Farnell Newton, Danny SadownickJason Hann’s RhythmatronixA Tribute To J Dilla: Borahm Lee, Nate Edgar, Adam Deitch, Adam Smirnoff, Stu BrooksTim Palmieri & Friends: Dan Edinbugh, Jen Durkin, Rob Somerville, Alan EvansNatalie Cressman Presents: Nikki Glaspie, Will Bernard, Chris Bullock, Benny Rietveld, Samora PinderhughesThe Coomes Brothers Ft. Jesus Coomes, Tyler Coomes, Adam Smirnoff & The Shady HornsRoosevelt Collier’s NY Get Down Ft. Eli Winderman, Rob Compa, Adrian TramontanoManic Focus & Friends The supergroup formations for Brooklyn Comes Alive are starting to take some serious shape. With over five announcement already in the pocket, today we announce another: DRKWAV, featuring keyboardist John Medeski (MMW, The Word), drummer Adam Deitch (Lettuce, Break Science), and saxophonist Skerik (Garage A Trois, Critters Buggin’).Bringing dark truths to light into the psychedelic corners of the human psyche, the trio revels in the pitch black, yet continuously discovers beauty and sheds light through sonic exploration. Expect a unique blend of space-shifting jazz, experimental rock, and psychedelic transformations. A rarity to see these three perform together live, DRKWAV released their debut record The Purge last year, which you can stream for free right here.Check out a snippet of what to expect, courtesy of LazyLightning55a:Also at Brooklyn Comes Alive, Deitch will be joining band-mate Borahm Lee (Break Science), and Marc Brownstein & Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits for a first-time-ever performance as [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits.Set for October 22, 2016, the second annual event will span three of Brooklyn’s most popular venues — Brooklyn Bowl, The Hall at MP, and Music Hall of Williamsburg — all within a 10 minute walking radius. Tickets to the event grants you access to all three venues, and can be found here. More information can be found on the event’s website.last_img read more

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Political polarization threatens health care reform

first_imgThe increasing polarization of healthcare politics poses a significant barrier to health care reform in the U.S., Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a Jan. 10, 2018 Harvard Political Review article. The article discussed left-wing health reform efforts since the 1940s, the adoption of Medicare in 1965, and current efforts to adopt a single-payer or ‘Medicare for all’ healthcare model.According to the article, five years ago few considered a single-payer model possible. “Today, half of all Americans, almost two-thirds of Democrats, 15 U.S. Senators, and the majority of Democratic representatives support the plan. Although the idea is young, it has taken a long and arduous political path to popularity—and it may have an even longer path ahead.”Read the Harvard Political Review article: Does Single-Payer Stand a Chance?Learn morePolitical polarization among voters likely to have significant effect on future health policy, including Affordable Care Act (Harvard Chan School press release)Health reform prospects uncertain in Senate (Harvard Chan School news) Read Full Storylast_img read more

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University celebrates MLK Day

first_imgThis year, the University is taking new steps to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. That effort began last night with the beginning of the first ever Walk the Walk Week, a series of events designed to promote diversity and inclusion at Notre Dame.The week kicked off Sunday night with a march and candlelit prayer service in the Main Building, followed by a late night breakfast in South Dining Hall.Michael Yu | The Observer “The march marks — quite literally — the University community’s first steps in coming together that day,” a University-wide email said. “The hope is that our collective reflection on the values that are so central both to King’s legacy and to Notre Dame’s mission will continue in various settings throughout the days, weeks and months to come.”The President’s Office, Diversity Council, Multicultural Student Programs and Services, the Department of Africana Studies and the Institute for Latino Studies, in addition to a number of other clubs and departments on campus, will sponsor a variety of events over the course of the week.“So many people worked together to make this happen,” senior Chizo Ekechukwu, chair of Diversity Council, said. “A lot of different groups throughout campus came together in collaboration to create conversations about this topic.”This year, for the first time, Notre Dame cancelled all classes and other campus activities from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Students, faculty and staff with tickets may attend a luncheon and panel discussion in the Joyce Center during this time. All other members of the community may eat a special meal at the dining halls during this time by presenting a Notre Dame ID.Senior Rachel Wallace, a member of Diversity Council, said she thinks Walk the Walk Week will provide the Notre Dame community with more opportunities to reflect on the meaning of King’s legacy.“There’s been a lot of conversation about why we don’t have Martin Luther King Day off because we should be honoring him,” she said. “The whole week makes the celebration about something bigger than just the holiday. The best way to honor him is living out his ideas.”Senior Ray’Von Jones, Student Union representative to Diversity Council, said she is especially excited to listen to a presentation from Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, on Monday night in DeBartolo Hall.“What better way to understand an emerging movement, something that’s so widespread at this point, than hearing it from the people who cofounded it?” Jones said. “Hopefully the talk will help people better understand the significance of the week in general.”Throughout the rest of the week, the University will host various events and panels to highlight the themes of diversity and inclusion, both in the past and the present.“I think people tend to think that diversity and inclusion aren’t an issue that they need to be involved in,” Jones said. “It’s important not to look at the Civil Rights Movement as a static thing, because people are still fighting for civil rights, and there are still people who lack civil rights.“The week challenges us to live out what Dr. King was working for and what so many other civil rights leaders were and are working for.”Ekechukwu said the week is a chance for Notre Dame students to focus on little things they can do on a daily basis to make Notre Dame a better place.“Martin Luther King Jr. is someone that so many people really respect. He’s an iconic figure, but I feel like a lot of times his words and what he stands for can get lost,” she said. “ … I’m really hoping Walk the Walk Week will open people’s eyes about things and help them take a more active role to make Notre Dame a more inclusive place.”Wallace said she thinks Walk the Walk Week will continue in future years.“We’re stepping into new territory,” she said. “There’s a lot of visions that haven’t been incorporated yet and things that I’m sure we can do better every year. I think this is a great step in the right direction, but I would love to see this week continue to grow.”The hashtag #NDwalkthewalk will be used on social media throughout the week to engage students in the conversations about diversity and inclusion, Wallace said.“How are you going to walk the walk? What’s your next step?” she said. “That’s the theme of the week — challenging people to act or get involved.”Jones said she hopes Notre Dame students can send a message and inspire other schools to create conversations about civil rights in today’s age.“Hopefully people will come out and support and engage in the events,” she said. “I think people will walk away with more motivation to improve our community and get more involved, realizing what struggles were in the past and what we are still struggling with.”University President Fr. John Jenkins has been involved with the organization of Walk the Walk Week, Ekechukwu said, embodying the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.“Fr. Jenkins is going to be at all the events,” she said. “He’s really put this on his priority list when he’s a very busy man. It says a lot about his intentions and his goals for the University. … It shows that this is something Notre Dame believes in.”A full schedule of the week’s events can be found online at http://diversity.nd.edu/walk-the-walk/Tags: Martin Luther King Jr., MLK Week, Walk the Walk Weeklast_img read more

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Organic alternatives

first_imgThere is nothing quite like the taste and freshness of homegrown vegetables. While growing them in the South can be a challenge – thanks to weeds, disease and insects – many of us prefer a more simplistic, environmentally-friendly approach to growing our veggies.Not to say an organic approach is the only way to grow produce. Chemical alternatives used correctly can certainly aid some gardeners and are no doubt vital in the commercial side of feeding our nation. However, in my two decades of gardening, I have found chemical dependence can be greatly reduced or eliminated by following sound management practices in the garden.Soil careThe strongest characteristic of a successful organic gardener is soil care. This is perhaps one of the single most important factors to preventing pests and problems in the garden. A stressed plant that grows slowly because of soil problems will likely be a target of disease and insects. And it may not survive.Soil care starts with adding generous amounts of organic matter to your planting site. Buying one or two bags of top soil or manure and dusting you garden plot with a fraction of an inch of amendment will not get the job done. Think in terms of adding 4 to 6 inches of a good, weed-free amendment and then till this deeply into the native soil.I added a foot of good top soil to my garden a few years ago, and it has done wonders for my crop. Since then, I’ve seen increased and faster germination of seeds, increased yield per plant and better resistance in times of drought or too much rain.FertilizerOne of the greatest debates among gardeners comes in the area of fertilization. True organic growers rely totally on natural materials such as stable manures, fish meal, bone meal and others. Other semi-organic growers, such as myself, draw the line at using chemical pesticides but don’t mind throwing in a little synthetic fertilizer to supplement the organic.Many folks don’t realize our plants are unable to tell a difference in the original source of nutrients they absorb. Nitrogen is nitrogen to a plant.The only real benefit of using organic fertilizer sources is they amend the soil and make a better root environment. They also must be broken down by organisms before they can be used as nutrients by plants. This can be a benefit as they supply nutrients to plants for much longer periods of time without frequent applications. There is also less chance of burning roots with organic fertilizers since they are less soluble.If there is a drawback to using organic fertilizers, it is because the nutrient content of most organic fertilizers is very low. It can take a lot of manure and bone meal to equal a small quantity of synthetic fertilizer. Where a common commercial synthetic fertilizer may contain 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorous and 10 percent potassium, the average organic fertilizer may be closer to a ratio of 2:1:1 for these same elements.It would be nice to have a horse or cattle farm lined up in advance if you plan to use organic forms of fertilizers only.last_img read more

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Is that service? I don’t know.

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: John HycheIs that service?My sister recently sold her house.  Like most folks in that situation, she had big plans for the sales proceeds that required rather quick action to make all the transactions flow smoothly.  Thinking ahead (she’s always been one to worry about what’s beyond the horizon), she called her credit union to ask about their funds availability policy.She thought this was a question best posed to the member services department and called them.  What happened next falls into that “truth is stranger than fiction” category.Sis called during normal hours and got a friendly member service representative on the line.  She asked, “When will my funds be available from a very large deposit if I make the deposit tomorrow afternoon?”  Sounds pretty straight forward, right?  Then came the bewildering answer, “I don’t know.  That’s really a question for the tellers.”  The advice continued, “Just bring the check in and they’ll tell you how much you can have.”  Is that service?  It’s certainly not the answer my sister expected; it’s a non-answer at best.  Not only was the member service representative unable to clearly address the question, there was no referral to someone who could provide an answer during the phone call.Realizing that she’d stepped in a quagmire of ineptitude.  My sister called back and was able to get instructions for wiring the funds rather than risk a funds availability problem because the credit union couldn’t articulate their policy. continue reading »last_img read more

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M56 corridor market overview: Corridor of power

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

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Canary sale hinges on RBS purchases

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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This inner-city Ascot apartment has hit the market

first_img1/60 Dobson St, Ascot.Located in a complex of five close to Racecourse Rd, this ground-floor apartment features a 26sq m wraparound courtyard with side access.Living and dining areas boast terracotta-coloured floor tiles and sliding glass doors opening to a covered patio and the courtyard.Back inside, the kitchen has ample white cabinetry, stone benchtops and a dishwasher. The main bedroom boasts an ensuite, split-system airconditioning and direct access to the courtyard.More from newsFor under $10m you can buy a luxurious home with a two-lane bowling alley5 Apr 2017Military and railway history come together on bush block24 Apr 2019There are also security screens, intercom access and a double garage, and the residence is rented at $400 per week until October. DETAILS 1/60 Dobson St, Ascottwo bed, two bath, two carFor sale: $540,000AGENT: Kate Collingwood, Ray White Ascotlast_img read more

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Friday people roundup

first_imgGAM – Lars Jaeger, founder of Alternative Beta Partners, an investment boutique based in Switzerland, and his colleagues Pierre-Yves Moix and Stephan Müller, have joined the GAM Alternative Investments Solutions (AIS) team to enhance existing liquid alternative risk premia solutions for institutional clients.Morgan Stanley Investment Management – Jens Nystedt has been appointed managing director of the emerging market debt team. He will be portfolio manager and head of sovereign research. He joins from Moore Capital Management, where he was chief economist, global strategist and portfolio manager.Deutsche Bank – Elizabeth Nolan has been appointed head of custody and clearing, effective January 2015. She joins from JP Morgan, where over the past 12 years she has held various senior leadership roles across securities services, most recently heading Client Services & Client Onboarding globally for Markets & Investor Services.SYZ & CO – Suzanna Wong has been appointed head of sales for Asia and Hong Kong. She joins from Swiss & Global Asset Management (formerly Julius Baer Asset Management), where she was an executive director and head of sales for Asia.AEW Europe – Philip Olmer has been appointed executive director and head of legal and compliance. He joins from real estate law firm Nabarro, where he was a partner. Before then, he was a partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner and Olswang. Legal & General Investment Management, Casey, Quirk & Associates, Clifford Chance, GAM, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Deutsche Bank, SYZ & CO, AEW EuropeLegal & General Investment Management (LGIM) – Chris De Marco has been appointed head of institutional client management and strategy. De Marco joined LGIM in April 2013, working on product strategy in the Solutions team. Prior to joining LGIM, he was as an investment consultant and partner at Aon Hewitt, providing derivatives advice to the practice’s largest clients. Before then, he was involved in structuring and selling financial derivatives at Credit Suisse, HSBC and Salomon Brothers.Casey, Quirk & Associates – The management consulting firm for the global asset management industry has appointed Peter Chambers as senior adviser for Europe. Chambers has held multiple senior positions at prominent investment management organisations, including serving as chief executive and CIO at Legal & General Investment Management, chief executive at Framlington Group and CIO at Gartmore.Clifford Chance – Hans van Meerten has been appointed professor by special appointment of International Pension Law at the University of Utrecht Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. The chair was established on behalf of Instituut GAK and is the first of its kind. The appointment is for a period of five years and will be effective as per 1 January 2015.last_img read more

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