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North East dairy farmers take to the street

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Dairy farmers in the North East will be swapping their milk parlours for the pavement today as they head into Middlesbrough Town centre to convince shoppers to support local milk producers.

The decision to take to the streets comes after months of price cuts as the National Farmers Union claims more than 60 dairy farmers in the region have been forced to sell their cows and close their parlours.

Retailers say thatthey’re already sourcing the vast majority of goods in the UK.

Changing the brown in Newcastle Brown Ale

The ingredients that makes Newcastle Brown Ale brown is changing Credit: David Cheskin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The way that Newcastle Brown Ale gets its distinctive colour is to change.

Heineken, the company that brews the world famous beer, says it is in the process of changing the recipe due to concerns over the current ingredients.

Caramel colouring is currently used to give the ale its iconic brown appearance.

Heineken says that after listening to consumer concerns, particularly in the USA, it decided to review their recipe.

Roasted malts will now be used to achieve the colour and flavour of Newcastle Brown Ale in the UK and USA.

"Caramel colouring is found in many of the food and beverage products that we all enjoy, including many beers, and is permitted by recognised food standards bodies.

"The amount used in Newcastle Brown Ale is comfortably within the recommended levels set by these bodies.

"However, we listened to consumer concerns that have been expressed, particularly in the USA, and chose to review our recipe.

"We will now achieve the distinctive colouring and flavour of Newcastle Brown Ale, that our consumers enjoy, by using roasted malts instead."

– Heineken

More than 100 jobs at risk as Tesco plan to shut three stores in the North East

Credit: PA

Supermarket chain Tesco have confirmed the locations of the 43 stores it plans on closing to cut costs, three of which are in our region:

  • Bedlington, Tesco Superstore
  • Whitley Bay, Tesco Express
  • York Road Hartlepool, Tesco Express

90 jobs are at risk in Bedlington, 18 in Hartlepool and 15 in Whitley Bay.

But Tesco say these 123 positions are not expected job losses, because they will work with colleagues to try and find them alternative roles elsewhere and where that is not possible redundancy will be offered.

Tesco Chief Executive Dave Lewis said:

In January I announced that our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and that to protect the future of the business in the UK we would close 43 unprofitable stores.

The decision to close the stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard working colleagues, our customers and local communities.

Our priority is to explain what this announcement means for our colleagues and wherever possible, offer them alternative roles with Tesco. We will continue to serve our customers through other local stores and our dotcom service."

– Dave Lewis

Last year the chain came under fire for overstating their profits by £263m.

The decision is putting 2,000 jobs in danger nationwide.

Read more: Full list of Tesco stores set for closure.


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Shopping over the Festive period causes most stress

Braving the shops tops the list of what causes stress during the festive season, according to a poll by a blood pressure charity.

The Boxing Day sales can seriously damage your health, according to Blood Pressure UK Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Blood Pressure UK carried out the survey to demonstrate just what a stressful time of year the Festive period can be, and as the Boxing Day sales begin offer advice on how to keep blood pressure down.

The poll found that shopping for presents (29%), panic over what gifts to buy (16%) and the cost of Christmas (12%) are the biggest triggers for stress.

Only one in four people (25%) said they felt no stress at all over Christmas.

The charity provides information and support for the 16 million people living with high blood pressure, and raises awareness of how to prevent the condition.

"As this poll shows, Christmas can be quite stressful for a lot of people; everything from trying to find somewhere to park, braving the crowds during busy times and dealing with the queues, which can cause people to feel their blood pressure rising.

"However, stress is just one of many lifestyle factors that put up our blood pressure, which causes two-thirds of all strokes and half of all heart attacks."

– Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman of Blood Pressure UK

High blood pressure affects more than one in four adults in the UK and there are several factors that can cause the condition, which include not only stress, but also eating too much salt, drinking too much and the lack of physical activity - all elements that happen around Christmas time when we start to relax and over indulge.

"Many people are unaware they have high blood pressure; there are over five million people walking around like a ticking time bomb.

"High blood pressure is symptomless, but the strokes and heart attacks it causes are not, which is why it is called 'the silent killer'."Our advice is to stay away from the crowds if you find shopping stressful - try planning ahead or shopping online.

"Whilst you're at it, add a home blood pressure monitor to your shopping list, as measuring your blood pressure at home has been shown to be a great way to take control of your health."

– Katharine Jenner, chief executive of Blood Pressure UK
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