Only 3% of 16-18-year-olds in Northern Ireland are interested in a career in the food and drink industry, according to research from food and drink sector skills council Improve. “The food and drink industry is currently worth £3bn a year to the NI economy and 6,000 new staff are required in the country by 2017,” said chief executive Jack Matthews. “This research shows the urgent need to alter perceptions and educate students about the benefits of a career in the sector.” Over 990 companies have signed up to exhibit at the IBA trade show, from 3 to 9 October 2009 in Düsseldorf. Greener, more efficient baking equipment and coffee are expected to be key focuses for the exhibition. == Asda’s fleet focus == == IBA exhibitors == == Heart health concern == Brits are still not doing enough to improve their heart health, says Datamonitor in a new report. In 2008, only a third of people in the UK told Datamonitor that they pay a ’high’ or ’very high’ amount of attention to their heart health. More than a quarter (29%) admitted that they only pay a ’low’ or ’very low’ amount of attention to the issue. == Dearth of youngsters for food roles in NI == == Irwin’s rebrand boost == Asda is reducing its transport costs and aims to reduce its fleet’s emissions by 40%. New software will allow for more efficient route planning and use of its fleets and drivers. Northern Irish bakery Irwin’s is to launch a TV advert to mark the culmination of an 18-month rebranding exercise, representing an investment equivalent to £2m nationally. The 40-second advert will launch on screens across Northern Ireland this month.