RSF_en May 7, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Transnistrian authorities trying to break journalist held on spying charge to go further Transnistrian journalist gets presidential pardon in return for televised confession News Organisation Moldovan reporters harassed by Russian soldiers on border with Transnistria MoldovaEurope – Central Asia Receive email alerts MoldovaEurope – Central Asia News News The wife of Ernest Vardanean, a journalist who has been detained in Tiraspol, the capital of the breakaway region of Transnistria, on charges of spying and high treason since 7 April, is very worried about his physical and mental health.Irina Vardanean, who has just been allowed to visit her husband for only the second time since his arrest, said his physical condition has deteriorated considerably and he is suffering from depression. He has been subjected to hours of interrogation designed to exhaust him and make him confess to things he did not do, she reported.She also said the Transnistrian authorities are still refusing to let her husband be represented by a lawyer, violating a fundamental right. They have rejected the Moldovan lawyer proposed by the family on the grounds that state secrets could be jeopardised.Irina Vardanean has written to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev requesting his help. As the Kremlin has a great deal of influence over the Transnistrian government, she thinks this could be the best card to play.Reporters Without Borders reiterates its dismay about Vardanean’s detention and treatment and calls for his release. In the meantime, it urges the authorities to allow him to see his lawyer, so that the proceedings can start running along legal lines.Ion Manole, the head of the Moldovan human rights NGO Promo Lex, said the Transnistrian judicial authorities often bring charges of spying or high treason against government opponents in order to intimidate and silence them.————————————————-15.04.2010 Journalist facing long jail term : Does arrest signal campaign by breakaway region against pro-Moldovan journalists? Journalists must be respected during Moldova’s political crisis Help by sharing this information News Reporters Without Borders condemns the detention of leading independent journalist and political analyst Ernest Vardanean in Tiraspol, the capital of the breakaway region of Transnistria. Arrested by the Transnistrian intelligence agency, the MGB, on 7 April, he is facing between 12 and 20 years in prison on a charge of high treason.Vardanean, who is from Tiraspol, is currently being held in the breakaway territory’s national security headquarters after a court held a closed-door hearing and ordered him placed in pre-trial detention for two months.According to a television station in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau, the Transnistrian authorities have accused Vardanean under article 272 of the Transnistrian constitution of spying for Moldova. Transnistria declared itself independent of Moldova in 1990 but its secession has not been recognised by Moldova or any other state.Reporters Without Borders fears that the Tiraspol authorities could, in an arbitrary and untransparent manner, impose a long jail sentence on Vardanean although they lack any grounds for doing so. His arrest may be the first move in a broader campaign against Transnistrian journalists working for Moldovan media who express views critical of the breakaway region’s authorities.Vardanean’s wife Irina said his computer was seized when he was arrested. She still had not received any news from Vardanean or any information as to the conditions in which he was being held two days after his arrest.He used to work for the Novii Reghion news agency but recently began freelancing. He is well known among Moldovan journalists for being critical of Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov. He had been due to begin this week to write for a blog on the Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty Moldovan service’s website.Journalists working in regions with lasting political conflicts are often in a delicate situation. There is always a danger of their falling victim to regional political rivalry and harassment of the press often foreshadows a resurgence in regional tension.Located along Moldova’s eastern border with Ukraine, Transnistria declared its independence of Moldova after the USSR’s collapse. Supported by Russia, it has a constitution, a flag and an independent army but it has not been recognised by any country. June 14, 2019 Find out more Follow the news on Moldova July 23, 2020 Find out more May 6, 2011 Find out more
Aideen Kirby of Brew Tea Co (top left), Vivien Wong of Little Moons (top right), Jonny Shimmin of Spoon Cereals and Pip Murray of Pip & NutThat first conversation with a supermarket buyer is as nerve-wracking as meetings come – and small brands can feel especially exposed.So how do you make sure you deliver the best possible pitch? The founders of Pip & Nut, Spoon Cereals, Little Moons and Brew Tea Co. share their top tips for food & drink entrepreneurs.Tip 1: Do your research“Apart from the obvious – why your product is amazing and the story – know the retailer and tailor your pitch to them,” says Vivien Wong of Little Moons.Here’s a quick checklist to bear in mind:Understand who you’re targeting and where you sit on-shelf relative to everyone else. You can only tailor the pitch by understanding on-shelf pricing and competition. “Store, shelf and product research make up as much of our pitch as our own products do,” says Jonny Shimmin of Spoon Cereals.Roughly know what margins the retailer is looking for and incorporate that into your pricing.Lay out payment terms, minimum order quantities, customer contribution, stores and SKUs count, so these roll up into one negotiation.Understand the available marketing mechanisms (vouchers, introductory discount, banner ads) – work out which suits your product best.Understand rebates, over-riders and other sales mechanisms so you’re ready for the conversation. “Be clear about all the commercial terms you need to agree, not just case price,” adds Pip Murray of Pip & Nut.Tip 2: Ask for helpAideen Kirby: “Ask for help from as many people as you can. Buyers have hundreds of other suppliers, so a conversation with someone in the industry on tactics can get you further.Vivien Wong: “We were lucky to have guidance from a fellow foodpreneur. It is useful to talk to others in the industry, which is why a platform like Young Foodies is so helpful.”Read more: 5 tips for budding food entrepreneurs from people who have made itJonny Shimmin: “Understand each retailer’s supply chain systems – they don’t always explain this up-front but investing our own time with supply chain teams was worthwhile.Pip Murray: “Fmcg mentors/investors are really beneficial when navigating the intricacies of supplying larger retailers.”Tip 3: Be human and interestingJonny Shimmin: “Tell your story! We have more interesting stories to tell than account managers who the buyers see daily.”Vivien Wong: “Share your delicious product. The buyer got our product immediately and really liked the texture of the mochi.”Pip Murray: “Set the tone at the start of any new buyer meeting: introduce your story, vision, mission and values. I’m passionate about what we are working towards and I want to bring any buyer into our world.”Aideen Kirby: “Let your buyer know you’re working hard. We used to send postcards from stores we visited and sampled in.”Tip 4: Appreciate the work once you’re on the shelfAideen Kirby: “A listing is the start of the hard work! Once your product is on the shelf, make sure it sells – meaning a lot of graft along the way.”Jonny Shimmin: “Plan getting your products off the shelf, not just on it. Rate of sale is important and your activation plan for making it work is key to getting on the shelf in the first place.”Pip Murray: “Lay out your marketing plans about how you are going to activate both in and out of stores to drive awareness of your brand and rate of sale. Whether this is through sampling in store, PR or point of sale, it’s key that buyers know that you are going to work hard to get products moving off the shelf.”Tip 5: Final thoughtsAideen Kirby: “Have agendas for discussions instead of ‘catch-ups’. Send your plan in advance so everyone is prepared and you don’t rely too much on busy buyers after the meeting.”Vivien Wong: “Getting listed takes time – manage your expectations accordingly. Don’t fret too much.”Jonny Shimmin: “Be honest about what you can realistically achieve. There is no point in having an amazing product you have slaved over if you cannot be a reliable and consistent supplier going forward. Don’t overpromise.”Pip Murray: “Pitching to a supermarket is not Dragon’s Den! You do need to know your numbers and tailor a presentation to that specific customer, but it’s not an interrogationAideen Kirby: Sell them the future. Small brands are a risk – but we’re more interesting, so that’s in our favour.”Thea Alexander is founder of Young Foodies, a community for early-stage fmcg brands
UEFA boss Michel Platini has formally declared – but may not be able to stand, unless the ethics committee at world football’s governing body lifts his 90-day ban.