6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Like it or not, government rules and initiatives have an impact on your credit union. This week – in addition to updates on upcoming regulations related to payday loans, electronic checks, military lending and Dodd-Frank – we consider White House cybersecurity czar Rob Joyce’s suggestion to retire Social Security numbers in favor of a more modern approach to identity. Once again, change rules.White House: Is It Time to Retire Social Security Numbers?PYMNTSWill the government ditch Social Security numbers in favor of a “modern cryptographic identifier?” Rob Joyce, White House cybersecurity czar, thinks Social Security numbers may be ready to retire, since they no longer fulfill their intended function – and bring a number of unintended challenges.New CFPB Rule Could Curb Payday Loan IndustryReutersThe CFPB released a new regulation that could put a chill on revenues for the $6 billion payday loan industry. The rule requires lenders to determine if borrowers can repay their debts and caps the number of loans lenders can make to a borrower. If this regulation survives challenges in Congress and in court, it could be a boon for consumers and conventional lenders alike. continue reading »
A FULL field has already been registered for the Trophy Stall-sponsored Lusignan Golf Club’s (LGC) 2018 season-opener billed for tomorrow at the club’s facility, Lusignan, East Coast Demerara.The tournament, which has attracted Guyana’s top golfers both male and female, will tee-off at 12:30hrs and will see the golfers compete on a refurbished surface.Over the past week president of the club, Aleem Hussain, had the fairways spruced up and the trenches surrounding the playing area and those within the playing venue were cleared and dug out, making the fairways free of water and suitable for golf to be played in the month of January.According to Hussain, through the assistance of MACORP, which provided an excavator to dig the drains, the club within a matter of one week was able to restore and upgrade the facility, making it playable.Hussain disclosed that the Managing Director of Trophy Stall, Ramesh Sunich, has over the years been very supportive to the club and he (Hussain) is very grateful.Sunich, in an invited comment, said he is always ready to assist in whatever way he can, not only the Lusignan Golf Club but on a regular basis many other sports associations and organisations. “This is one way of giving back,” Sunich said.Meanwhile, defending ladies’ champion Christine Sukhram, who has won the national championship on eight occasions will be hardpressed by two-time champion Joann Deo.Eight-time men’s champion Avinash Persaud will be defending his title tomorrow also.
PreviousHouston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni yells at an official after a foul call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers forwards Kyle Kuzma (0) and LeBron James (23) celebrate the team’s impending win over the Houston Rockets, in the final minute of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) lays up a shot past Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) grabs Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) after a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) works to the basket around Houston Rockets guard James Harden, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope talks with referee Tony Brown about a call during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives in front of Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) and forward PJ Tucker during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) bumps Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7) drives between Houston Rockets center Clint Capela, left, and guard James Harden during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Houston Rockets guard James Harden, right, shoots next to Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) knocks over Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker, right, on a drive to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reaches in as Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook tries to keep control of the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni yells at an official after a foul call during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)Los Angeles Lakers forwards Kyle Kuzma (0) and LeBron James (23) celebrate the team’s impending win over the Houston Rockets, in the final minute of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)NextShow Caption1 of 12Los Angeles Lakers forwards Kyle Kuzma (0) and LeBron James (23) celebrate the team’s impending win over the Houston Rockets, in the final minute of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)ExpandHOUSTON — The chants started with just over five minutes left.The Lakers were leading by 16, and streams of red-clad fans were heading up the Toyota Center aisles. Emboldened, a remaining cadre of Lakers faithful filled the arena with shouting: “LET’S GO LAKERS!”Clad in a blazer, a gold polo and a pair of Chuck Taylors, injured All-Star forward Anthony Davis waved his fingers in time as if he were directing them. As the arena pumped music in to suppress them, the dissidents only got louder.The Lakers were impossible to drown out on Saturday night. Off the court as well as on it. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersLeBron James had 31 points and 12 assists, Kyle Kuzma added 23 points and the Lakers (34-8) pounded the Houston Rockets 124-115 with a second-half rally that blew the supporting fans out of the arena.James and Kuzma led a 65-50 second-half rally, and the Lakers tightened their defense on James Harden and Russell Westbrook, arguably the toughest offensive backcourt duo in the NBA. While the two Houston stars combined for 69 points, the Rockets’ bench struggled while the Lakers’ own reserves helped push them to 4-1 in this most recent stretch without Davis.The only loss, a one-point defeat to Orlando on Wednesday that snapped their nine-game win streak, seemed to chafe them.“We hated the loss that we had the other night against Orlando,” James said. “We had a couple days to just reshape, refocus and start the second half of the season the right way, and we did that tonight.”A physical first half made the Lakers seem destined for a 48-minute mudfight. The Rockets (26-15) made James muscle in for his drives against defensive bulwark P.J. Tucker and ruthlessly chased 3-point shooters off the free-throw line. The Lakers were just 4 for 14 from long range in the first half, and James – playing again without Davis – had only one other teammate (Danny Green, 10 points) in double figures after the first half. The Lakers’ rally seized on several momentum-shifting plays, including back-to-back blocked shots by JaVale McGee that helped energize the crowd and spur a 32-17 third-quarter advantage.That sequence included a celebration by McGee which earned him a technical foul, one of three the Lakers were surprised to receive on the evening (including one for Davis on the bench). But they also felt it was part of the formula, along with the crowd and the energy they had on the court, that kept them churning along atop the Western Conference.James might as well have had the chants still ringing in his ears as he packed to leave.“It’s something that you really can’t explain unless you’re involved in it,” James said after the Lakers improved to an NBA-best 18-3 on the road. “We love the Laker faithful when we’re in Staples Center or when they travel with us. Tonight they showed (themselves) and we just tried to give it back to them by performing the way we did on the floor.” Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The other end wasn’t looking promising, either, as the Lakers couldn’t wall off the bruising drives of Westbrook, who backed down defenders at will to the tune of 22 first-half points (16 in the paint). With Harden also getting to the free-throw line, the Lakers looked taxed and in need of a second star to contend.They didn’t need one, as Kuzma scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also scored 20, as the Lakers’ guards found a rhythm back-cutting Houston’s Clint Capela for 54 points in the paint.But the biggest change was defense. The Lakers tweaked their trap scheme on Harden, the league’s leading scorer, to force him to pass out to his supporting cast. Those players weren’t able to punish the Lakers: Eric Gordon and Danuel House combined for 23 points, the only points the reserves scored, and none of the other Houston starters finished in double figures.Double-teaming Harden was a unique scheme the Lakers had only practiced on Friday, the day before the game. Green said that experience helped carry them through.“If you haven’t done it all year, even if you have practiced, it’s tough to make an adjustment on the fly,” he said. “You can do it in film, but when you have veterans like we have on this team, it’s easier … because guys have been doing it for some time in this league. We kind of trust each other.”The other adjustment was having Kuzma defend Westbrook. While Westbrook found the strength to back down Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso, moving the 6-foot-9 Kuzma was not as simple. It took away post touches that Westbrook had been using to carve up the Lakers in the first half.“Just try to keep him in front, take tough shots and just not foul,” Kuzma said. “These guys, they look for fouls. And if you keep them off the line, it bodes pretty well for you.”Harden and Westbrook ended up taking a combined 27 free throws, but just 12 were in the second half.Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years
A federal judge on Thursday ordered the immediate release of Chelsea Manning from jail, saying “her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose.”The former intelligence analyst’s legal team revealed Wednesday that she tried to commit suicide earlier that day, but was taken to a hospital where she is recovering.Manning has been incarcerated since last May for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. She was scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday for a hearing on a motion to terminate the civil contempt sanctions which arose from that refusal. In the motion filed last month, her attorneys argued that Manning has shown during her time behind bars that she cannot be forced to testify before a grand jury. Manning previously served seven years in a military prison for making public a trove of WikiLeaks documents, before President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence before he left office in 2017.Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne said Wednesday: “There was an incident at approximately 12:11 p.m. today at the Alexandria Adult Detention Center involving inmate Chelsea Manning. It was handled appropriately by our professional staff and Ms. Manning is safe.”Andy Stepanian, a spokesman for Manning’s legal team, said in a statement on Wednesday that Manning “remains unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse.”
The bad news for Mount Sentinel is the Golden Eagles won the Selkirk Storm High School Girl’s Volleyball Tournament in Kimberley.However, the good news for the Cats is, despite finishing fourth in the eight-team event, Mount Sentinel is getting ever so close to the elite teams in the Kootenay zone.Meaning, when the Kootenay High School A Girl’s tournament rolls around, the Cats will be in the thick of things when organizers hand out the winner’s hardware and a trip to the provincial tournament.“We now have a two weeks to prepare for the Kootenay finals,” said Mount Sentinel head coach Joe Moreira.“Golden is now the favorite, but there are four other teams (including the Wildcats) that want an opportunity to beat them.”The Cats lost to Fernie Falcons 25-23, 25-18, in the consolation final in a match that “neither team showed the same fire that was clearly evident in the semi finals.”But it was a nail biting loss to Cranbrook’s Mount Baker Wild, won by the East Kootenay squad 21-19 in the third game, which had Moreira & Company feeling very good.“Although the loss meant we wouldn’t have another chance to play Golden (in the final), the match left us feeling pretty good about how we competed,” Moreira explained.The Wildcats opened the tournament with a loss to David Thompson of Invermere.The club then reeled off wins over J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail and Creston’s Prince Charles Comets before dropping a straight set match to Golden — 25-21, 25-22.Mount Sentinel rebounded during the playoff round, edging out the host Storm 2-1.Single-A teams in the Kootenay zone now return to the practice court in preparation for the zone playoffs November 18-19 in Fernie.Wildcat boys mixed it up against elite provincial teamsThe Mount Sentinel Wildcats continue to improve on a season quest to be ready for the upcoming B.C. High School AA Boy’s Volleyball Championships at the end of the month in Kelowna.The Cats finished with a 3-2 record to place 11th overall at an elite high school boy’s tournament in Kelowna.Mount Sentinel, still missing starting setter Myles Christman due to an eligibility ruling by B.C. School Sports, defeated Rutland Voodoos 2-0 and Vernon 2-0 before finishing the tournament with a major victory over No. 2 ranked single-A, Kelowna Christian 2-0.Mixed into the weekend were losses to Kelowna Secondary 3-1 and Sahali 2-0.The Cats now travel to Cranbrook to participate in the Mount Baker Wild tournament beginning [email protected]
Sparked by a ball control offence Team Ferda repeated as champs in the Open Division of the Nelson Youth Soccer Winter Tournament Sunday at the Indoor Facility on Cedar Street.Ryan Lewis and Mitch Popadynetz each scored three times as Team Ferda defeated D-Nial 8-0 to capture the Winter Open Division Tournament title.Popednytz and Lewis struck early in the game, each scoring once as Team Ferda jumped to a 3-0 lead at halftime.Lewis scored his second of the game five minutes into the second half and the rout was on.Andrew Tranfo and Kevin Lewis completed the scoring for Team Ferda. Keeper Mitch Melanson, called on to make a few key saves, registered the shutout in goal for Team Ferda. Team Ferda, winners of the A Pool with a 2-0 mark, advanced to the final by stopping PT Wagons 7-2 in semi final action Sunday morning.PT Wagons jumped to a 2-0 lead before Team Ferda struck for three goals before halftime to secure a 3-2 lead at recess.Team Ferda then increased the margin as the second half progressed.In the other semi final, D-Nial, champs of the B-Pool, outlasted Pawnee Rangers.PT Wagons edged Pawnee Rangers for the consolation prize in the Open Division.Los Amigos defeated Real Lenheds 6-5 to finish fifth in the tournament.In the Winter Rec Division, Abacus scored early and often to defeat Blue Thunder 6-1 in the final.Both teams finished the round robin with 20 points after playing to a 2-2 draw during the previous action.Team Focus took third with 13 points Red Dog close behind in fourth with 11.
SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Lillard shook off a sluggish night to score five of his 25 points in overtime, and the Portland rallied after blowing a 14-point halftime lead to beat the Sacramento Kings 113-108 on Tuesday night.“They outplayed us for most of the second half,” a weary Lillard said. “At that point you have to come together as a group and kind of forget about everything that’s happened. You have to make plays happen from that point on to pull out a game and I thought we did a great job of that.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionJusuf Nurkic had 24 points and a career-high 23 rebounds to help Portland to its fourth straight win over Sacramento. CJ McCollum added 16 points, and Maurice Harkless had 11 points and nine rebounds.“The effort it took to come back and win in overtime, I was really impressed with our guys,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “To make a comeback like that you have to be good at both ends, and we were.” BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid Kawhi Leonard unleashes career-best 45 as Raptors beat Jazz Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “He picks and chooses his spots of when he wants to go,” Joerger said. “He just went around people and shot layups.”Buddy Hield scored 27 points for Sacramento. Nemanja Bjelica added 14 points and 16 rebounds, and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 19 points.De’Aaron Fox had 13 points on 6 of 19 shooting and missed a jumper at the end of regulation.“We just have to execute at the end of the game,” Fox said. “We had makeable shots and we just didn’t make them.”Portland led by 64-50 at halftime and was up by seven entering the fourth before Sacramento went on a big run led by Bogdanovic. He scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and scored all five of the Kings points in overtime.Hield made five 3s and had 19 points in the first half, but Seth Curry and Nurkic combined for 30 points before halftime.TIP-INSBlazers: Curry had a season-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting. … Nurkic had a double-double by halftime. … Harkless returned after sitting out against Philadelphia on Saturday because of a sore left knee. … Portland had five turnovers in each of the first three quarters.Kings: Bogdanovic missed his first eight shots. … Hield made five 3s. … Cauley-Stein had five points and 11 rebounds.NURKIC’S BIG NIGHT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Lillard wasn’t much of a factor until late in the fourth quarter when he scored seven of Portland’s final nine points, including a layup with 15.5 seconds remaining to force overtime.The Blazers dominated after that while outscoring the Kings 10-5 in the overtime. Lillard made three free throws and a 20-foot jumper to spark Portland’s finish and erase an otherwise rough night shooting from its backcourt tandem of Lillard and McCollum.Lillard went 8 of 21 from the floor. McCollum shot 8 of 19.“I woke up this morning feeling a little beat up, a little bit tired,” Lillard said. “But I’ve been a lot more sick.”Kings coach Dave Joerger said Lillard was the difference, especially down the stretch.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, center, tries to squeeze past Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, left, while guarding Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. The Trail Blazers won in overtime, 113-108. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)SACRAMENTO, California–Damian Lillard woke up Tuesday morning feeling out of sorts and didn’t get much better through the first three quarters against Sacramento. When Portland needed him the most, however, their All-Star guard came through in a big way.It wasn’t necessarily Michael Jordan dropping 38 on Utah in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals but it was more than enough to help the Trail Blazers kick off the new year the right way.ADVERTISEMENT Sacramento had no answer for Nurkic in the middle. Joerger was so frustrated that he benched 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein early in the first quarter after Nurkic had five points as part of a 10-3 run. Portland’s big man also a good job getting to the line, making 14 of 16 free throws to go with five blocks, five steals and seven assists.“Nurk’s been on a role,” Stotts said. “Tonight may be probably the best game he’s played as a Blazer. He did a little bit of everything.”UP NEXTBlazers: Host Oklahoma City on Friday.Kings: Host Denver on Thursday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening View comments
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Challenge your friends You star Wigan Athletic sold defender Reece James to Sunderland this week. Then they… Uefa Cup second round in 1983 Share on Twitter Francesco Molinari has become the first golfer from which country to win a major championship? A fine effort Bolivia Malta Sven-Göran Eriksson is in line to become the Iraq manager, which would mean he has worked in 10 different countries. With which club did he win the Uefa Cup? Share on Twitter Chris Froome Signed defender Reece James on loan from Chelsea Reece James has been replaced by Reece James. An easy one for the kitman. It has 18 different sponsors The club say they have boosted their sponsorship income by 70%. features What was unusual about the match between FC Nordsjaelland and Cliftonville in the Europa League? It was decided by a penalty shootout in which just one player scored Sport Tyson Fury about Tony Bellew Who had this to say about one of his rivals: “I could go to church, save a million puppies, 100,000 dolphins, seven blue whales and adopt 200 kids tomorrow and he will still be the golden goose. There’s no point me fighting that battle with him. People will get to see I’m real and a straight guy”? Share on Facebook Share via Email The Open 2018 Geraint Thomas is leading the Tour de France. Who was the last cyclist born in the UK to win the race? No rider born in the UK has won it Froome was born in Kenya and Wiggins was born in Belgium. Rob Green has joined Chelsea at the age of 38. Green won England caps from 2005 until 2012, yet made just one appearance at a major tournament. Which one? Cliftonville became the first team from Belfast to win a European match Benfica Bradley Wiggins The players’ names are printed along the front rather than the back Europa League last-32 in 2011 You hero Bought him back for three times the price IFK Gothenburg In 1982, when they won a two-legged final 4-0. He also lost Uefa Cup finals while in charge of Benfica and Lazio. Sampdoria Share on WhatsApp Argentina Golf Let their manager move to Sunderland You star Euro 2012 He grabbed the announcer’s mic and sang Falter by Hundred Reasons Sports quiz of the week Ah well. Better luck next week Reuse this content Since you’re here… It is see-through 1% of the match day revenue was given to charity Nordsjaelland joined Juan Mata’s Common Goal project earlier this summer and will now donate 1% of their match day income to charity. European Cup quarter-finals in 1961 They played Hamburg in the quarter-finals and lost 5-4 on aggregate. Dillian Whyte about Anthony Joshua Whyte meets Joseph Parker at the O2 Arena on Saturday night. Both fighters have only lost once in their careers – and both of them lost to Joshua. Champions League group stage in 1993 You hero Italy Molinari, who was born in Turin, went bogey-free over the weekend to win the tournament by two shots. Not bad (but not great) Submit answers Burnley and Aberdeen met for the first time on Thursday night in a Europa League qualifier. Aberdeen won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983. What is Burnley’s best performance in Europe? How did Bradley Wright-Phillips celebrate scoring his 100th goal for the New York Red Bulls? For the first time, they are not playing in the colour scarlet Roma He let off 100 fireworks behind the goal World Cup 2010 Green started the World Cup as England’s No1 but was dropped after the 1-1 draw with USA. Not bad (but not great) He took off his No99 shirt to reveal a No100 shirt below Wright-Phillips scored 100 goals in MLS in just 159 matches. Share via Email You got… Chris Froome about Bradley Wiggins Topics Ah well. Better luck next week He ran up to a huge dartboard and hit the bullseye twice, scoring 100 Euro 2008 Share on Facebook World Cup 2006 José Mourinho about Jürgen Klopp Ah well. Better luck next week Boxing Cadel Evans Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. What is new about Scarlets’ kit for the forthcoming rugby union season? Share on Messenger A fine effort Share on LinkedIn The Open The away team won 10-0 Signed his younger brother to replace him Share on Pinterest
TORONTO – Prepare to shell out a little more for the sweet treats of spring and summer as a global surge in the price of vanilla makes its impact at some small-batch ice cream shops and neighbourhood bakeries.The cost of the foodie staple has been on the rise for years, but is now starting to really be felt on retail shelves and mom-and-pop eateries that pride themselves on natural ingredients, say observers.That includes Toronto cupcake master Verge Manuel, who says the hike is exacerbating various financial pressures on his two gourmet shops, called Dlish.“There are certain forces that we have no control over which is the pricing of certain ingredients that we have to obviously pass along at some point because you can’t absorb it anymore,” says Manuel, whose brand revolves around the use of real Madagascar vanilla.“One of the rising costs is vanilla, absolutely.”When Dlish started seven years ago, Manuel says vanilla prices generally increased 10 per cent a year. But two years ago it doubled for him, and last year it went up five-fold.Vanilla prices are the highest they’ve ever been, says David van der Walde, director of Montreal-based vanilla importing company Aust & Hachmann Canada.He says the wholesale price now runs as high as C$850 per kilogram for premium beans — a 10 per cent increase from last year, which was 30 per cent more than the year before that.Five years ago, you could get vanilla for as little as US$20 per kilogram, adds van der Walde, calling that price “excruciatingly low.”It rose quickly as consumers began demanding natural ingredients in everything from chocolates to cakes to yogurt.So big food companies responded, with Hershey’s among the power players that announced a switch to real vanilla in 2015 for their chocolate bars.Meanwhile, increased demand coincided with shrinking supplies, says van der Walde, noting that less-established plantations outside of Madagascar gave up on the labour-intensive crop because prices were low.“And then the price starts to go up again,” he says.Things only got worse in March 2017 when a cyclone hit Madagascar, the world’s leading producer of vanilla, destroying a good portion of their output for 2018.Ever since then, ice cream maker Cyril Chalykoff says he can barely secure enough of the richly flavoured beans to keep production going.“We’re getting to the point now where it’s getting very, very, short supply,” says Chalykoff, president of London Ice Cream based in London, Ont.“We’re just scrambling. We’re scrambling.”Vanilla is pretty much synonymous with ice cream, he adds, scoffing at the possibility of dropping the flavour from his menu.“That’s like saying to a Canadian, ‘You can’t have coffee anymore.’”For now, he’s absorbing the cost, but with margins shrinking, he admits he’s weighed the pros and cons of charging more.“It’s unfortunate because a lot of people don’t really recognize the difference between one vanilla to the next, and you really get lumped in with (other) vanilla ice cream,” he says.“If we go up in our pricing a little bit then some customers won’t appreciate that, won’t understand it.”Even the big companies feel the impact, such as Nestle Canada and its naturally flavoured Real Dairy brand.Catherine O’Brien, senior vice president of corporate affairs, says in an emailed statement there are no plans to raise ice cream prices, but they are “continually managing ingredient and commodity costs across all of our product portfolios.”Smaller players are undoubtedly struggling, van der Walde says.“We sell vanilla beans directly to small ice cream shops here in Montreal who use them and they’re freaking out over the prices,” he said.Michelle Chow, president of the Vanilla Food Company, says she hears the same concerns from her ice cream clients, who tell her they expect to raise prices to keep pace.Chow’s online store sells to home bakers and commercial kitchens, with varied vanilla clients including soap makers, tea sellers and breweries.She says many have had to switch from whole beans or ground powder to more affordable options, such as extract or vanilla paste. But those, too, have gone up in price.“We kind of just changed a little of our focus to chocolate-supplying versus the vanilla so that our company can sustain as well,” says Chow, based in Markham, Ont.Chow admits she even finds herself rationing the product at home when she bakes with her kids.“Before it was more like, ‘Oh, a splash of this,’” she chuckles. “Now it’s like ‘No, no, no!’ You measure it to a T.”Chalykoff says his worst-case scenario would be to use vanillin, a common flavouring alternative that comes in natural and synthetic versions.“Our main vanilla supplier, what they’re offering now is a blend; they’re cutting it with a vanillin-type thing, which is a compromise,” he says.“We’re not at that point, yet. I’ll pay whatever I’ve got to pay but if it’s not available, it’s not available and what can you do, right?”Van der Walde says supply is actually on the upswing, and that prices are plateauing. But not all suppliers stock up if they know clients will balk at the price.As for this year’s Madagascar harvest, he says that runs May to August, but the beans — which are actually the fruit of an orchid — are harvested green, and need six months to prepare for export.That means a fresh influx isn’t expected before fall, with the best beans not expected until November or December, says van der Walde.The market is driven by big industrial buyers like the flavour company McCormick — not loyal customers of gourmet shops or grocery stores, he adds.“They buy 80 per cent of the vanilla out there, so they’re the ones that determine how high the market can go,” says van der Walde.“As long as they’re willing to pay US$550 or US$600 per kilogram, the market is happy to oblige them.”