Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

By just-food.com | 5 March 2010

Those regulating the US food industry flexed their muscles this week with a series of warnings over "misleading" labels - much to the delight of consumer advocates. And in the UK, retailers have slammed plans put forward by the FSA for a new "flexible" front-of-pack labelling scheme. Elsewhere, Fresh Del Monte Foods and Arla Foods both confirmed plans to push into new markets in 2010.

"For far too long, manufacturers have exaggerated the healthfulness of their products, or even implied that their products contain special “functional” ingredients that provide drug-like protection against various diseases.  The previous administration tolerated such shenanigans, but I hope that the party is now over" - CSPI legal affairs director Bruce Silverglade on the "crackdown" against misleading nutrition claims in the US.

“This situation clearly underscores the need for new food safety legislation to equip FDA with the tools we need to prevent contamination" said Dr. Jeff Farrar, associate commissioner for food protection, at the FDA’s office of foods emphasises the need for a stronger FDA.

“It would be too soon for the UK to adopt any new regime of its own until a final decision about front-of-pack labelling is taken at European level. Changing and then changing again would just produce extra costs and customer confusion" - Andrew Opie, British Retail Consortium food director on the FSA's new labelling plans.

"Kraft is moving with indecent haste to cut jobs. Despite stating that the company would take 45 days to gain a clearer idea of their management and staff structures for the combined business, they have swung the axe before that deadline has been passed" - Unite union official Jennie Formbie on Kraft's plans to cut Cadbury jobs in the UK.

"The hypermarket problem is structural. What do you do with these stores that are in a slow long-term decline?" - Verdic Retail analyst Daniel Lucht argues French retailers need to work hard to lure shoppers back to hypermarkets.

"Consumers prefer to trade down to discount products. We see this in pretty much all of our markets. Our predictions is that this is still something that we will see, particularly in the first half of 2010" - an Arla Foods spokesman talks to just-food on the release of its annual report.

"In terms of our business performance, we are now leading the Indian retail industry" - Aditya Birla Retail CEO Thomas Varghese prepares to grow its hypermarket and supermarket operations across India.

"We have new markets that we have not been in before in Asia, so there are many opportunities we want to fill there" - Fresh Del Monte Produce chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh eyes new Asian markets.

“What we’re seeing now is Carrefour struggling. They now have a smaller neighbourhood format, which they are opening within in the city and closer to the consumer. But there is good fire from what CBD has been doing" - Marcel Motta, Brazil research manager at Euromonitor International discusses the battle for supremacy in Brazil.

"Some people supported it, some people didn’t like it. That’s the nature of the beast" - a Kellogg UK spokesperson brushes off criticism over a Coco Pops ad campaign.

Sectors: Baby food, Bakery, Chilled foods, Confectionery, Dairy, Fresh produce, Frozen, Meat & poultry, Natural & organic, Retail, Seafood, Snacks

Companies: Arla Foods, Del Monte Foods, Cadbury, Fresh Del Monte Produce, Carrefour, CBD, Kellogg

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Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

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