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

By Sam Webb | 5 September 2011

Financial woes in Europe, takeover speculation, stern condemnations of lawsuits and Tesco quitting Japan - it was all happening this week on just-food. Here's a sample of quotes from the stories that mattered over the last five days.

"It is another example of Phil Clarke being very much on the front foot in his quest to drive the Tesco business model harder and move returns higher." - RBS analyst Justin Scarborough applauds the Tesco chief executive's decision to call time on Japan.

"The key question is whether management can now deliver" - Sanford Bernstein analyst Christopher Hogbin on Carrefour's latest revamp.

"In Europe we have had a more difficult time. There is no growth in consumption and consumers remain extremely susceptible to low prices and product promotion campaigns" - FrieslandCampina CEO Cees 't Hart outlines the reasons behind the Netherlands-based processor's H1 profit drop.

"Against this unfavourable backdrop, the group will continue efforts to ensure volume growth, defend market share, further its policy of selective price increases, and strengthen plans to improve operating performance" - French dairy company Groupe Bel admits its margins will fall this year.

"We are not cutting back on these cheeses but are aiming to rationalise production against the backdrop of difficult market conditions. Some of our sales volumes in the soft cheese segment have declined and we are responding by taking steps to be more competitive" - a Lactalis spokesman after the firm decided to stop making speciality soft cheeses at one of its plants in France.

"Our retailers have seen that 50% of people going to pick up items in their stores are buying additional groceries" - Foodscrooge founder Tim Ray on the benefits of 'group buying', which allows food manufacturers to sell direct to consumers.

"I've always had the view that we punch above our weight. It is competitive but we know our sourcing so there aren't too many people that frighten us in that regard" - Rectory Food Group founder and MD Charles Woolley on the company's fledgling ingredients arm.

"A lawsuit like Del Monte's could have a dangerous chilling effect on the willingness of public health officials to recall foods or ban unsafe imports for fear of retaliation in court" - Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director of Center for Science in the Public Interest, says Fresh Del Monte Produce's salmonella lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration is setting a dangerous precedent.

"We have presented a bid which we think will present a good future for Allgäuland-Käsereien, its farmers and also for us" - an Arla Foods spokesman after shareholders at Allgäuland-Käsereien rejected the dairy giant's bid to buy the German firm.

"As it is the company's policy not to comment affirmatively or negatively on market rumours or speculation, Donegal Creameries has no further comment to make on these reports" - Irish firm Donegal Creameries issues a no-nonsense 'no comment' on rumours that Connacht Gold may buy its dairy division.

Sectors: Commodities & ingredients, Dairy, Financials, Food safety, Fresh produce, Retail

Companies: Tesco, FrieslandCampina, Bel, Lactalis, Carrefour, Rectory Food Group, Fresh Del Monte Produce, Arla Foods, Donegal Creameries

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

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