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

By Katie Smith | 26 September 2011

Tesco announced a revamp of its promotional strategy in the UK last week, a move that was immediately criticised by its rivals. However, grocers in Scotland were united in their opposition to a tax on major retailers in the country.

"This is classic smoke and mirrors from Tesco, giving with one hand and taking with the other. Removing double Clubcard points will save Tesco GBP350m. It is no surprise to us that Sainsbury's price match policy, together with a stronger own-brand offer, has forced Tesco to take this kind of action" - Sainsbury's responds to rival Tesco's plans to cut the price of thousands of items in the UK.

"One of the strengths of Intermarché has always been its proximity. With our Intermarché Express, we have all the cards to enter new opportunities located in the centres of large cities, including Paris and nearby suburbs" - Philippe Marzoni, president of Intermarché's food operations, on the French retailer's plans to expand its convenience network.

"Illogical and discriminatory" - Scottish Retail Consortium director Ian Shearer on the Scottish government's plans for a GBP110m (US$169.5m) tax on major retailers.

"While [the bid for Ralcorp] did not turn out the way we had hoped, I want to be very clear that we will pursue other avenues for growth. That's our strategy. We have a pipeline of alternatives that we've been assessing" - ConAgra Foods CEO Gary Rodkin asserting the US company's commitment to M&A following its failed bid for Ralcorp Holdings.

"Heinz said it as they saw it and I have to say they wouldn't be unique in their views of the Australian market." - Kate Carnell, chief executive of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), believes other manufacturers will agree with Heinz that the country is an "inhospitable environment" for food makers.

"We believe these new initiatives will help us extend our advantage around the world" - John Compton, CEO of PepsiCo's food operations in the Americas, on the company's moves to improve its snacks R&D worldwide and to build on its scale in North America.

"Our members round the country will be watching how their colleagues are treated and will not take kindly to anything that doesn't represent a fair settlement," - Ian Hodson, national president of Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, criticises UK baker Warburtons for putting 174 jobs at risk by closing its factory in Oldham.

"[The deal between Franklins and Metcash would] result in a substantial lessening of competition through the removal of Metcash's closest and only genuine competitor for the wholesale supply of packaged groceries in New South Wales" - Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims reiterates the watchdog's opposition to Metcash's acquisition of fellow retailer Franklins despite so far failing with a legal challenge to the deal.

"We will not stand still if we believe that China has violated its commitments as a WTO member and is therefore threatening American jobs - in this case hundreds of thousands of American poultry industry jobs." - US trade representative Ron Kirk announcing the US filing a case against China's imposition of duties on imports of US chicken products.

"Given such a strong concentration, we must also take a closer look at the power relations between retailers and manufacturers." - Andreas Mundt, president of Germany's Federal Cartel Office, explains why the competition watchdog is looking into whether the country's four largest retailers use their buying power to force down prices.

Sectors: Bakery, Canned food, Commodities & ingredients, Dairy, Emerging markets, Financials, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, Private label, Retail

Companies: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Heinz, Metcash, PepsiCo, Warburtons, ConAgra Foods, Ralcorp Holdings

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