Executives at Müller and Robert Wiseman Dairies espoused the benefits of the German yoghurt maker's decision to buy the UK milk supplier, a deal that divided analysts. Industry watchers also scrutinised the latest trading updates from Premier Foods plc, the UK's largest food manufacturer and Carrefour, the French retail giant, while Kraft Foods chief Irene Rosenfeld said the US group's 2011 results means it is one of the industry's better performers - on the day job cuts of 1,600 were announced.

"This is an exciting strategic move by Müller to enter a new market segment in the UK" - Müller CEO Heiner Kamps on the Germany yoghurt maker's move to buy UK milk supplier Robert Wiseman Dairies.

"Carrefour has had a miserable year and it didn't get any better towards the end. I'm sure the management team will be glad to see the back of 2011" - Shore Capital analyst Clive Black reflects on the performance of the world's second-largest retailer last year.

"We expect our 2011 results will place us solidly among the top-tier of our peer group" - on the day Kraft Foods announced plans to cut 1,600 jobschairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said the US food giant finished the year with "strong business momentum" after its sales and earnings beat forecasts.

"The ball is in their court. You cannot find resolution without conversation and dialogue" - As more strikes at Unilever's UK sites started this week, Unite national officer Jennie Formby says the company should return to the table and negotiate with unions over the company's plans to change its pension scheme. Unilever, meanwhile, insists union officials walked out on talks last year.

"While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Tesco's attempt at imitation misses the point" - Asda pours scorn on UK rival Tesco, which this week launched a coupon scheme to attract cash-strapped shoppers.

"We would characterise this as a 'jam tomorrow' statement but the jam feels reasonably sweet and fruity to us" - Investec analyst Martin Deboo was upbeat about Premier Foods plc's prospects despite the UK's largest food maker expressing more caution about its profits in 2011, which caused concern elsewhere in the City.

"The combination of consumer purchase behaviour, retail channel shifts and abnormal seasonality adversely affected our results in the quarter" - TreeHouse Foods chairman, president and CEO Sam Reed explains why the US own-label firm has been forced to lower its profit forecast.

"The revised ingredients policy reflects our organisation's commitment to include more farmers and workers in the Fair Trade model, and our desire to raise the bar for certification transparency" - Paul Rice, president and CEO of Fair Trade USA, outlines why the certification body has changed its labelling policy for Fair Trade products.

"Whereas X5's results in 2010 and the first half of 2011 benefited from stronger consumer spending and trading up trends bolstered by economic recovery, the picture has reversed in the third and fourth quarter of this year" - Andrei Gusev, CEO of Russian retailer X5 Retail Group, said the company, which reported a fall in underlying fourth-quarter sales, had a tough second half of 2011.

"Something should be done to stop speculation. I believe in a free market and open trade and those regulations should be minimised, but the rules as they stand at the moment are not strong enough" - in an interview with just-food, Yuzaburo Mogi, honorary chairman and CEO of soy sauce maker Kikkoman, argues more regulation is needed to stop speculators driving up commodity prices.