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

By Michelle Russell | 16 July 2012

The price of milk dominated headlines in the UK this week, with farmers gathering at a summit to air their views on the implications of the cuts and discuss what can be done. Elsewhere, French retailer Carrefour sounded an upbeat note on the performance of its domestic hypermarket business, while PepsiCo and Müller at last showed their hand as they joined the fray to win over US consumers in the Greek yoghurt market.

"The cuts [in May and June] were cuts to the bone and beyond. They were farmers' investment, margin and profit..." - Meurig Raymond, deputy president of the National Farmers Union addressed dairy farmers on farmgate milk price cuts at Westminster Central Hall.

"[We demand] the reinstatement of monies that have been taken from us since April 1st and no contemplation whatsoever of a further decrease... The clock is ticking - 20 days to go [until 1 August deadline]" - David Handley, chairman of Farmers For Action addresses farmers.

"We don't cry victory" - Carrefour finance director Pierre-Jean Sivignon believes it will need to see whether the trend in positive food sales continued in coming quarters.

"We will be able to offer US consumers an amazing range of products that taste delicious and are unlike anything on the market currently"Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo's chief scientific officer for global research & development on its yoghurt launch.

"It could be acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures. We have done extensive work identifying faster growing markets and categories and we have targets that we will work to achieve" - Campbell Soup Co. president and CEO Denise Morrison hints at more deals after the US soup manufacturer announced the acquisition of chilled foods firm Bolthouse Farms.

"UK bread remains challenging, while in Australia there are further embarrassing restructuring charges (over and above the GBP30m in H1)" - Investec analyst Martin Deboo said Associated British Foods' third-quarter update contained "plusses and minuses".

"Whichever way you slice it, they are the leader by quite some distance, they've been operating in India since the 1940's so they've got a very strong heritage there and Dairy Milk is far and away the biggest chocolate brand in India" - Leatherhead Research analyst Jonathan Thomas believes Kraft Foods' launch of Toblerone into India has the potential for success due to Cadbury's history in India.

"Thorntons is fast moving away from being a retail brand and is becoming much more of a mid-market player in terms of positioning" - Conlumino MD Neil Saunders suggests Thorntons is moving away from its premium retail offer.

"The weather throughout the UK has been unusually variable and we are starting to see some fairly major effects to the various supply chains and that's not just about crops that are grown but crops that are grown as animal feeds too and there'll be an impact through the back end and winter" - Steve McClean, head of agriculture & fisheries for Marks and Spencer told just-food the agricultural industry is beginning to notice the effects of the poor weather conditions in the UK.

"We are not taking a person from outside who is unknown to the business" - M&S chief executive Marc Bolland on his decision to appoint Steve Rowe as head of its food unit.

Sectors: Advertising & labelling, Baby food, Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Confectionery, Dairy, Dried foods, Emerging markets, Financials, Food safety, Fresh produce, Frozen, Health & wellness, Ice cream, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, Natural & organic, NPD & innovation, Private label, Retail, Seafood, Snacks, Sustainability & the environment, World foods

Companies: Carrefour, PepsiCo, Müller, Thorntons, Campbell Soup Co., Associated British Foods, Dairy Milk, Kraft Foods, Cadbury, Marks and Spencer

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