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

By Michelle Russell | 6 August 2012

The impact of the US drought on corn prices has been the subject of much talk this week

The impact of the US drought on corn prices has been the subject of much talk this week

Much of the talk for manufacturers on the release of their first-half and second-quarter results last week was focused on weakness in Europe and the knock-on effect from the impact of the US drought on corn prices. Elsewhere, Haribo said it would not appeal a decision by Germany's competition watchdog over a fine for sharing sales information with rivals, and the CEO of Fresh Del Monte insisted the company is looking at building a business that focuses not just on produce and not just on the developed markets of the West.

"We as a company and as an industry, are driving tremendous productivity to try to offset our need to take pricing as much as possible and I'm sure that will continue to be the approach of the company and of the industry in general" - Kellogg CEO John Bryant declined to comment on whether it had the ability to cover the inflation outlook for its next financial year and whether additional pricing in cereal will be required.

"A very short corn crop will undoubtedly prove to be devastating to the animal, agricultural industry, food manufacturers, foodservice providers and consumers, not just in the US but the entire world" - Michael Welch, president and CEO of Harrison Poultry on the effects the drought is having on businesses.

"You're always concerned when there is heat on a crop like this. We are making all kinds of plans of alternatives that we can do" - Craig Huss, ADM's chief risk officersaid the company was "certainly concerned" about the quality of the corn crop being turned out this year.

"For sure in a company you always have to trim to allow the tree to flower, this is normal and there are always changes but we are not saying we will cut this number of people, that is not the case" - Hein Deprez, CEO of PinguinLutosa says the company is not looking to cut jobs in the UK.

"We are a food company, not just a fresh produce company" - message from Del Monte chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh as the company reported its half-year results.

"They basically stuck their two fingers in the air and said they buy their milk from milk processors and they're not particularly bothered about dairy farmers" - Farmers For Action chairman David Handley on Farmfood's reaction to protests.

"It is very important to consider in this case that Andreas Mundt [president of the Cartel office] has explicitly confirmed that it has not been a hardcore-infringement by Haribo - no price arrangements have been executed or the like" - a spokesperson for Haribo says the company will not make an appeal over a fine for improperly sharing information on sales negotiations with three rivals.

"What I am absolutely convinced of is that the operational improvement potential in Germany is significant" - a spokesperson for Metro says it will reveal further details of its plans for the future of its Real hypermarket chain in November.

"Social media has grown exponentially over the last decade and it has created a platform for a more holistic approach to showcasing Sainsbury’s products and communicating with our customers," Joel Dawson, head of digital marketing at UK retailer Sainsbury's on the growth of social media.

"The priority for Symington's is now the people who are potentially affected by this processs and we will not be making further comment on this matter until the consultation process has been completed" - Symington's on its plans to close its recently-acquired Victoria Foods plant.

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, Multichannel, Natural & organic, NPD & innovation, Private label, Retail, Seafood, Snacks, Sustainability & the environment, World foods

Companies: Haribo, Kellogg, ADM, PinguinLutosa, Symington’s, Sainsbury’s

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