UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson spoke to just-food this week

UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson spoke to just-food this week

just-food last week spoke with UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson on his return from China where he spearheaded a mission to develop the UK's presence in the market. He spoke to just-food about the UK government's vision to grow overseas food sales. Elsewhere, Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King outlined the retailer's progress to date on its 20 by 20 sustainability targets, while Hostess Brands revealed it had been given the green light by the US Bankruptcy Court to finally wind-down its operations.

"I can't do more in my position as Secretary of State for Food. To take the largest delegation ever to the largest food show ever, in China, the largest market in the world for food - that shows the level of our support" - the UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson believes the current level of government assistance is "sufficient" to allow UK food makers to prosper internationally.

"We have so many active M&A initiatives in the emerging markets, we literally had a meeting last week to decide how we're going to put them in priority" - Heinz chairman, president and CEO William Johnson tells analysts of its plans to target organic and M&A growth initiatives in the emerging markets.

"We don't want to profile ourselves just as an ingredient producer and supplier. We make products out of tropical fruits. It's not just about bananas" - Wouter Van Cauwenbergh, senior sales manager Chiquita Brands International's EMEA region explains to just-food the company's ambition to develop a value-added consumer focused business.

"No business in retail will be successful denying large numbers of consumers the opportunity to buy what they want to buy as part of their weekly grocery shop" - Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King responds to a challenge by Julia Hailes, author of The Green Consumer Guide, on the issue of "choice editing" - when companies limit the products consumers can buy, often for environmental reasons.

"By simplifying our cost base, we can increase focus on improving efficiency, quality and service levels to help grow our core Hovis business" - Premier Foods plc CEO Michael Clarke says it is "critical" the firm acts to assure the long-term future of its bread division after announcing the closure of two facilities.

"We've laid the foundation, and we can never forget what got us to this point. But what got us here, won't get us there" - US meat group Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith tells analysts its customers and stakeholders need it to grow into a "solution-providing food company".

Tim Cofer, president of Mondelez International's European operations, describes its newly-launched Cocoa Life CSR programme as "a distinctive, holistic approach to cocoa sustainability that will create a cycle of growth from bean to bar".

"Wal-Mart and Bharti have suspended a few associates pending the outcome of the investigation" - a spokesperson for Bharti Wal-Mart, the Indian joint-venture between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart, confirms the suspension of some company executives while it investigates alleged violations of US anti-bribery laws.

"British poultry producers have committed and invested in their businesses in order to supply Morrisons so it is extremely disappointing that Morrison's has made this decision" - the National Farmers Union expresses its disappointment at Morrison's decision to potentially source overseas meat for its new tertiary brand.

"The wind down was necessitated by an inflated cost structure that put the company at a profound competitive disadvantage" - Hostess Brands explains its decision to wind-down the business after it received the green light from the US Bankruptcy Court to proceed.