Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words
Quorn boss Brennan saw benefit of last year's horsemeat contamination saga
This week, we interviewed the boss of UK-based meat-free business Quorn Foods, which saw sales jump last year, helped by the horsemeat saga. We also spoke to the chair of the National Obesity Forum after its report warned forecasts on UK obesity rates may have under-estimated the problem. Elsewhere, Fonterra was caught up in another recall, Saputo received a boost in its bid to buy Australian dairy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory and Hain Celestial swooped to acquire UK rice firm Tilda.
"We are strongly of the view that there has been a residual behavioural change rather than just a spike" - Quorn Foods CEO Kevin Brennan says last year's horsemeat saga has changed the way UK consumers think about food - and the meat-free business has benefited.
"It provides us with a tremendous platform to expand into other countries, whether it's [baby food businesses] Earth's Best or Ella's" - Hain Celestial chairman and CEO Irwin Simon outlines a key reason for the US group's latest acquisition - that of UK rice supplier Tilda.
"We aren't just trying to be the voice of doom, we are trying to do something about it. [Obesity trends] can be changed. It is going to take at least a generation to do... We've got to do something now" - Professor David Haslam, chair of the UK's National Obesity Forum, urges industry, NGOs and government to step up efforts to tackle obesity.
"It should tell our consumers that when a Fonterra-owned brand is on the shelf, someone back at Fonterra is testing it to ensure it remains safe to consume" - Willy Leferink, dairy chairperson at Fonterra farming group Federated Farmers of New Zealand, admits the latest recall to hit the company is bad timing but says it is proof its "quality assurance systems work".
"The Bega Cheese board is conscious of the significant value of the WCB shareholding and its obligation to shareholders to continue to make sensible investment and capital management decisions" - Bega Cheese says it would have preferred local rival Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory to be "Australian owned" but insists its duty to investors meant it will sell its stake in the business to Canada's Saputo.
"We will see the big four fight back - it has to happen" - Shore Capital retail analyst Clive Black believes the UK's four largest multiple grocers will react after a year of losing share to discounters like Aldi.
"It is still too dependent on hypermarkets in France and Western Europe. The turnaround plan has stopped the bleeding and improved the business. While the patient is out of the emergency ward, it is now in the sick ward and we do not see it return to rude health yet" - Bruno Monteyne, retail analyst at Sanford Bernstein, says Carrefour, despite signs of improvement in 2013, remains "structurally challenged".
"Tangerine has a powerful position in the confectionery sector and owns some of its best-known brands" - Benoit Testard explains why he is "thrilled" to become the UK confectioner's new chief executive.
"We have spent the past few months turning every stone to find out how we can responsibly solve the current challenge of surplus capacity while simultaneously keeping a close eye on costs in our Danish production" - Danish Crown CEO Kjeld Johannesen announces the meat giant's plan to restructure its domestic meat processing.
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