Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

By Dean Best | 26 November 2012

Paterson says UK government is supporting export-hungry suppliers

Paterson says UK government is supporting export-hungry suppliers

The emerging markets was a key common theme on just-food's pages last week. We interviewed the UK Secretary of State for Food on the Government's vision for the country's exports. In India, Wal-Mart's local venture said it had suspended staff amid an investigation into bribery claims. And Heinz told investors it was "aggressively" looking at M&A in developing markets. In the UK and the US, the industry was rocked by a series of announcements. In the UK, meat giant Vion wants to quit the UK, while Premier Foods plans to cut jobs from its bread business. In the US, last-ditch talks to save Twinkies owner Hostess Brands failed.

The just-food interview: Owen Paterson, UK Secretary of State for Food
A drive to boost UK food exports was launched last week, when the country's largest ever trade delegation went to China in a bid to develop the UK's presence in the market. The mission was spearheaded by UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson. In this month's just-food interview, Katy Askew spoke to Paterson about the UK government's vision to grow overseas food sales.

INDIA: Bharti Wal-Mart staff amid bribery probe

Wal-Mart's Indian joint venture has suspended a number of its employees, one of which is understood to be its CFO, while it investigates alleged violations of US anti-bribery laws.

NETHERLANDS: Meat giant Vion wants to quit UK 
Dutch meat supplier Vion has announced it wants to quit the UK, a market it has said suffers from over-capacity and "extremely challenging" trading conditions.

Analysis: City left wondering if more Premier changes in offing
"Radical" and "decisive" was how one City analyst described Premier Foods' announcement today (20 November) of how wholesale changes to its bread division. But could the Hovis maker have more up its sleeve?

US: Court gives Hostess green light for wind down
Hostess Brands has won permission from the US Bankruptcy Court for the wind down of its business and the sale of its assets after last-ditch union talks failed.

US: Heinz "aggressively" eyeing M&A in emerging markets
US food group Heinz has said it is "aggressively" looking at M&A opportunities in emerging markets.

UK: King: Sainsbury's "will not choice edit on brands"
Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King has insisted the UK retailer will not delist brands for reasons of sustainability and will only act when consumers stop buying products.

EU: Ministers, MEPs strike deal over baby, medical foods
A political deal has agreed the text of a new EU regulation on the composition of infant formula, baby food, diet replacements and special medical foods.

Street talk: Brands face private-label fight for share of mind
With retailers investing heavily in own label, the fight for sales is as fierce as ever. However, shifts in how shoppers buy groceries presents opportunities for brand owners to connect with consumers but, writes SymphonyIRI's Rod Street, they must act now.

Comment: Child labour hangs over chocolate sector's CSR programmes
Cadbury owner Mondelez International has pledged US$400m to try to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and, crucially, help shore up future supplies of the commodity. The investment is the latest by a number of suppliers and, while their work should be welcomed, the use of child labour in cocoa farming remains a tough nut to crack.

Sectors: Baby food, Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Confectionery, Dairy, Dried foods, Emerging markets, Financials, 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: Vion, Heinz, Hostess Brands, Sainsbury’s, Cadbury, Mondelez International

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