The E.coli outbreak in Europe dominated the industry headlines this week

The E.coli outbreak in Europe dominated the industry headlines this week

There was, in truth, one story that dominated the headlines in the food industry this week, with the e.coli scare in Europe. Wal-Mart Stores' success in securing approval for its acquisition of 51% of South African retailer Massmart was also notable. Coincidentally, the latest just-food interview also focused on South Africa, as we spoke to the head of Kraft Foods' operations in the country and the wider southern Africa region. And, the last few days, has seen the publication of the latest just-food briefing, which focuses on the divisive issue of GM.

Europe's E.coli outbreak - as it happens
The deadly European E.Coli outbreak began in Hamburg and has spread its way across Europe. With news on this serious issue moving quickly, here's a timeline of what's happened so far.

Talking shop: Wal-Mart's African debut 
South African competition regulators yesterday (31 May) approved Wal-Mart's acquisition of a majority stake in local retailer Massmart. Katy Humphries takes a look at Wal-Mart's African ambitions and discusses the impact that the deal is likely to have on the South African retail scene.

The just-food interview – Sean Murphy, Kraft Foods
As it looks to expand international revenues, Kraft Foods has developed a strategy that focuses on building its business in ten "priority markets" around the world. South Africa was recently added to Kraft's emerging markets hit list and, in this month's just-food interview, Katy Humphries spoke to Sean Murphy, MD of Kraft's operations in southern Africa, about the group's plans for growth in the region.

The just-food management briefing - GM
Few issues divide opinion in the food industry like GM and, in this month's briefing, we look at issues including consumer protection and product labelling - and ask whether GM is a threat to the environment or a force for good.

US/INDIA: McCormick to form JV with Kohinoor Foods
US spice maker McCormick & Co. is to set up a joint venture in India with local food company Kohinoor Foods

UK: M&S contract loss hits jobs at Premier
Premier Foods plc has warned that 200 jobs from its Brookes Avana own-label operations could be lost after the UK's largest food maker lost a contract to supply Marks and Spencer.

UK: Bakkavor salads jobs under threat after Asda review
Own-label manufacturer Bakkavor was warned that over 100 staff could face losing their jobs after a supply review by Asda.

UK: City unsure about talk of Bunge bid for Tate & Lyle
Speculation that US agribusiness giant Bunge could be ready to bid for UK ingredients maker Tate & Lyle has been met with uncertainty in the City.

US/SPAIN: Smithfield ends plan to take control of Campofrio
US meat company Smithfield Foods has ended talks to buy a controlling stake in Campofrio Food Group.

SPAIN/AUS: Ebro fails to win over SunRice shareholders
Ebro Foods has seen its bid to buy Australian rice processor Ricegrowers fall through after the Spanish food maker failed to win over enough of the company's investors.