Blog: ABF boss Weston checks in from China
Dean Best | 9 November 2010
George Weston, chief executive of UK-based food group Associated British Foods, did not appear in front of analysts when the company published its full-year results today (9 November). Instead, he called in from China, where he was part of the UK trade delegation to the fast-growing economy.
The ABF boss accompanied UK business leaders, government ministers and the Prime Minister himself on a visit to improve trade links with the economic superpower.
As Chris Brook-Carter discussed on these pages today, the pressure for bilateral trade with the likes of China and India has intensified since the start of the economic downturn and the UK is keen to capture some of each market's growing middle-class wealth.
For its part, ABF is looking to bolster its food ingredients and retail business in China, where it already has a substantial presence.
ABF's annual results included details of the growth the company is already seeing in China - the group's sugar operations in China had enjoyed a bumper 12 months - and Weston said the trip was a "rare opportunity" to accompany the UK Prime Minister to such an important market. "We get all sorts of access to people we wouldn't normally see," he said.
The company is planning further investment in China in the next 12 months with, for example, a new yeast extracts plant in the northern city of Harbin in the final stages of commissioning.
A lot of the business headlines will focus on ABF's grocery business in the UK and, of course, its Primark clothing arm but markets like China are becoming increasingly important to the company.
The plethora of food manufacturing associations in the UK has been argued by some to be an impediment to the industry coming to a coherent position on the aftermath of Brexit and on what the sector sh...
An update on Amazon's plans for the grocery sector. The usually reticent retailer has this week poured cold water on claims it has plans for 2,000 physical grocery stores....
Ask any FMCG executive to list the trends shaking up the sector and digital and e-commerce will be pretty high on the list. Drill down into that and Amazon will be one of the subjects in the digital s...
Since Theresa May took over as UK Prime Minister in the wake of the country's referendum vote to quit the European Union, she and her ministers have been at pains not to divulge their negotiating posi...
- Wessanen's move for Spain's Biogran - analysis
- The key questions for digital strategists in 2017
- Unilever 2016 investor day - the top takeaways
- Burger King, Jollibee: foodservice focus, Nov 2016
- Whole Foods, Aldi, M&S - retail round-up, Nov 2016
- Verlinvest, China Resources invest in Oatly
- General Mills jobs to go in business revamp
- Hain Celestial appoints Nestle executive as US COO
- Chobani COO Burns to leave yogurt firm
- Nestle invests in Italian pizza production
- How Brands Are Making Our Food Healthier
- Confectionery North America (NAFTA) Industry Guide_2016
- Global Dried Processed Food Market 2016-2020