Blog: Hard cheese for just-food
Dean Best | 24 September 2009
As glamourous as Sidcup is (and, for the uninitiated, here, is how one resident sees this south London town), your correspondent should around about now have arrived at Paris Gare du Nord, en route to visit French cheese maker Isigny Ste Mere in Normandy.
The company had invited a group of sweaty hacks to northern France for a couple of days to get to know more about the company and its plans to expand its presence in overseas markets.
Alas, the dairy protests sweeping across France and other milk heartlands of the EU put paid to that and Isigny Ste Mere had to apologetically cancel the trip.
Earlier this week, dairy farmers took their protests to Brussels, set fire to hay and discarded gallons of milk outside the front door of the European Commission. Similar protests and blockades were organised in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as well as France.
Protesters are demanding the Commisson do more to help dairy farmers, who say they are struggling to make ends meet amid low dairy prices.
Agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, however, insists a "huge amount of support" is already available to help farmers through the "current crisis" - and listed that support in her latest blog.
"It defies belief that some people accuse the EU of “doing nothing” for the dairy sector. To say things like this is not just to be short-sighted: it’s to deliberately turn one’s back on facts which are staring everyone in the face," Fischer Boel writes.
Neverthless, Europe's agriculture ministers must have recognised the severity of the continent-wide protests for, in a couple of weeks, they will convene in Luxembourg for an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
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