Blog: Dean BestUpbeat tones at IFE

Dean Best | 17 March 2009

It's day three of the IFE trade exhibition in London's Docklands – and each day has appeared progressively busier for visitors and exhibitors.

Today (17 March), Peter Marks, the chief executive of UK retailer The Co-operative Group, gave the VIP address at the show – and promptly insisted a supermarket ombudsman will not protect suppliers from retailers.

Marks, who also claimed the Co-op, would deliver a “significant increase” in profits as it navigates the downturn in the UK said the company's recent acquisition of fellow UK retailer Somerfield had proved “the icing on the cake”.

Throughout the three days, similarly optimistic tones have come from Fairtrade chocolate maker Divine Chocolate, while Brazilian meat giant Sadia is lining up an ambitious move to launch branded products into a competitive UK retail poultry sector.

It's been a hectic three days so far and there are signs that, despite the downturn, parts of the food industry remain defiant and positively bullish about their prospects.


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