Bakkavor, the Iceland-based convenience food group, has had a turbulent 12 months, with many of its problems rooted in the Scandinavian country's financial turmoil.

However, after securing a refinancing deal with its lenders, the ready-meals maker is determined to look forward.

Speaking to just-food last week, CFO Richard Howes insisted Bakkavor's financial problems are behind it and now the group wants to focus on operational matters.

After a wave of debt-financed acquisitions in the Noughties, a more measured tone is emanating from the company but, with the business operating in a hugely competitive sector, how will it fare over the next 12-18 months?

On Thursday (8 April), we will run a full interview with Howes and CEO Agust Gudmundsson to discuss the company's prospects. Keep your eyes peeled.

US baby-food giant Mead Johnson also set out plans for the future last week, with news that the company is bolstering its presence overseas.

Mead Johnson is teaming up with Saudi dairy giant Almarai (already a partner of PepsiCo in the region) to run an infant-nutrition venture in the Gulf states.

The two companies will run a business targeting a local infant-nutrition market worth some US$450m, Mead Johnson told us last week.

Ventures in emerging markets are notorious for taking time to find their feet and it can be a while before they turn a profit but Mead Johnson insists its Gulf venture will be profitable by 2012.

Of course, time will tell but Mead Johnson already runs businesses in China and Latin America so has vital experience in emerging markets.

What's more, in Almarai, the US group has a partner with a strong presence in the Gulf and which, in PepsiCo, already has experience of teaming up with US partners.

The lure of the world's emerging markets was also demonstrated last week when one of Europe's biggest sugar producers unveiled plans to become one of the planet's biggest food ingredient suppliers.

France's Tereos Group, the number three sugar refiner in Europe, wants to combine its international operations into one unit to give greater focus to its ambitions of expansion in Latin America and Asia.

This transaction is, quite literally, a big deal for the food and beverage sectors. Over half the new entity's revenues already come from food and drink - its customers range from Brasil Foods and brewing giant InBev to Coca-Cola Co., Danone, Kraft Foods and Nestle.

The company insists, perfectly reasonably, that the formation of Tereos Internacional will create a business supplying a broader portfolio of products and serving more markets. Diversification and the spreading of risk in what can be a volatile market is key.

And, as Tereos Group president Philippe Duval told just-food, as his company's customer base consolidates, the need for ingredients suppliers of scale and of global reach intensifies.

Tereos Group remains a co-operative of 12,000 French farmers. Stock-market listings and forays into Sao Paulo and Shanghai may be worlds away from fields in France but demonstrate, perhaps, the true internationalisation of agriculture and today's food industry.