Anyone predicting that recession would have made for an uneventful year in the food industry would have found 2009 something of a surprise. Moreover, while the adverse economic climate cast a heavy shadow throughout the year, it was far from being responsible for all the year's major talking-points. For instance, two key recurring issues of the year - sustainability and food safety - can be said to owe little of their current topicality to the financial climate. This end of year review looks back at the state of the market over the year, deals of the year, food safety and health, industry regulation and sustainability.