Last week saw a story that has dominated our pages apparently laid to rest when it emerged that Fonterra’s botulism recall was, in fact, a false alarm. We heard how – after equally busy years on the M&A front – both Arla and Campbell Soup Co. remain on the lookout for acquisitions. Meanwhile, the head of food at UK retailer The Co-operative Group detailed the group’s plans to drive expansion through format innovation. We also published our monthly management briefing which examined what, if any, impact the slowdown hitting Brazilian industry will have on the prospects of the food industry in the country. Here are the highlights on just-food this week.

On the money: Campbell eyeing “smart external development”
After an active year for M&A, Campbell Soup Company has said it remains on the lookout for further opportunities to strengthen its portfolio through “smart external development”.

Interview: Arla looks to M&A to drive growth – CFO
Arla Foods today (29 August) reported a doubling of earnings in its first-half, boosted by M&A. The company has taken a lead in the process of consolidation underway in the European dairy sector, with deals in the UK and Germany. Arla expects to continue to play an active part in European consolidation in the dairy sector as well as looking to M&A to drive growth in emerging markets, Michelle Russell discovered when she caught up with Arla CFO Frederik Lotz.

Interview: Co-op driving growth with increased retail investment
The Co-operative Group has booked a jump in first-half losses as issues plaguing its troubled banking unit took a significant chunk out of the bottom line. However, the group’s retail business saw a “solid” six months, with profits dipping only slightly on increased levels of investment. According to Steve Murrells, chief executive of food, these investments are moving the retail business in the right direction. Katy Askew caught up with Murrells to find out what the group has in the pipeline.

In the spotlight: Fonterra’s much ado about nothing?
After a month of headlines surrounding Fonterra’s botulism recall it emerged today (28 August) that the company’s whey protein concentrate was not, in fact, contaminated with a bacteria that can cause botulism. Facing stringent criticism at home, including an inquiry by the New Zealand government, this might seem like “good news” for the dairy giant. However, this fresh revelation is likely to lead to further questions over whether Fonterra’s management overreacted to events – and why it took so long to get the all-clear. Katy Askew reports.

FRANCE: Carrefour profit rises on domestic rebound
French retail giant Carrefour has booked an increase in first-half profits, boosted by a strong rebound in profitability at its domestic business.

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SWITZ: Emmi raises sales outlook, H1 profits flat
Swiss dairy group Emmi has booked a slight decline in first-half net profits, despite a “considerable” increase in sales during the period.

NETHERLANDS: FrieslandCampina earnings rise on sales gains
FrieslandCampina has booked a high double-digit increase in earnings, boosted by higher sales and an improved product mix.

On the move: Challenges await incoming EFSA chief
The European Food Safety Authority has commenced its search for a new executive director. However, as the processes of the food safety watchdog come under increasing public scrutiny and new challenges arise from the integrated nature of the global supply chain, heading up the regulator will be no easy task. Ben Cooper investigates.

US: Mondelez appoints Cofer as Asia Pacific, EEMEA head
Mondelez International has appointed Tim Cofer as the head of its Asia Pacific and EEMEA operations to replace the retiring Pradeep Pant.

Interview: Gousto combines convenience, quality and value
One-year-old Gousto is a fledgling company with a unique proposition. Consumers order online from a variety of menu options and Gousto delivers dinner kits, complete with recipe cards and all the ingredients, direct to the door. The company, which has expanded rapidly through its own website, has just entered a partnership with online retailer Ocado. Katy Askew spoke to Gousto co-owner Timo Schmidt about the company’s ambitions.