This week’s headlines were once again dominated by the Chinese infant formula industry, as an ingredient recall from Fonterra added to the debate over safety in the sector. China’s competition watchdog also handed out record fines to a number of multinational nutrition companies, including Danone and Mead Johnson, when it concluded that the majority of multinationals selling formula in the country were guilty of price fixing. Meanwhile, in the retail sphere, speculation mounted over who could bid for Hong Kong-based ParknShop and Tesco confirmed it is in JV talks with China Resourse Enterprise.

CHINA: Tesco, China Resources Enterprise in JV talks
UK retailer Tesco and China Resources Enterprise (CRE) have confirmed they are in exclusive talks to combine their Chinese retail operations in a move the companies claimed would create “the leading multi-format retailer” in the country.

On the money: Nestle growth target “a stretch” – CFO
Nestle will require organic sales gains to accelerate in the second half of the year if it is to meet its target of “around 5%” growth, an aim finance chief Wan Ling Martello admitted today (8 August) is “a stretch”.

In the spotlight: The verdict from China’s infant formula probe
International infant formula manufacturers are adjusting their business practices in China having been found guilty of price fixing. Multinational companies, which were the focus of an anti-trust investigation, say they have emerged from the probe with a “clearer understanding” of the regulatory framework in the country. However, some pundits suggest the investigation must be viewed in the context of a wider government push to boost the domestic industry. Katy Askew reports.

CHINA: Beijing hits formula makers with record fines
China has fined six infant formula companies – including Danone and Mead Johnson – for fixing prices in the country.

NZ: Botulism scare prompts China ban on Fonterra products
China has issued a ban on Fonterra products after the world’s largest dairy exporter confirmed a batch of whey protein concentrate contained a bacteria that can cause botulism.

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CHINA: Fonterra contamination prompts Danone, Abbott recalls
Danone and Abbott Laboratories have issued infant formula recalls in China in the wake of Fonterra’s admission it supplied whey powder that contained bacteria that could cause botulism.

Deal or no deal: ParknShop bidders must mull challenges in HK, China
In ten days time, Hong Kong retail-to-energy conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa will reportedly consider any offers that have come in for ParknShop, its supermarket chain.

On the money: Mondelez bullish as emerging economies slow
Mondelez International has insisted its investment plans – and the “strength” of its brands – will protect the snacks giant from signs of a slowdown in key emerging markets.

On the money: Kerry eyes improvement for consumer foods
Kerry Group has said it will “take time” to get its consumer foods division back to where it should be after the unit saw sales and earnings fall in the first half of the year.

Talking shop: Whole Foods can see off natural, organic rivals
Whole Foods Market, the US natural and organic retailer, has, in the last four years, regained its status as a favourite of Wall Street.