Rising commodity prices: should we be concerned? That is a key question facing the food industry. Again this week there was much comment on the issue and the possible impact on the sector. Sainsbury’s boss Justin King, for instance, warned suppliers they would have to work hard to justify price increases. Meanwhile, the UK retailer, widely seen to have outperformed its rivals over Christmas, issued its festive numbers this week, alongside the likes of Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons.

In the spotlight – the spectre of rising food prices returns
Global food prices are at a record high again, only two years or so after the last dramatic price spike sparked food riots and heightened the debate worldwide over food security. While there is alarm, analysts appear less worried about the current situation than they were in 2008. Food manufacturers, however, may beg to differ. Ben Cooper reports.

UK food retailers reveal Christmas performance
Morrisons, Ocado, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have all published their Christmas trading figures. Who had a festive period to remember?

UK: Sainsbury’s boss King issues warning to suppliers
The chief executive of UK grocer Sainsbury’s said today (12 January) that suppliers would have to “work very hard” to justify price increases as commodity costs continue to rise.

Focus: Tate & Lyle, Kerry could pounce if DuPont sells Danisco assets
The industrial use of enzymes appears to be the central reason for DuPont’s planned US$5.8bn takeover of Danisco – but the acquisition, analysts say, could be the catalyst for further deals in the food-ingredients sector.

Focus: Schreiber Foods deal part of Dean Foods’ debt battle
The news this week that Dean Foods has sold its customer-brand yoghurt business in the US comes as little surprise, given the turbulent year the country’s largest dairy processor has just experienced – and its decision to re-shape its business.

UK: Burton’s Foods to close biscuit facility
Burton’s Foods is to close its biscuit factory in the UK town of Moreton with the loss of around 342 jobs.

On the money: Supervalu works to improve price image
The CEO of Supervalu Inc has insisted that struggling US retailer’s third-quarter results are “not indicative of our earning potential” after the company posted losses of US$202m.

GERMANY: Cargill snaps up chocolate maker KVB
US agribusiness giant Cargill has moved to expand its chocolate business in Europe through the acquisition of German chocolate maker KVB. 

US: Campbell shakes up domestic management team


Campbell Soup Co. has continued the overhaul of its senior management with the appointment of a new team to manage its operations in North America.