Nestle and R&R Ice Cream confirmed that they are in joint venture talks, a tie up that could reshape the global ice cream sector. Meanwhile, the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed – to mixed reactions from the food sector. Here are just-food's quotes of the week.
"The vision of the proposed joint venture is to grow a unique consumer and customer focused ice cream business serving all channels, delivering innovative, high quality ice cream through investment in people, process and products." Ibrahim Najafi, R&R's chief executive, said of the ice cream group's tie up talks with Swiss food giant Nestle
"Dairy has been very hard to resolve and New Zealand has managed to get some progress against the odds. Our team has done well to lift the deal from where it stood at the ministerial meeting in Maui. While I am very disappointed that the deal falls far short of TPP’s original ambition to eliminate all tariffs, there will be some useful gains for New Zealand dairy exporters in key TPP markets such as the US, Canada and Japan. Greater benefits will be seen in future years as tariffs on some product lines are eliminated." John Wilson, chairman of New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, says the Trans-Pacific Partnership is “far from perfect” for New Zealand dairy
"In many parts of the world, food and agricultural products still face the legacy of high import barriers. We believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow food to move more freely across borders from places of plenty to places of need, which benefits farmers and consumers around the world. Over time, the most successful countries have been those that embraced international trade. Modern trade agreements like the TPP will continue that trend, while also setting high standards for labour, human rights and sustainability." Cargill chairman and CEO David MacLennan sees benefits at both ends of the supply chain
"How would we improve margins? Number one is selling more of our premium brands – B&J, Talenti [the US gelato firm Unilever acquired last year], Magnum. Number two, expanding and growing our impulse markets the out of home markets across the world. Number three, building our retail offering across the world… all of these are things that are at the same time about growth, but also about helping expand margin. Magnum Pleasure stores we would use more as a branding mechanism across the world, whereas Ben & Jerry's and Happiness are valuable business contributors both to the growth and profit." Unilever refreshments cheif Kevin Havelock on the benefits of branded retail
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"The acquisition of Macduff brings together two of the world's leading and fastest growing vertically integrated wild shellfish harvesters. The transaction will allow Clearwater to integrate its vessel management and sustainable harvesting practices, innovative processing technologies along with its global sales, marketing and distribution footprint into Macduff; a company that already possesses a talented local management team, excellent resource assets and a strong presence in the EU, the world's largest and most valuable seafood market. Our companies have been building a working relationship for more than three years and we are confident Macduff represents a highly attractive investment with a strong strategic fit for Clearwater." Ian Smith, CEO of Clearwater Seafoods, upbeat on the group's acquisition of UK shellfish group Macduff
"The final 2015 guidelines are still being drafted, but because this is a matter of scope, we do not believe that the 2015 DGAs are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability. Issues of the environment and sustainability are critically important and they are addressed in a number of initiatives within the administration. The US Department of Agriculture, for instance, invests billions of dollars each year across all 50 states in sustainable food production, sustainable and renewable energy, sustainable water systems, preserving and protecting our natural resources and lands, and research into sustainable practices. And we are committed to continuing this investment." Joint statement from US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell on why US dietary guidelines ignore environmental impact
"Despite the figures quoted by Greenpeace, a little over 20% of all our tuna is pole and line; however, much of this is provided to retailers for their private labels. As the global supply of pole and line is extremely limited, and has reduced further in the four years since established our Sustainability Promise, this has severely impacted the availability to sell under the John West brand." Thai Union owned John West defends its sourcing policy after attacks from campaigners
"It is extremely important that we develop our activities so that our product range meets current and future consumer needs and that we maintain our competitive edge in local and international markets. Raisio's strength is the ability to innovate delicious, healthier and ecological snacks." Tomi Järvenpää, vice president of Raisio's cereal and snacks arm, discusses how the group can revive its cereal business as he announces the likely closure of a production site in Southall, UK
"The new capital raised will be applied primarily to fund increasing working capital associated with the significant growth in infant formula in ANZ and China." A2 Milk Co on its plans to issue shares to fund growth
"We're bombarded with health messages from so many sources and often they conflict. No wonder over half of shoppers (56%) are sceptical that the current nutrition advice is correct. The industry needs to give the clearest, simplest and most consistent messages – including information on packs." IGD chief executive, Joanne Denney-Finch, stresses the need for clear communication as the institute and UK food makers prepare a national healthy-eating campaign