This week we heard from executives at Mondelez on the company’s struggling sales and its plans to expand in the Chinese chocolate market. Mars was among those to discuss employee health initiatives with us. And Hershey revealed that it is not getting the results it wants in US candy, mint and gums. Here are just-food’s quotes of the week. 

“Government must prioritise tariff-free market access via a comprehensive UK-EU trade deal before proceeding with the Article 50 exit negotiation process. As a matter of urgency, government must address the lack of capacity and capability for conducting trade negotiations. The loss of tariff-free access to imports from the EU would pose a grave threat as many manufacturers would struggle to secure alternative sources.” The Food and Drink Federation’s director general Ian Wright told just-food what the UK food sector needs from Brexit negotiations

“The UK’s vote to leave the European Union has hit the confidence of British and European food makers. While Europeans expect to feel an immediate aftershock from Brexit, UK food makers anticipate the consequences will be longer lasting. This reflects the prospect of drawn-out withdrawal negotiations and has dampened medium-term confidence in the UK.” just-food deputy editor Katy Askew interprets the results of our post referendum confidence survey

“We’re not experts on all the complexities of global fishery management, but we are committed to working with the right suppliers and non-governmental organisations so we can provide our customers with the high-quality sustainable seafood they want at affordable prices. To help make sure we source from the right places, we have a longstanding collaboration with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, an independent body of experts with a detailed knowledge of sustainable global fisheries. They help guide our decision making on which fisheries to source from, and they also have an important role in bringing stakeholders together to make collective improvements.” Tesco group quality director Tim Smith explains the retailer’s decision to de-list some John West branded products, produced by Thai Union, over sustainability concerns

“Today, we live in an era where the data from sensors and devices in our daily lives, such as mobile phones, wearables, and ‘smart’ homes, can help us to understand our nutrition and activity and to guide us towards a healthier lifestyle.” Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer, device solutions, Samsung Electronics, explained why the Korean tech giant is entering a tie-up with Nestle

“Non-seasonal candy, mint and gum category growth progressed in the second quarter; however, given the amount of activity in the marketplace, category growth was less than what we anticipated. We’ve yet to experience consistent broad-based marketplace gains that are reflective of the attractive CMG category and Hershey’s competitive advantages.” Hershey chairman and CEO John Bilbrey revealed that the company is not getting the results it would hope for in US candy, mint and gum category

“Despite a fiercely competitive environment, Danone improved its market share and at the same time we were able to structurally increase the profit equation of our US business. We continue to be confident of the potential of the US market for this category and in that sense we are building for the long term.” Danone CFO Cecile Cabanis insisted the group is winning “key battles” such as US dairy

“We’re only down 0.3 points of share in US biscuits but given the size of that market, it has a profound impact on our overall performance. And so there’s no question that getting that US biscuit business back growing again more significantly is a critical piece of our overall performance.”  Mondelez chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said improving the group’s biscuit performance in the US is a must

“We sell a very small amount of chocolate in China today, and all of it is imported, for example through online partners like Alibaba. We sell small amounts of Toblerone from Switzerland, Cote d’Or from Belgium and Cadbury from the UK. What we announced today, however, is a major launch into the chocolate category of China. We will be producing locally at a state-of-the-art plant in Suzhou with a full line of products from individual treats to sharing formats as well as gifting and seasonal items. We see a huge opportunity for growth in this market.” A spokesperson for Mondelez explains how the chocolate group’s launch of Milka in China is set to transform the market opportunity

“For everyone, health and wellbeing starts at home, and for us that’s our associates. It was very important to us that any global health and wellbeing ambition include a set of commitments to improve associate health. We must “walk the talk” and ensure that we are just as focused on offering our associates better options for improved nutrition and fitness as we are on offering our consumers healthier products.” Zelda Gray, vice president of people and organisation at Mars Global Food, Drinks & Multisales, talked to just-food about the company’s employee wellbeing initiatives