Co-op boss Peter Marks unveiled bumper profits this week

Co-op boss Peter Marks unveiled bumper profits this week

Retailers on both sides of the channel were upbeat this week even as the businesses posted less than identical annual results. The UK's The Co-operative Group was bullish after bumper full-year profits, while German giant Metro Group insisted its plans to revitalise the business are working even as profits tumbled. The long-running debates on Kraft Foods' takeover of Cadbury and on nutrition labelling also reared their heads this week. Here is the best of who said what about the pressing issues in the food industry this week.

"This doesn't worry us at all. We are the biggest convenience retailer by a long way. Bring it on" - Peter Marks (pictured), chief executive of UK retailer The Co-operative Group, is ready for competition in convenience.

"We have made good progress in Germany. We have made more progress than you can see on bottom line" - Metro Group boss Eckhard Cordes insists the company is showing signs of improvement in Germany.

""In a time of crisis we were focused on adapting our products to the changing needs of consumers in almost all categories" - Stefan De Loecker, CEO of Nestlé Russia, said the food giant had "delivered" during the severe economic downturn in the country.

"Obviously, we would fight like hell to be independent. We have a good shareholder structure and, believe me, I don't want to report to a European head of Nestle" - Lindt & Sprungli marketing director Uwe Sommer insists the Swiss chocolate maker will resist any takeover advances.

"Efficiency has been the focus of the past few years: cost savings, fewer brands. Now he wants to get the organisation being more effective, especially as regards consumers and customers" - independent analyst James Amoroso believes Unilever CEO Paul Polman is instilling a greater sense of urgency at the business, which this week reshuffled its management.

"The poor selling prices of such products as milk powder, casein and basic cheese put the result under pressure. We face the challenge of becoming less dependent on those product categories" - FrieslandCampina CEO Cees 't Hart outlined the challenge for the dairy giant after 2009 sales tumbled 14%.

"Parliament has exposed the truth. Kraft lied. Six thousand Cadbury workers will never trust Kraft’s chief executive officer Irene Rosenfeld unless she personally meets the workers and guarantees investment, no factory closures or compulsory redundancies and that their pay and pensions are safe for five years" - Unite deputy general secretary Jack Dromey accuses the US food giant of misleading Cadbury workers in the UK.

"When we clearly have an obesity epidemic spreading across Europe, and when consumers clearly want to make healthier choices about their diet, we really should give them the tools that work best and which they want" - Monique Goyens, director general of European consumer group BEUC, hits out at EU moves to not impose mandatory traffic-light labelling.

"The FSA, rightly, prides itself on being an evidence-based organisation. So it is doubly disappointing that they are willing to go against the results of their own research, which clearly shows traffic light colours are the best way to help people make healthy choices" - Christine Haigh, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, criticises the UK's Food Standards Agency for moving to a hybrid scheme of food labelling.

"Obviously, these are troubling findings. But we are satisfied that, finally, these deficiencies are being taken seriously by the political appointees at the USDA" - Will Fantle, research director at organic watchdog The Cornucopia Institute, welcomes a report that slammed the enforcement of organic standards in the US.