The global food industry has seen a raft of M&A activity this week with Flowers Food's purchase of Lepage Bakeries, Olam's acquisition of Usina Açucareira Passos, and Booker's deal to buy the local cash-and-carry assets of German retail giant Metro Group. Just as we thought that was it before the bank holiday weekend, a change of ownership was announced at UK food group Symington's this morning. Elsewhere, it was not so good news for embattled French poultry giant Groupe Doux, who reportedly filed a "déclaration de cessation de paiement", a stage before bankruptcy, with a court in Quimper yesterday.

"Credit to [Makro UK MD] Juergen Schwarze, credit to the team at Makro, the business is looking better than it's looked for a while but they know it can still do better, too. The business has had some real challenges and we're looking forward to doing a particularly better job for the professional customers" - Booker chief Charles Wilson is upbeat about the prospects of the combined business

"These are tough but exciting times for the grocery market, and we want to be sure that Symington's continues to play a leading role through category and product innovation and continued investment in its product and retailer brand plans" - Symington's CEO David Salkeld on the private-equity backed management buy-out of the firm

Margins are under pressure. We are in a cycle where it is a very tough business environment. Our job in a tough environment is to be the supplier of choice and to be better than our competitors. If we can do that we should be in a good position to emerge well placed when trading conditions ease. We are optimistic. We are upbeat. We confident" - a spokesperson for Robert Wiseman Dairies on the UK liquid milk market

"Management continue to mould the business in the right direction for the long term and after a successful year, 2013 will be another year of investment" - Jeffries analyst Dirk Van Vlaanderen said the increased focus on value-added ingredients left Tate & Lyle well-placed for future growth

"Could there be collaboration in India for example where both companies trade or, more blue sky, could the Metro empire come under Mr. Wilson's control some time?" - ShoreCap analyst Clive Black sees the outcome of the Booker deal as a very good one for Metro

"Supermarkets like businesses that deliver on time and in full, that are efficient, that look after their farmers. We are doing all that. We like having supermarket milk business" - Arthur Reeves, external affairs director at Dairy Crest points out supermarkets do look beyond price when they enter milk supply contracts

"You have to make sure that you understand the different roles, to say that we are a company, you are an NGO and it's not a problem if we don't agree on every issue" - Migros' head of issue management and sustainability Cornelia Diethelm believes partnership with NGOs should be based on a common interest in addressing sustainability issues and the sharing of differing perspectives

"We found that trying to sell people healthy cakes is not what people expect. People don't buy into it" - John Petre, innovation director at Premier Foods plc 

"We have repeatedly said we think this industry is consolidating and this is further proof... with the strong cash flow and the way that we plan to pay down the debt we will still have room to do other things" - Flowers CEO George Deese believes its purchase of Lepage must be viewed as part of the ongoing process of consolidation under way in the US bakery sector

"Brazil is the largest and one of the most cost competitive producers of sugar in the world, and is integral to executing our sugar strategy" - Olam president for sugar Devashish Chaubey on its acquisition of Minas Gerais-based Usina Açucareira Passos