R&R CEO Ibrahim Nafaji

R&R CEO Ibrahim Nafaji

Quorn Foods was in the M&A spotlight this week with speculation WhiteWave Foods had held talks to buy the meat-free business. We spoke to Quorn CEO Kevin Brennan to find out more. Elsewhere, Nestle sold its South African ice cream assets to R&R Ice Cream, while in New Zealand, dairy groups moved to reassure consumers their infant formula products were safe following poison threats. In the US, shares in some poultry firms including Tyson Foods and Sanderson Farms plunged after reports of suspected bird flu on an Arkansas farm.

"It's not surprising that people are looking and would expect to see a high interest is in us. If you look at most multi-country food companies, they are struggling to find growth" - Quorn CEO Kevin Brennan tells just-food the meat-free firm's owners have not held sales talks with possible buyers but says it is "logical" there would be interest in the meat-free market.

"We also believe that African ice cream consumption will continue to increase as consumers become more affluent and we see this acquisition as a springboard to grow sales across much of the African continent" - R&R CEO Ibrahim Najafi announces the acquisition on Nestle's South African ice cream assets.

""We can fully assure our customers and consumers that all of our milk and products are safe and of high quality, and our supply chain continues to be secure and world-class... We have taken immediate and decisive steps to give our customers and consumers added confidence – including increased testing and security measures" - Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings moves to reassure its products are safe after poison threats are made against the New Zealand infant formula industry.

"In view of the uncertainties mentioned FrieslandCampina is not making any concrete predictions regarding the expected results for 2015. Taking a longer-term view the outlook remains positive. As the world’s population grows and welfare increases in many regions the demand for food, and in particular food rich in nutrients including dairy products, will continue rising" - FrieslandCampina said it would not make "any concrete predictions" about its results for 2015 amid uncertainty in emerging markets and the prospect of increasing competition in Europe.

"No flocks grown for Tyson Foods have been diagnosed with avian influenza. There are always biosecurity measures in place on poultry farms and we've been even more diligent since avian influenza has been in the US this winter" - Tyson Foods insists none of its birds have been affected by bird flu after reports of a suspected outbreak on an Arkansas farm.

"My Goodness has exciting new product development plans for an expanding audience base, and Aurivo looks forward to leverage the market opportunity. The acquisition enables Aurivo to develop a leading position in the sports nutrition and protein markets" - Aurivo Co-operative Society CEO Aaron Forde comments on the Irish dairy and agricultural products business's acquisition of UK sports nutrition business For Goodness Shakes?.

"Due to lack of satisfaction from the suitability and performance of Mr Budilovsky in the position of CEO, the board decided to restore Mr Hochboim to his former position" - G. Willi-Food CFO Itai Loewenstein on the change at the top at the Israeli food group.

"It's all very well saying I want to eat something healthy but the reality is consumers won't sustain that eating habit. We all have great intentions to start with but then we fall by the wayside fairly fast. It has to taste as good as eating dairy" - Alpro commercial director Sue Garfitt says taste is very important when it comes to competing in the alternative dairies category.

"Monde Nissin aspires to be a significant foods and beverages player in the Asia Pacific region, we see Australia as a very important market that we should have a strong presence in, and Menora Foods with its marketing and distribution capability provides us with a very good strategic fit in achieving our vision" Monde Nissin EVP Henry Soesanto confirms the acquisition of Menora Foods.