Russia dominated the headlines after President Vladimir Putin announced a ban on agri-food imports from the EU, US, Australia, Norway and Canada in retaliation for the sanctions that have been imposed on it. Arla Foods, for one, is making job cuts to adjust operations in the wake of the ban. Elsewhere Weetabix announced redundancies following a five-month consultation process and Associated British Foods announced it would be closing a plant in London. Kellogg was silent on rumours it was mulling a purchase of United Biscuits. Here is the week in quotes.
“Consequently, over the short term, it is unlikely that we will see supermarkets shelves filled by local products. Rather, the possibility is of the shelves being empty at times and the local consumer paying higher prices” – Novirost analyst Ian Luyt raises concerns about the impact the Russian import ban will have on local consumers.
“We had it confirmed last night we would be affected by this ban, we immediately ceased all production for the Russian market. That involves around ten dairies in Denmark and one in Sweden” – Arla Foods says between 50 and 75 jobs are at risk as a result of Russia’s ban on EU dairy imports.
“It is seven years since we last offered voluntary redundancies and with the support of our trade union we’re hopeful this route will prove the least disruptive to our colleagues” – Weetabix CEO Giles Turrell announces 30 jobs are to go at the Northamptonshire site following a consultation process that began in April.
“The addition of the Sahale Snacks premium lifestyle brand, and its portfolio of innovative and on-trend products, provides an established platform for growth in the snacking space” – Smucker president of retail consumer foods Paul Smucker Wagstaff announces the acquisition of Sahale Snacks and says it is a strategc fit for the US food group.
“Management has indicated that they are open to acquiring businesses where they can find synergies, and given their overlap in Western Europe and the opportunity to piggyback on top of existing distribution infrastructure, the acquisition of United Biscuits may make sense from this perspective” – Sanford Bernstein analysts suggests Kellogg’s rumoured acquisition hopes for United Biscuits would be a good fit for the firm.
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“The decision, based on a single consumer complaint, does not reflect the ‘consumer confusion’ that is referred to in the adjudication” – A spokesperson for Cereal Partners UK expresses disappointment at the ASA’s ruling for an ad ban after an ad was found to be misleading.
“We also need a proper explanation of why Allied, which has been baking here since 1938, cannot meet its corporate objectives through restructuring elsewhere in the company” – Orpington MP Jo Johnson reacts to news Associated British Foods’ Allied Bakeries is to close a bakery in London and says affected staff must be given opportunites elsewhere in the company.
“Our performance continues to improve as we sharpen our focus on addressing consumer interest for more convenient and more nutritious products in our food businesses and on helping farmers produce more food in an increasingly sustainable manner in our agricultural businesses” – Chris Policinski, president and CEO of US dairy firm Land O’Lakes, comments on the 50% jump in first-half net earnings.
“A combination of industry-leading innovation, a compelling brand proposition and a high-quality product range has driven the business’ growth to date and leaves it uniquely placed to take advantage of the market trends of increasing yoghurt consumption and demand for organic and nutritious products” – PZ Cussons CEO Alex Kanellis says the acquisition of Australian organic yoghurt group Five:Am is an excellent fit for the UK consumer goods company as it aims to boost its existing presence in food.
“People with coeliac disease can rest assured that foods labeled gluten-free meet a clear standard established and enforced by FDA” – Felicia Billingslea, director of FDA’s division of food labeling and standards comments on the US Food and Drug Administration’s implementation of a framework of what constitutes the term “gluten-free”.