Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words - Just Food
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Quote, unquote: just-food’s week in words

30 Mar 2012

The Food and Drink Expo took place in Birmingham, UK, this week, hosting a raft of manufacturers and grocers from across the UK's food and drinks sector.

The Food and Drink Expo took place in Birmingham, UK, this week, hosting a raft of manufacturers and grocers from across the UK’s food and drinks sector. just-food managed to catch some time with Pieminister and Macphie, who both spoke of their expansion plans. Elsewhere, Zhongpin’s board said it will consider an offer by its chairman to buy out the company, while Mercator announced the resignation of its five-member board today. 

“It is evenly balanced between trade and private equity. I would say it is slightly more likely that the business will go to a trade buyer” – an industry insider believes United Biscuit’s strong brands and good distribution would make its snacks unit a tempting prize for a strategic buyer

“Sure they [rivals] could attempt to copy the produce but do they have the capability to source it?” – Grocery Insight’s Steve Dresser adds that even if rivals have the will they may not have the way to follow in Morrisons footsteps

“All I see is rising unemployment, fuel prices rising, uncertainty in Europe” – Peter Marks, chief executive of The Co-operative said he expected the consumer environment to remain challenging

“Certain happenings in the past and current year have, due to different views on certain elements of the sale of the company to its biggest competitor, resulted in mutually diminished level of trust between the Management Board and certain important shareholders” – Mercator on the resignation of the company’s board

“There has been no prior warning that closure was being considered, or even a suggestion that the future of the site could be in doubt, so our members are understandably extremely shocked, angry and distressed” – Usdaw north-east divisional officer Joanne Thomas on Kerry Group’s plans to close a UK facility

“There can be no assurance that any definitive offer will be made, that any agreement will be executed or that a transaction with Mr Zhu or any other transaction will be approved or consummated” – Zhongpin said its board will form a special committee to consider a proposal by its chairman to buy out the company

“Our sales director is looking, over the next 12 months, at our export strategy. We are not there yet but it is something that is on our five-year strategy” – Pieminister sales manager Emma Thorn explains the firms export plans

“The solid relationship our team has built with the Xie family has provided both parties with the confidence and enthusiasm to enter into this joint venture” – CEO Richard Smucker said its acquisition of Seamild was “an exciting first step” for the firm JM Smucker

“It’s going to be another very difficult year as sugar also remains high. The knock-on of the EU ruling means it could have a massive impact” – Macphie sales and marketing director Andrew Underwood said the company has had to battle increasing commodity costs this year, particularly egg prices

“We frequently engage with a wide variety of international retailers for strategic reasons, and equally frequently exchange information where we can learn from each other. This will continue” – A Pick n Pay spokesperson would not comment directly that it is in talks over the possible sale of a stake in the company