just-food's management briefings see the team provide an in-depth look at a key issue or market affecting our readers in the industry. This year, the briefings included a deep dive into the confectionery sector, a spotlight on Vietnam and analysis of the development of the dairy industry in India. Click here on the headlines for more.

Confectionery: Why cocoa can only be sustainable without child labour
Child labour is intrinsically linked to cocoa's broader sustainability challenges. If the cocoa sector is successful at boosting production during the coming years, it will not be deemed a sustainable expansion if the issue in the two major producing countries has not been satisfactorily addressed, writes Ben Cooper.

FMCG in the Middle East: Shifting patterns of demand and consumption
When we refer to the Middle East, we are talking about an area that encompasses a majority of western Asia and Egypt. The region is diverse in landscape, religion, politics and ethnicity. With a growing population, evolving demographic and social structures and reliance on food imports the potential for international food manufacturers is clear.

The rise of Vietnam: Interview: Ambitious Vinamilk eyes growth at home and abroad
Multinationals have flocked to the booming dairy markets of the East, attracted by the potential rewards on offer. But in many countries homegrown giants have developed, presenting stiff competition. However, few domestic companies dominate their markets to the extent dairy processor Vinamilk does in Vietnam. Vinamilk has ambitious goals to grow further - and not just domestically. Dean Best met Nguyen Quoc Khánh, Vinamilk's executive director for R&D and production, at the company's newly-built plant north of Ho Chi Minh City to find out more.

Confectionery: BRICs and beyond: China a sweet spot for gum makers
Chewing gum manufacturers have seen sales come under pressure in developed markets in North America and Europe but other parts of the world are providing growth - and China is one such market.

Dairy in India: Growing interest but no quick win for multinationals
India is the world's largest raw milk producer and one of the biggest global markets for dairy products. While the participation of international dairies remains relatively low in the country, interest is increasing. Continued rapid demand growth presents a challenge and an opportunity for multinationals stepping up their operations in India - and the growing presence of foreign firms bodes well for the health of the sector itself. Katy Askew reports.

The prospects for protein: Why snacks is set for continued growth
From bars to jerkys, the snack industry has visibly been hit by the protein bug. As more consumers seek quick and easy ways of adding protein to their diets, the number of protein-boasting snack launches has rocketed. Hannah Abdulla investigates.

Japan and growth: Why exporters still see opportunities
An economy in the doldrums for years, stagnant consumption, a falling population. To some, Japan may not appear the most attractive market for international food companies. Food imports have also fallen in recent years. However, the country still has to import 60% of its food, while export bodies believe there are growth opportunities to exploit. Dean Best reports.

Briefing: Fat, the forgotten issue
The fourth article in just-food's management briefing on food reformulation looks at competing priorities, in particular how the increased focus on salt and latterly sugar may mean less attention is paid to reducing fat, by both consumers and food companies.

Dairy in India: The supply chain issues facing the sector
India's poor road network and lack of investment in cold chain infrastructure have long challenged the country’s dairy industry, highlighting the value for companies of undertaking the tough task of establish their own milk collection. 

FMCG in the Middle East: Profile - Almarai
For packaged food manufacturers with ambitions for international growth, the Middle East presents an opportunity, with growing populations enjoying rising incomes. However, in recent decades, a number of local industry giants have developed, building robust positions in a number of food sectors, armed with solid supply chains and intimate knowledge of the consumers of the region. One such company is Almarai, the bakery, dairy and poultry processor based in Saudi Arabia.