The UK government laid out its vision for the food sector this week and insisted there needed to be a “radical rethink” of our the industry does business. The debate over GM was reignited, while the organic food movement saw an opportunity to state its claim after a harrowing few days. On the corporate front, two titans, Nestle and Wal-Mart rounded off results season, while discount giant Aldi announced the exit of Paul Foley, the executive credited with breathing fresh life into its UK business.

These are the top ten stories this week.

UK: UK would be “foolish” not to consider GM – NFU
The UK would be “foolish” if it didn’t consider using GM technology to help food production, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU).

UK: Defra urges “radical” change to food production
The UK needs a “radical” rethink of how it produces and consumes its food in order to continue enjoying healthy affordable food in the future, the country’s Environment Secretary said today (10 August).

UPDATE: UK: Organic answer to sustainability – Soil Association
Organic farming offers a means of improving the sustainability of food production in the UK, organic body The Soil Association told just-food today (10 August).

UPDATE: SWITZ: Analysts shrug off Nestle concerns
Analysts have downplayed concerns over Nestle’s first-half performance, despite a 2% drop in profits.

US: Wal-Mart to remain a “house of brands”
Wal-Mart has insisted it will remain a “house of brands”, despite increasing private-label sales as US consumers look to economise.

In the Spotlight – Paul Foley and Aldi UK
Dean Best looks at Paul Foley’s time at the helm of Aldi and what the future now holds for the retailer as it looks to continue its expansion in the UK

IRELAND: Dublin unveils plans for grocery code
The Irish government today (11 August) launched plans for a code of practice to oversee relations between suppliers and retailers in the country.

CHINA: Private equity swoops on Wumart
Chinese retailer Wumart Stores has struck a HK$1.65bn (US$212.9m) share deal with private equity firms TPG and Hony Capital.

US: Consumers eye salt reduction – research
US consumers are paying increasing attention to the amount of salt they eat, new research has found.

UPDATE: UK shoppers returning to convenience – Greencore
Signs that UK consumers are turning back to convenience food is helping Irish food group Greencore boost sales, the company told just-food today (13 August).