The interplay between politics and the food industry took centre stage in a number of the most popular stories on just-food this week. The Indian government set out plans to invest in the country’s infrastructure but stopped short of opening up the country’s controls on foreign investment in the retail sector.

President Obama pledged to toughen the rules governing food safety in the US. Meanwhile, Washington also decided to extend subsidy support for the country’s dairy sector – much to the chagrin of New Zealand’s Fonterra, which hit out at “protectionism”.

Industry analysts Rabobank forecast consolidation in the dairy sector, while French dairy giant Lactalis looked poised to bid for ailing local rival Entremont Alliance.

These are the top ten stories on just-food this week.

FDI off India’s menu but rural push will help retailers
The world’s top food retailers may not have got the news they were looking for when India’s new government published its first annual budget yesterday (6 July).

US: Obama to toughen food safety standards
The Obama administration has unveiled a series of measures designed to toughen food safety standards and strengthen the enforcement powers of regulatory bodies in the US.

US: USDA extends export subsidy programme
The US department of agriculture has indicated that it will extend its support for dairy exporters for another year.

NZ/US: Fonterra hits out at US “protectionism”
Fonterra has criticised the US decision to extend its support for dairy exporters for another year, claiming that the move is “protectionist”.

GLOBAL: Consolidation expected in dairy sector – Rabobank
While the “turmoil” witnessed by the dairy market has left “little room” for major consolidation initiatives over the past 12-months, the coming year is expected to see an uplift in M&A activity, a Rabobank analyst has suggested.

FRANCE: Lactalis set to make bid for Entremont
Dairy group Lactalis appears poised to submit a takeover bid for its embattled French counterpart Entremont Alliance within the next week.

RUSSIA: PepsiCo unveils Russian investment
PepsiCo today (6 July) announced that it plans to invest US$1bn in Russia over the next three years in a bid to grow its food and beverages businesses in the market.

US: Supervalu takes “critical step” in centralisation move
US retailer SuperValu has unveiled plans to become “more customer-focused” by centralising its operations following the retirement of COO Mike Jackson, and EVP and president of the midwest region Kevin Tripp.

US: “Better for you” foods to see fastest growth – research
“Better for you” foods such as organic, light and low calorie products, will see the strongest US category growth over the next decade, new research has suggested.

US: Campbell boss in hospital after traffic accident
Doug Conant, the chief executive of soup giant Campbell Soup Co., is recovering in hospital after a traffic accident late last week.