The increasingly sour row over milk prices in Europe continued to grab your attention this week amid news the EU could provide some help to farmers. The latest numbers from Heinz, Northern Foods and Greencore also proved popular – especially as a bullish Greencore signalled its plans to expand further in the US. And the speculation surrounding Danone‘s reported interest in Parmalat also raised eyebrows. These are the top ten stories on just-food this week.

UPDATE: EU: Early subsidy payments “not enough” – dairy farmers
With dairy farmers across Europe warning that the industry is in jeopardy, the European Milk Board said today (26 May) that an EU concession to protestors – to consider early subsidy payments – is “not enough” to safeguard the farmers’ future.

US: Emerging markets help Heinz
US ketchup maker HJ Heinz has posted a jump in full-year revenues and income, boosted by gains in emerging markets and US consumer products.

UK: Northern Foods profit drops on pension costs
UK food group Northern Foods today posted a drop in full-year pre-tax profits, as pension costs overshadowed sales gains.

UPDATE: US: Greencore CEO eyes US expansion
Greencore, the Irish food group, is looking to further expand its business in the US as it looks to build on its “positive momentum” 12 months after it entered the market.

FRANCE/ITALY: Parmalat up on Danone takeover talk
Shares in Italian dairy firm Parmalat rose in morning trade today (27 May) after reports surfaced in the Italian press that French dairy giant Danone could be mulling a takeover move.

ICELAND: Bakkavor losses narrow on sales gain
Icelandic food group Bakkavör has posted narrowing first-quarter losses as sales rose over the three-month period, despite a tough trading environment.

FRANCE: Poultry firm LDC strikes deal to buy Arrivé
French poultry group LDC has struck a tentative deal to buy smaller rival Groupe Arrivé.

US: Weak demand, forex cost Costco
Lower demand for non-food items and foreign exchange have weighed on Costco’s third-quarter figures, the US wholesaler said today (28 May).

NETHERLANDS: Euro weighs on Spar sales
The strength of the euro has weighed on annual revenues at Spar International, the Netherlands-based retailer has revealed.

NETHERLANDS: Cargill opens chocolate plant
US food ingredients giant Cargill today (28 May) opened a chocolate production facility in the Netherlands.