The topic of swine flu has certainly captured many media headlines this week as the pork industry waits to assess the full impact. Also under strain, Fonterra decided to quit its venture in India after realising too much investment was needed behind the business. Dutch food group Vion also announced plans to close a bacon processing site close in the UK. A company that doesn’t seem to be suffering too much however, is Unilever, which this week announced its intention to buy ketchup maker Baltimor Holding. These are the top stories on just-food this week.

Swine flu: the fall-out for food
As so-called swine flu spreads across the globe, just-food captured the news this week that has affected businesses in the already besieged US pork industry. The sector took a defensive stance over misconceptions that products are associated with the spread of disease as shares rallied.

RUSSIA: Unilever to buy Russian sauce business
Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has today (29 April) announced its intention to buy Baltimor Holding, the parent of Russian ketchup maker Baltimor.

INDIA/NZ: Fonterra quits India venture
Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, is to quit its venture in India after deciding too much investment was needed behind the business.

UK: Mars defends Rainforest Alliance cocoa tie-up
Chocolate giant Mars has insisted its cocoa sustainability tie-up with the Rainforest Alliance is “not marketing greenwash”.

US: NPD has halved in food, drink, says Mintel
The number of food and beverages launched in the US has halved in the last year, research from Mintel has claimed.

UK: Vion plans to close UK bacon site
Dutch food group Vion is planning to close a bacon processing site close to the UK city of Manchester.

UK: Management leads race for Fresh Olive Company
Bids for The Fresh Olive Company, whose parent company Novel Group was placed into administration last week, are expected in by the end of this week – with the company’s management favourite to secure a deal, just-food understands.

SWITZ: Nestle launches sustainability drive
The world’s largest food group Nestlé today (27 April) unveiled a new three-pronged sustainability drive in nutrition, water and rural development.

CANADA/US: Couche-Tard to buy c-store chain
Canadian c-store operator Couche-Tard has agreed to acquire ExxonMobil’s On the Run convenience store chain in the US and 43 of its sites in Arizona.

CANADA: Listeria recall still weighs on Maple Leaf profits
The fall-out of last year’s listeria recall continues to weigh on Maple Leaf Foods, the Canadian food group, which today (29 April) booked a drop in first-quarter earnings.