The surprise announcement that UK retailer Marks & Spencer, the champion of own-label food, will soon stock some of the country’s top brands was the top story this week on just-food. Once again, the debate over food inflation grabbed some headlines, while our interview with Duchy Originals chief executive Andrew Baker also proved popular. Here are the site’s top stories this week.

UK: M&S to sell Marmite, Heinz ketchup
Marks & Spencer, the UK retailer renowned for its own-label food, said today (20 May) that it will sell some of the country’s biggest brands, including Marmite and Heinz tomato ketchup.

(For more on the company’s reasons for the move – and our analysis on the M&S food business, click here and here).

US: Food prices hit 18-year record – USDA
The US department of agriculture has said that food prices in the US will increase by an average of 5% this year – the largest price rise since 1990.

EU: Brussels looks to increase food production
The European Union has put forward proposals designed to increase food production in a bid to stem rising prices.

EU: Food prices will drop, says EU farm chief
The EU’s Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has said that global food prices in areas such as grain and dairy are likely to stop increasing, and even decrease, as supply begins catch-up with demand.

The just-food interview – Andrew Baker, Duchy Originals
As it approaches its 20th birthday, Duchy Originals, the UK food company set up by the Prince of Wales, is undergoing something of a rebirth. Under new chief executive Andrew Baker, Duchy plans to return to its roots as a champion of sustainability, while looking to break into new markets, including the US.