Food inflation has been the burning issue in recent months and this week was no different. The UK waded into the debate, urging the EU to suspend import tariffs on grains and to review its policy on biofuels. The UN, meanwhile, had some chastening news with a forecast that food prices will remain high for at least three more years. Back in the UK, Northern Foods’ decision to mothball a plant supplying Marks & Spencer proved popular with readers – as did Heinz’s move into cooking sauces. China, however, was home to our most-read story, with the news that the likes of Nestlé and Coca-Cola had failed recent product-safety tests in the country.

CHINA: Authorities “blacklist” Nestlé, P&G, Coca-Cola products
China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) has reportedly blacklisted products from companies including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Nestlé over safety concerns.

EU: UK calls for action on food inflation
The UK has called for the EU to suspend import tariffs on grains and rethink its biofuels policy to counter food inflation.

GLOBAL: Food prices to stay high for 2-3 years – UN
Food prices are likely to stay high for the next two to three years until stocks are replenished, the United Nations food agency said today (15 May).

UK: Northern Foods “mothballs” plant
Northern Foods has indicated its intention to “mothball” its Fenland Foods factory, which makes Italian-style ready meals for Marks & Spencer, because it is not yielding high enough returns.

UK: Heinz to launch cooking sauces
US food giant Heinz is set to move into the UK cooking sauces business in a bid to take on brands including Knorr and Dolmio.