This week, the US has indicated its desire to monitor China’s food industry more closely with plans for an agency office in the country. Commodities were again on the agenda, with concerns over the UK milk supply and global prices of rice. Meanwhile, two UK retail bosses – at Tesco and the Co-operative Group – spoke out over the key issues keeping their companies in the business headlines.

CHINA: US food watchdog plans Chinese office
The US Food and Drug Administration has said that it hopes to open an office in China in order to safeguard imports into the US.

UK: Milk shortage looms as output hits 37-year low
Milk production in the UK has fallen to the lowest level in 37 years, the National Farmers Union of Scotland has warned.

GLOBAL: Rice prices hit record high
Fears of a looming rice shortage were heightened today (16 April) as rice prices climbed to record highs on the back of rising demand, export bans and bad weather delaying planting in the US.

UPDATE – US/UK: US unit to “last a generation” – Tesco
Tesco’s US venture will “last for a generation”, chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said today (15 April). The UK retail giant has faced claims that the early performance of its Fresh & Easy stores had not met internal targets.

UK: Somerfield a “good strategic fit” – Co-op
The Co-operative Group has today (17 April) confirmed that it is in takeover talks with Somerfield, describing the convenience store operator as a “good strategic fit”.