Cabdury’s publication of its formal defence against Kraft Foods’ hostile takeover hogged the headlines in the early part of the week but then attention turned to an EU deal on banana tariffs – after a global trade dispute lasting over a decade. The EU and bananas then returned to the news agenda with the announcement that the European Commission is probing an alleged cartel in southern Europe. These are the top ten stories on just-food this week.
UPDATE: UK: Stitzer hints at wider interest in Cadbury
Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer has admitted the UK confectioner has attracted interest from companies other than Kraft Foods but declined to say from where – hours after UK reports said the Dairy Milk maker had held talks with Hershey.
UPDATE: GLOBAL: Peace at last in banana trade ‘war’
The banana trade dispute between the EU, parts of Latin America and US fruit companies has officially come to an end this afternoon (15 December) after a final agreement was published in Geneva.
EU: Banana cartel allegations return
The EU is investigating an alleged banana cartel in southern Europe – a year after finding companies including Dole Food Co. and Chiquita Brands International guilty of price-fixing in the north of the continent.
UK: Sale of pudding firm Gu nears
The sale of UK luxury desserts maker Gü is expected to be finalised by the end of the year, the lead adviser handling the deal has told just-food.
EU: Danone speaks out on health claims
The EU must make sure its health claims laws avoid hindering innovation and should provide a “clear timetable” on the next stages in the regulatory process, according to French food giant Danone.
AUS: JBS buys lamb firm Tatiara from Vion
JBS, the acquisitive Brazilian meat giant, has struck a deal that will make it the largest lamb producer in Australia.
US: Ahold buys Ukrop Super Markets
Ahold, the Dutch conglomerate that owns US retailer Giant-Carlisle, has bought Virginia-based grocer Ukrop’s Super Markets for US$140m.
INSIGHT: Gen Mills bullish on US brands growth
General Mills, the US group behind Cheerios cereals and Yoplait yoghurts, said today (17 December) that it expects to continue to growing the distribution of its brands among US retailers.
NZ: Saudi deal to help Middle East, Africa expansion – Fonterra
Fonterra is to pay NZ$45m (US$32.5m) to take full control of a Saudi dairy venture, a business that the New Zealand dairy giant believes will help it expand across the Middle East and Africa.
UK: Finsbury could axe cake jobs at Memory Lane
Finsbury Food Group, the UK cake maker, could axe 95 jobs at its Memory Lane Cakes business due to falling sales for premium products.