British dairy groups are proving to be particularly sensitive to the bleak new year outlook facing European processors, though the falling value of Sterling may cushion the nation’s producers ahead of an expected long-term pickup.
The impact of this year’s melamine dairy crisis has rumbled through the food chain and although quality assurance measures can benefit responsible firms, downturn in Chinese dairy has still led to lost of ingredients sales.
Consolidation in the food industry shifts down several gears as the global credit crisis cuts into financing opportunities for merger and acquisition activity and cash-rich firms with strong balance sheets sit and wait.
Dutch bakery supplies business CSM has announced that it will cut 200 jobs from its workforce across Germany, France and the US in the next two months in response to plummeting sales and falling consumer confidence.
The Danisco deal to spin-off of its sugar arm to Germany's Nordzucker faces delays after German competition authorities take their review into a second phase, opting to investigate the €750m takeover further.
Specialty fats firm AAK has said that the falling price of vegetable oils will help keep its financial situation in good health – especially useful when acquisitions and organic growth in food ingredients are on the horizon.
CSM has sold its gluconates plant in Ter Apelkanaal to Avebe, as part of its manufacturing restructuring. The sale agreement was announced in July, and all 68 employees have transferred to the new owner. The value of the sale is not disclosed.
The European Commission cleared the acquisition of the baker’s yeast division of Gilde Bakery Ingredients by Associated British Foods on Tuesday following ABF’s acceptance of conditions to ensure that sufficient market competition is retained.