Monkhill Confectionery will assume responsibility for sales and marketing of the Butterkist brand from Cadbury Trebor Bassett from January 1, 2002. Barclaycard Merchant Services is extending its pre-pay service to include the mobile phone network Orange. Pre-pay is already available to Vodafone customers. The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association has warned its members that forgers will attempt to pass on stocks of fake Irish punts before the Republic changes over to the euro next year. Cadbury Schweppes has been given regulatory approval from EU and US competition authorities to buy Pernod Ricard's soft drinks brands, which include Orangina, and businesses in continental Europe, north America and Australia. The British Retail Consortium and the Institute of Packaging have launched a joint standard for hygiene and quality in food packaging. British American Tobacco is to relaunch State Express 555 cigarettes in the UK after losing the rights to sell Malboro in this country to Philip Morris. Extra measures to cut dioxin levels in food and animal feed are to be introduced by the European Commission. The measures should be in force from January. Coca-Cola is to buy US juice and smoothies company Odwalla for $181m. Odwalla will operate as a separate business unit of Coke's Minute Maid juice division. Del Monte has declared an $800,000 loss for its first quarter due to factory closures. But first quarter net sales for 2001 showed a like-for-like increase of more than $10m, from $263m in 2000 to $274m this year. The National Farmers' Union has called for clearer application and communication of animal health legislation to farmers following the publication of the Animal Health Bill. A new web site for postmasters is to launch at in spring 2002 with business information, advice and supplier promotions. Retail sales slowed in October according to CBI's latest Distributive Trades Survey figures. Some 26% retailers surveyed said they were down compared to October 2000. Next year's Royal Show will focus on six targeted areas, including food production and rural business development in the biggest overhaul in its history, following the cancellation of this year's event due to foot and mouth. Tesco has selected logistics software provider G-Log to manage its inbound global logistics operation. US discount giant Kmart said well over 1,000 stores in its portfolio are suitable for a conversion into Wal-Mart-style supercenters featuring a full range of groceries alongside general merchandise. {{NEWS }}