Michael Gove NFU Conference

Gove, is to pledge that British food standards will not be lowered “in pursuit of trade deals”

Michael Gove, the environment secretary, will seek to reassure British farmers in a speech to be delivered on Tuesday that the government will act to protect them as Brexit looms, including if no deal can be reached for an orderly departure from Europe (The Financial Times £). The environment secretary, Michael Gove, is to pledge that British food standards will not be lowered “in pursuit of trade deals” (The Guardian). Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has bowed to pressure from Britain’s food industry by agreeing to suspend a series of reforms amid protests that they are too absorbed by preparations for a no-deal Brexit (Sky News).

Any break-up of Reckitt Benckiser would be unlikely to happen before the middle of next year and therefore would be overseen by a new chief executive, the company indicated yesterday. (The Times £)

Growth in India and Brazil helped Reckitt Benckiser overcome the drag from manufacturing disruption at a baby-formula factory to achieve its annual growth targets (The Financial Times £). Reckitt Benckiser’s outgoing boss insisted he was worth every penny of his lavish pay having picked up almost £90 million since taking the top job (The Daily Mail).

“With Mr Kapoor stepping down as chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, resilience will be de rigueur at the big consumer goods group,” writes The FT. “Mr Kapoor’s legacy includes a restructuring that looks rather like a time-delayed break-up.” (The Financial Times £)

Convenience stores chain McColl’s has become the latest retailer to warn that its sales will suffer in the event of a no-deal Brexit (The Times £). Stock shortages following the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey hit profits at convenience store chain McColl’s last year (The Telegraph). Profits at convenience store McColl’s plummet by 57% but boss says chain is ‘continuing to make progress’ (The Daily Mail).

The subscription box market is booming, according to a report by the Royal Mail, which estimates that one in four (27%) of us are signed up to receive a regular hit of food, flowers, booze or something else. The sector is growing at such a rate that it will be worth an estimated £1bn in 2022. (The Telegraph).

Dairy UK, which represents farmer-owned co-ops and private dairy companies, has written to a vegan cheesemonger in south London to tell them not to describe their products as cheese. (Sky News)

The food sector is heading for a stomach-churning shake-up, with worries about excessive meat eating and greenhouse gas emissions from livestock presenting the industry with many fresh challenges, experts are warning. (The Financial Times £)

The FT takes an in-depth look into Kraft Heinz, noting that the group is now hungry for growth after an austerity diet. As revenues are flat and shares falling, the food group is cooking up fresh plans. (The Financial Times £)

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is once again facing a raft of sexual discrimination lawsuits – eight years after the supreme court blocked the company from facing the largest gender discrimination case ever brought against an employer. (The Guardian)

Britain’s high street “is not dead” and struggling town and city centres could be transformed by becoming industry hubs instead of places to shop, according to new research refuting claims that a crisis in bricks-and-mortar retail is killing then off. (The Financial Times £)

British consumers are preparing to carry on shopping despite the mounting political chaos over Brexit, according to a survey, even as business leaders increasingly sound the alarm over the potential hit to the economy. (The Guardian)