“British workers pay price as US firms cut 2,000 jobs” is the lead business headline in The Times this morning as PepsiCo and Boots both announced job cuts. In a dark day for jobs, nearly 2,000 workers employed by Ford, Boots and Walkers Crisps are facing redundancy after decisions made in the headquarters of big American multinationals. The cuts would hit hard two of Britain’s employment blackspots — the northeast of England and south Wales (The Times £, The Daily Mail).

Nearly 1,400 UK jobs are at risk as pharmacy chain Boots, Walkers crisps and bakery Greggs all cut costs. Both Walkers and Greggs are restructuring their manufacturing operations in an attempt to improve efficiency. The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union said more than 600 jobs were at risk at nine Greggs bakeries around the UK. (The Guardian)

Walkers owner PepsiCo plans to shed almost 400 jobs by closing its Peterlee plant and moving work elsewhere in the UK (Sky News), while Boots is planning to close 220 of its 320 in-store photo labs in the UK, putting 400 jobs at risk (Sky News).

Premier Foods has invited Oasis Management into the boardroom, despite the Hong Kong-based activist hedge fund owning less than the customary 10 per cent of stock that is usual for a board seat (The Financial Times £). The two sides have agreed that Mr Wosner will be appointed to the remuneration committee, meaning the investor will have a direct say on the pay package for chief executive Gavin Darby (The Telegraph) The move could put further pressure on Premier which is finding trading conditions extremely tough (The Times £).

The maker of Irn Bru has risked the wrath of legions of Scottish fans with a pledge to slash sugar in the drink. AG Barr said it is speeding up a plan to cut back on the sweet stuff ahead of a Government crackdown. (The Daily Mail)

More used to battling it out over mineral water and baby milk, Swiss group Nestlé and its smaller French rival Danone have joined forces to create a greener plastic bottle. In a sign of the rising pressure manufacturers are facing from environmental campaigners, the food and drinks groups are funding Origin Materials, a Californian biotech company. (The Financial Times £)

Nigel Farage may be a fan of Shepherd Neame’s ales but the Kent brewer’s boss said that the feeling was “not necessarily reciprocated”. Jonathan Neame, chief executive, said: “We’re beginning to see the early stages of Brexit-related inflation. The outlook on wine and food costs is uncertain but they appear to be going up.” (The Times £)

McDonald’s plans to roll out its own delivery services, starting in the US this year, the world’s largest fast-food chain said on Wednesday as it unveiled a digital push to win back customers (The Financial Times £)

Dominic Chappell, the last owner of BHS, has pledged to fight legal action by the Pensions Regulator designed to force him to pay millions of pounds into the failed retailer’s pension scheme, saying the black hole in the scheme was not his fault (The Guardian). Sir Philip Green paid up, eventually. But the bankrupt former racing driver he flogged BHS to, Dominic Chappell, isn’t doing much to repair his own “Walter Mitty” reputation (The Telegraph).

Commenting on the BHS case, The Financial Times (£) writes: “It would be better, then, if parliament gave the The Pensions Regulator the resources and the authority preemptively to enforce conditions on corporate deals involving schemes that are in deficit. The sorriest element of the BHS saga, after all, was that the problems were visible for so long before action was taken.”

More than a million traders in India are boycotting fizzy drinks including Coca-Cola and Pepsi after claims from from two Indian trade associations that foreign firms are exploiting the country’s water resources. (The Guardian