Danone’s chief executive has defended continuing to operate in Russia despite a western corporate exodus and ruled out selling any of the group’s three main global businesses as he set out his strategy for the first time (The Financial Times £). The new chief executive of Danone argued that the French food company had “a responsibility to the people we feed” as he defended its decision to continue operating in Russia (The Times £).

Ben Marlow in The Telegraph writes: “Boss Antoine de Saint-Affrique expects the world to swallow the line that it is staying behind out of “a responsibility to the people we feed”. It’s hard to know where to start with that statement. Is he trying to say that Danone isn’t a super-rich Western corporation motivated by profit, but in fact a covert NGO or food charity whose primary objective is to prevent the world from starving?” (The Telegraph)

McDonald’s led a fresh exodus of the west’s biggest consumer brands from Russia on Tuesday, with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Starbucks and Unilever among those halting or cutting operations in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine (The Financial Times £). The pull-out of iconic western brands from Russia is gathering momentum, with Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi joining McDonald’s in pausing operations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (The Guardian). Consumer giants including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have joined the list of firms halting business in Russia due to the invasion in Ukraine (The BBC).

Mothercare, the retailer of products for young children and their parents, has joined the list of multi-national companies halting business in Russia and warned it will be taking a big financial hit in the process. (Sky News)

Greggs has warned that inflationary pressures will make its sausage rolls more expensive and curtail profits this year, even as the bakery chain toasted record results (The Times £). Greggs, the bakery chain, warned that rising prices for energy and ingredients will hold back profits this year as the conflict in Ukraine prompts surges in the cost of wheat and sunflower oil (The Financial Times £). Greggs, the bakery and fast food chain, has warned that profit growth this year will be squeezed by rising cost pressures and refused to rule out customers sharing even more of the pain through higher prices (Sky News). Greggs has warned that the price of its products is likely to go up for the second time this year amid soaring costs (The Daily Mail). The company added 5p to 10p to the price of products at the start of 2022 and said “further changes are expected to be necessary” as the prices of all ingredients were increasing (The Guardian). Higher prices for food, energy and staff, plus tax changes mean the company’s own costs will rise by between 6% and 7% it said (The BBC).

Wheat prices hit a fresh record high yesterday fuelling concerns about the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on food supplies with one of Britain’s biggest food producers warning inflation could reach 15% (The Times £). Commodities – from palladium and platinum to wheat, oil and gas – have soared as the war in Ukraine threatens the supply of raw materials (The Daily Mail).

Petrol prices have hit another record high as oil and gas costs soar amid fears of a global economic shock from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (The BBC)

A senior member of Russia’s ruling party has proposed nationalising foreign-owned factories that shut down after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. (The Times £)

The British franchisee of pizza chain Domino’s is expecting more cost inflation this year, as wheat prices surge in response to the Ukraine war. (The Daily Mail)

Investigators have seized more than £7 million worth of cigarettes in a blitz on the illegal tobacco trade. They recovered 13 million cigarettes and 4,300 kilos of hand-rolling tobacco in the first year of a major Trading Standards operation. (Sky News)