What a week! On Monday, the UK’s biggest food manufacturer successfully staved off bankruptcy with a four-year refinance package negotiated successfully with its banks. I also detect, captured in the fmcg pages of The Grocer in recent weeks, a renewed sense of purpose in its innovation and marketing, including a new campaign for Oxo dad!
By Thursday, however, Premier’s news was looking like ancient history, as the announcement of Richard Brasher’s departure from Tesco sent the industry into a tailspin. In my extended comment peice, I look in more detail at the background to his departure, scheduled for July.
In the meantime, with the chancellor pondering a 100-year war bond to shore up the nation’s finances, our special ‘Best of British’ issue this week has taken a purposely patriotic and positive path. It’s all too easy to allow oneself to be sucked into the morass of depressing news about the economy and trading. Which is why we’ve gone out of our way to identify some good news.
As this week’s Big Interview makes clear, there is an enormous amount for us to be proud of, ahead of this year’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with LOCOG set to deliver on its highly ambitious vision for the most sustainable, healthy and delicious Olympics ever witnessed. And that’s before we even consider the morale boost that would come from our prospective Olympic medal hopefuls.
We’ve also identified 10 of the most exciting food and drink companies emerging at the moment. We examine how more British food and drink manufacturers can muscle into foreign supermarkets to grow exports and reduce the food deficit. And finally we showcase some of Britain’s state-of-the-art food and drink manufacturing facilities. There are some incredible success stories to celebrate.
My only frustration is that while we receive all manner of dire and irrelevant press releases from suppliers, when it comes to significant investment in plant and machinery, it’s only our initiative that seems to uncover these. We should cherish Britain’s food and drink manufacturing prowess and importance. Not bury it.