Footie mania brought The Grocer's sparkling evening with FSA boss Sir John Krebs to a precisely timed conclusion on Monday. And the standards of the Landmark Hotel's nibbles were well and truly investigated as the delegates ­ Sir John among them ­ thronged the drawing room to catch the opening goals of England's doomed match. My what a great leveller that hallowed game is. Even the Portuguese waiter looked jovial, relaxed and in the swing ­ now I know why. Mind you, it was back to fun and games next morning for the launch the NFU's Food Standard Mark. Top of the bill was our jovial food minister Nick Brown. Proving he could be just as at home on the Palladium stage as with those other comedians in the Commons, Her Majesty's Man at the MAFF joked his way through a speech which included a pop at deputy prime minister John Prescott (Well, who wouldn't?) before attempting to tear the stage down in a vain bid to unveil a stack of product bearing the new symbol. And there were more guffaws when NFU president Ben Gill leapt onto the stage to rip away the offending canopy before lurching back towards the audience after missing his footing. Watch out for this sparkling comedy duo at a store near you! But Nick's smiles turned to frowns when a couple of lasses approached carrying a large cake. Memories of the NFU conference, when he was anointed with a chocolate eclair by a protester, flooded back. Happily, the cake was a present to mark his 50th birthday. Westminster sources say the cake was carted off to that well known political watering hole, the Marquess of Granby, where Nick held a celebratory bash. {{COUNTERPOINT }}