The chief executive of commodities giant Cargill has hailed the “remarkably resilient” diets of nations in emerging markets for staving off fears of a collapse in demand over the economic crisis.

Cargill boss Gregory Page said the company had not seen an anticipated drop in demand in poorer nations for processed food, meat and dairy products.

“This year we didn’t see that [drop],” Page told the Financial Times.

“If you looked across the shopping basket in those countries where gross domestic product is $3,000-$10,000 a year, the diet was remarkably resilient this time. So we start from a better base [for recovery] than we did before.”

Page was speaking after Cargill claimed changes to its supply chain had boosted its profitability.

The US-based commodities giant has been in the headlines in the UK recently over its links with controversial palm oil producer Sinar Mas, which has been accused by environmental groups of being involved in illegal deforestation.

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