Unilever chairman Niall FitzGerald doesn't make many speeches to the world of grocery. And that's a pity, for when he does, he's worth listening to. Thus, his vision of the industry in a changing world, delivered during the City Food Lecture in London on Tuesday, should be required reading for those who were unable to attend. FitzGerald is a voice of sanity as the sector braces itself for massive challenges plus an inevitable, and distracting, barrage of media criticism. For, bang on cue, the first shots of a renewed anti-retailing sector tirade surfaced in the Sunday broadsheets last weekend and were continued by Channel 4 News on Wednesday. Just as the Commission on the Future of Farming and Food was crossing the t's on its all-important report on the innovations required to take the sector forward, and NFU leader Ben Gill was cautiously heralding the beginning of the end of foot and mouth, the usual, predictable posse of media pundits were sharpening their quills. But then that's to be expected. With the "seriously radical" Curry report due on January 29, followed by the NFU's influential annual summit, the industry will again prove an easy target for simple-minded, insatiable hacks eager to regale us with their ideas of a good story. But therein lies an opportunity. Hopefully, this time around, the multiples' publicity machines will seize the chance to effectively put their side of the profits story, to make up for their generally feeble efforts when the Competition Commission probe was at its height. Without wishing to rake over too much old ground, there are many who lived through that ridiculous episode who believe that the chains' publicity people, with one notable exception, missed a great opportunity to be more vocal in their own defence. Offering a rare opportunity for the sector to confound its critics and unite in meaningful dialogue and action, Sir Don's document promises to be a powerful pointer to the chain's future efficiency and prosperity. Niall FitzGerald has shrewdly pointed the way. Clive Beddall, Editor {{LETTERS }}