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European Business News – Week ending September 10, 2010

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European Business News – Week ending September 10, 2010

September 01
09:58 2010

The first signs that rising ingredient and other input costs for food manufacturers are starting to filter through to food retail prices were revealed in the UK during the week. According to the British Retail Consortium-Nielsen Price Index, food inflation is up to a 13-month high. However, it is still well below the double-digit food inflation of two years ago.

Paul Bulcke, chief executive of Nestle.

The vast scale and global reach, in both mature and emerging markets, and careful strategic planning, which have made Nestle the preeminent food producer in the world, have been clearly evident. In the past seven days, the behemoth’s French food service distribution company, Davigel Davifrais, was reported to be planning to invest Eur6m to construct a new 7,000 sq m warehouse at its site in Metz, while in Sri Lanka Nestle was further expanding its dairy operations, and in the US Nestle Purina PetCare was acquiring a dog snacks business.

Meanwhile, with Swiss precision, in Ukraine, Nestle was opening a new service centre to facilitate its continued expansion in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe. The centre in the Ukrainian city of L’viv will provide financial and HR services support to more than 20 countries in the region such as Russia, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. It will be modeled on Nestle’s two other internal shared service centres that support the Latin American region and the Asia, Oceania, Middle East and South Africa region. The three centres are run by Nestle Business Services – an international unit under the Nestle umbrella that performs a standardised and cost-effective way of running financial and HR services.

Peter Lauritzen, chief executive of Arla Foods UK.

Arla Foods has announced that it will establish the world’s first zero carbon milk processing facility at Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, in southern England. The site, due to be operational in 2012, will also be the world’s first billion litre liquid milk dairy and will entail investment of over £150 million. Accounting for over a quarter of group sales, the UK is central to Arla Foods’ future development. Indeed, the UK is the Scandinavian dairy group’s single largest national market.

Although 2009 was a tough year for UK dairy processors, the market fundamentals remain sound and reflecting this confidence in the long-term outlook, capital investment projects worth over £330 million are currently ongoing or just recently completed within the industry.

Coca-Cola Hellenic, the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products based in Europe, has taken another step in its move to cut CO2 emissions by an average of 20% across all 80 of its bottling plants, with the opening of a new energy efficient factory in Northern Ireland. A feature of the €130 million facility, which employs 600 people, is a combined heat and power (CHP) system that will cut CO2 emissions at the plant by up to 66% while supplying excess clean electricity to the local power grid. The CHP plant is the fourth to be officially opened and another 11 are under development, as part of Coca-Cola Hellenic’s commitment to combating climate change.

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