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Business Leaders' Forum

Mergers a key theme of food manufacturing bosses’ forum

By Michael Stones , 28-Jan-2013
Last updated on 29-Jan-2013 at 09:44 GMT2013-01-29T09:44:15Z

Andrew McLean, Co-head of consumer practice, Stephenson Harwood

Andrew McLean, Co-head of consumer practice, Stephenson Harwood

Mergers and acquisitions in the food and drink manufacturing sector emerged as a key theme of the Business Leaders’ Forum staged earlier this month in central London by our sister title Food Manufacture.

In this exclusive video, filmed at the Business Leaders’ Forum, Andrew McLean, of law firm Stephenson Harwood, said the pressure on food firms was likely to result in more mergers. “Food manufacturers were caught in the difficult middle ground between higher raw material prices and still very powerful retailers, which were under pressure from their own consumers,” he said.

‘Difficult conversations’

While food and drink manufacturing businesses were trying to make operational savings, they faced “many difficult conversations with retailers” as they tried to increase prices, added McLean.

The annual event – sponsored by Stephenson Harwood, business improvement specialist Applied Acumen and recruitment expert Goldteam − also heard that UK farmers were finding it impossible to source stock feed that was free of genetically-modified ingredients on the global market.

Watch out for more reports from the Business Leaders’ Forum in next month’s issue of Food Manufacture.

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