City Snapshot: Positive start for Cranswick on strong meat demand in supermarkets
26 July 2021
Wine sellers celebrate scrapping of post-Brexit import certification
26 July 2021

An emergency government plan to prevent the spiralling “pingdemic” from hitting food supplies has descended into chaos, with industry leaders condemning the scheme as an “absolute disaster” that has done more harm than good (The Guardian). Government efforts to deal with the self-isolation “pingdemic” are “chaotic” and “too late”, food supply industry bodies have said (The BBC).

‘We need a sense of urgency here’: Farmers, meat processors and supermarkets struggle with pingdemic exemption confusion. While exemptions from isolation have been announced for some parts of the economy, other areas are struggling with a lack of workers. (Sky News)

New Covid daily contact testing sites for workers at supermarket depots and food manufacturers won’t begin operating until next week. (The BBC)

JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin has declared that Britain is being “laid waste” by the NHS Test and Trace app, which is causing pubs and restaurants to shut temporarily due to severe staff shortages. (The Times £)

England is facing weeks of disruption to bin collection, transport and food supply due to staff self-isolating, companies and councils have warned, amid concerns the 16 August date to lift quarantine for the double-vaccinated could be delayed. (The Guardian)

US private equity giant Apollo is closing in on an agreement to join forces with a group of foreign bidders for Morrisons supermarkets, tightening the consortium’s grip on the grocery chain. (The Daily Mail)

A former boss of Morrisons has urged its private equity suitors to respect the Bradford-based grocer’s heritage if they succeed in a £6.3 billion takeover (The Times £)

The private equity buyout of Morrisons is ‘another example of a company going to the knacker’s yard’, Lord Heseltine has claimed. (The Daily Mail)

Morrisons is about to be swiped through the checkout too cheaply, writes The Times’ Oliver Shah. “There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of Morrisons going private. But the board has been too hasty giving the Fortress consortium its blessing.” (The Times £)

The iconic Marlboro cigarette brand will disappear from UK shelves within 10 years, the chief executive of tobacco group Philip Morris International has said (The Financial Times £). Britain should treat cigarettes like petrol cars and ban them in 10 years’ time, bosses at the world’s biggest listed tobacco company have said (The Telegraph). The boss of tobacco giant Philip Morris International has mounted a staunch defence of its controversial deal to buy a British inhaler company – and pledged to stop selling cigarettes in the UK within the next ten years (The Daily Mail).

The private equity owner of Burger King UK is exploring a sale of the fast-food chain, days after itself raising £300 million in a rare listing (The Times £). The newly listed owner of Burger King’s UK operations has begun drawing up plans for a sale of the business next year in a bet on an accelerated recovery of Britain’s pandemic-hit restaurant industry (Sky News).

Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are asking some suppliers for extra payments to cover increased costs after being forced to raise wages for delivery drivers because of widespread shortages. (The Guardian)

Lorry drivers are planning a nationwide strike over their working conditions, prompting warnings that this would magnify food shortages and cripple the country’s already creaking supply chains. (The Guardian).

HM Customs & Revenue is facing a potential “avalanche” of claims for damages after a leading Swedish drinks maker launched a High Court claim accusing the UK government of unlawful tax discrimination. (The Financial Times £)

Investors gorged on Premier Foods shares after the maker of Mr Kipling cakes — one of the main winners as Britons rushed to fill up their cupboards during lockdown — boasted that this year’s profits would be “at the top end” of its expectations. (The Times £)

Shopping is shifting back online as fear of the rapidly spending delta variant overshadows the “freedom day” scrapping of Covid-19 restrictions, experts warn (The Telegraph).

The UK government said on Sunday it would axe some post-Brexit red tape on wine imports following warnings from the trade that it would cause lasting damage. (The Financial Times £)

Steve Rowe untangling M&S to deliver online revolution – retailer that Britons love to complain about is finally getting its act together, chief executive says. (The Times £)

The M&S tenure of the man nicknamed the Dapper Dutchman, Mark Bolland, was marred by vicious internal politicking and leaking, unsuccessful high-profile hires such as “Knicker Queen” Janie Schaffer. Bolland said he had never been deterred by the chain’s internal politics or the precarious nature of the role. “M&S is famous for that,” he said. “You have to get used to that”. (The Times £)

The great toilet paper boom of 2020 has given way to a bust. Consumers are no longer stockpiling and panic buying. The change has resulted in a quarter of soggy sales at Kimberly-Clark, a leading US producer of tissue products. (The Financial Times £)

Official inflation is being understated because the Office for National Statistics is using misleading weights to calculate the increase in prices, a leading economist has claimed. (The Times £)

Britain’s economy is set to grow at its fastest pace in 80 years, according to projections from forecasting group the EY Item Club. (The Daily Mail)

Freezing temperatures brought on by severe frosts in Brazil’s coffee belt this week have stoked fears of lower production, sending prices to near seven-year highs. (The Financial Times £)

Ninja Van, a logistics group that has used motorcycles, boats and even water buffaloes to deliver 1.7m parcels every day across south-east Asia, is considering an initial public offering as early as next year after being valued at $1bn. (The Financial Times £)

What growing avocados in Sicily tells us about climate change and the future of food. Changing temperatures across the globe are shifting the seasons and the crops that farmers can grow (The Financial Times £)

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