n Ingredients supplier Mayfair Foods has acquired Hall Farm Merchants, a dried fruit business, with immediate effect. "We feel the acquisition of Hall Farm Merchants’ business fits the dynamics of Mayfair Foods," said a spokesperson for the company, who added that it was looking to make further acquisitions.

n The Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed last week that the Retail Price Index, the most familiar domestic measure of inflation in the UK, has risen to 4.1%. According to ONS, the rate of inflation grew, due to pressure from petrol and food prices. The government’s target measure was 2.2% in January, up from 2.1% in December.

n To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight 2008, which runs from 25 February to 9 March, Waitrose is offering customers 20% off selected Fairtrade products. These include Balance Foods Fairtrade Rice Cakes, Doves Farm Flapjacks, Waitrose Organic Fairtrade Fruit and Nuts Chewy Bars and selected Traidcraft Cookies.

n UK companies say that a more difficult economy in 2008 is having a direct impact on their efforts to save energy. An annual survey, conducted by YouGov for energy company EON, found that 71% of senior business leaders predict that the UK is either heading for, or already in, a recession and nearly half say that this will impact their ability to be ’greener’ by cutting back on the time and resources they dedicate to saving energy.