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Dairy Farmer magazine's January 2017 digital edition

Don’t miss this month’s new look Dairy Farmer. Take a look at the digital edition today.

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A word from the Editor

 

Well, as we turn into the New Year most of you will be relieved to see the back of 2016. Few will mourn its passing except perhaps for the lucky aligned who may just be thanking their lucky stars for their good fortune.

 

The fact not more have quit is testimony to the mettle of our producers, many of whom have bust a gut to keep their businesses afloat during the severe testing of the past few months.

 

However, that could all change as better prices and stock valuations make a more tempting realisation prospect which, for many, is ultimately their pension fund.

 

So where are we heading in 2017? Well the pundits predict milk volumes in the UK and in Europe are not going to recover anytime soon, so milk prices should be high until at least the summer as cheese will be short until then and that, along with high demand for butterfat, will drive the market.

 

However, those selling into the liquid market might not get such joy from liquid retailers who have paid retail supplements during the bad times and strive to remain competitive in the fierce high street wars.

 

There are already some who are talking the market down, and there is no doubt that the re-strengthening of sterling has taken the edge off the AMPE price. But the fact is that farmgate prices need to remain high for some time if battered balance sheets are to be repaired.

 

But it isn’t just balance sheets that need patching up. Trust between farmers and processors, always fragile, has plummeted to new lows leaving a shaky foundation on which to build the united and cutting edge industry we need to weather those Brexit storms.

 

However, it will take time and a profound change in the way the supply chain works before we can turn round this dysfunctional industry.

 

So let’s get cracking and see what we can achieve in 2017!

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