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Happy New Year to you all. Well at least we hope so, but this year’s ‘out with the old and in with the new’ could see some pre y stormy tsunamis blown in o the uncharted seas of Brexit negotiations. For these last few months milk prices have been under pressure, but fortunately Arla has stood steadfast as pace-se er for others. But even if the core price is higher, margins being secured by some producers now are nothing to write home about because of the impact of escalating input costs. So what of 2020? Well the good news is that SMP seems on a high and markets are moving in the right direction, even if somewhat sluggishly. Couple that with the fact that not only are UK milk volumes levelling o but just as encouraging is that they continue to be at in the EU, US and are actually falling in New Zealand, which should all help avoid the nancial calamity of an unbalanced oversupply. Climate emergency But market considerations will just be part of the picture going forward, as politically those critical transitional deals have to be struck, domestic agricultural policy sorted, and we need to find a role in stemming the clamour over the climate emergency. And don’t forget the spectre of a ‘no-deal’ still persists, and note how sterling strengthened immediately on the announcement of the election result but plummeted a couple of days later with talk of the imposition of a legal deadline with its potential lack of resolution. If that is not enough, we have a seemingly wholesale rush to condemn livestock and dairy products as Public Enemy Number One, with a reported bee-line for alternative vegan products. e problem is that most consumers have a natural tendency to make snap judgements on the back of alarmist headlines, sensational TV programmes or trendy social media posts. Which all means one of the biggest challenges of 2020 will be the need to communicate what the industry is about, as above all we absolutely need to be on the front foot in keeping consumers on side.