A Bright Start to the Trading Year

So, good news. The first month of the new decade got off to a bright start. I know of many projects that had been held at an Amber light over the autumn, which received the go ahead last month. I had been feeling for some time that there was some pent up desire to invest amongst food and drink companies, but nervous of the outcome of the election and Brexit, it was clear that many companies were holding back. In January, despite some patchy Christmas trading results, the tide looks to have turned as companies look at new products, markets and pack formats.

Ah, but Brexit rumbles on. Speaking of which, have you heard of the Bedtime EULA podcast? It’s a podcast promoting deep sleep – the latest episode has a dry American voice reading out the full text of Part 1 of the PayPal User Agreement (40 minutes).  The next episode? That’ll be Part 2 of the Paypal Agreement.

I jest, but there is definitely a high degree of fatigue amongst the trade around the UK/EU trade negotiations. We’re hoping for an agreeable set of terms to be agreed swiftly, ideally this year although that may be too much to hope for – but we will see. It feels like the current optimism in the trade will last at least until the middle of the year when the EU/UK Fisheries negotiation will prove an early test of how the trade negotiations are likely to go.

February is the month when we like to lock down our year’s plans, choosing what conferences to chair, what events to speak at and which trade shows to plug into the diary. So far, we have the Food and Drink Expo in March at the NEC, Natural and Organic at Excel in April, the Free From Expo in the Amsterdam RAI in June and the Allergy Show at Excel in July. That’s a pretty full programme and hopefully we can get some work done in between that little lot!

Enjoy the last full month of the winter!


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