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Leading in challenging times

Dairy UK is set to get a new chairman in the form of Paul Vernon, the CEO of Glanbia Cheese Ltd. He succeeds the very capable Dr David Dobbin in this important role, as the British dairy industry faces its most challenging years. Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will most keenly felt in the dairy industry, and particularly at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It will no doubt need all hands on deck to steer the dairy ship through what no doubt will be stormy seas coming up. The nice thing is that dairy is very well equipped to deal with uncertainty in the market. Volatility is our second name.

Meanwhile, I am off to the US this week for Process Expo, to see what the American dairy industry is up to, with food safety, packaging and equipment. The show was originally formed by the Association of Ice Cream Supply Men in 1911, and thus the dairy industry’s participation runs deep, complete with a special Dairy Zone for processors.

The US dairy market is an interesting one, as American processors develop new artisanal products and the long-running national obsession with coffee spills over into cold brew – complete with milk ingredients integrated into the ready-to-drink sector. I am looking forward to sampling a few coffee drinks while I am there.

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