An unscientific survey

Last week I was at Anuga FoodTec, a trade show in Germany, and saw three bottles for adding to drinks in the press centre first thing in the morning, before I embarked on my mad gallop around the various halls and stands. As you can see in the photo, they are bio, which is organic milk, soy drink and lactose-free. By the end of the day, when I went to grab my coat and drink a last-minute coffee before the trip to the airport, the bio milk bottle was gone. The lactose-free was half-empty, and the soy drink had not been opened. I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.

I was also at the European Dairy Association’s Policy Conference in Brussels, where there were definitely no milk alternatives on offer, and a queue for the ever-popular yogurt break. I did manage to scoff a chunk of Kern, the cheese that won the World Cheese Awards last November, during the cheese buffet. Well worth the supreme award it collected there.

But I do feel a bit bad for Peter-Giørtz Carlsen, who, in the remit to talk about facts and alternative facts about dairy, mentioned Brexit. It’s a key imperative for the co-operative, which gets 25% of its revenue from the UK.

He reminded the audience that the UK is the single largest trading partner for the EU and that when people tell him that the UK will be a third country after the exit, he replies, “Yes, but it is the most important third country.” He warned that there is 25 billion kgs per year of milk that would no longer head to the UK in the case of a hard Brexit, and the result would be keeping in the EU, which would result in higher prices for UK consumers, and a drop in prices for EU farmers.

So, worth keeping an eye on. Here’s to a soft Brexit that is beneficial to both the EU and UK. I’ll raise my glass of milk to that.

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