Be careful what you fish for …
Comment from Diana Spellman
It’s difficult to recall a news bulletin from the last eighteen months or so that hasn’t included the “B” word and, alas, this one will be no exception. GBBO (Great British Bake Off) has made a valiant attempt to take our minds off the messy and protracted European divorce but with only limited success. Its long awaited move to C4 was seen as a betrayal to many with fears of unwanted change and loss of standards. Not unlike the cries from both sides of Brexit divide. Perhaps had we known Sandy Toksvig and Noel Fielding would be running the show, post Brexit we might all rest a little easier!
In many ways, the dilemma facing the UK fishing community symbolises the underlying challenge of the UK’s trading relationship with its European counterparts. Promises of greater control and access to the fishing waters around our coasts are the stuff of dreams for the fish dependent communities throughout the UK. However, we want these improved deals whilst maintaining our continued, free access to other European markets. To some, this will feel like having your cake and eating it … not an unreasonable viewpoint. As ever though, the devil will be in the detail and, if recent talks are anything to go by, the detail is going to take a while to hammer out.
We love detail. We live and breathe it … allowing you to see the bigger picture, focus on your direction and make the big decisions.
Together, everyone achieves more …
TEAM is an often quoted acronym but nonetheless a useful and powerful one. It’s an underlying principle of PARTNERS IN PURCHASING and we are delighted to see the Co-op embracing this philosophy within their strategy for 2018. Outlining their vision at the group’s trade briefing in September they pinpointed success stemming from the whole food supply chain working together, responsibly and sustainably – a vision we share. This together with a conscious support for British farming, the empowerment of rural communities and the nurturing of youth and education within the industry – all good.
With this in mind, the Co-op have agreed to collaborate with Asda to allow shared suppliers to submit ‘aggregated data’ on waste, water and energy to both retailers at the same time. This through the leading sustainable business and supply chain platform 2degrees. This means suppliers need only prepare data once for both customers, saving time and effort.
In such a challenging marketplace it seems only sensible that teamwork and collaboration provide the most sustainable and competitive way forward … now and post Brexit.
You better shape up …
Whilst opportunities may abound for the UK dairy industry following our impending departure from the EU, in the infamous words of Olivia Newton John, the industry “better shape up …”. This was a recurring view from a recent AHDB hosted seminar on the post Brexit picture for the UK dairy farmers. Clearly, exploiting the projected growth in demand from the Asia-Pacific region, for example, would be an obvious goal, but, tackling the industry’s underlying competiveness provides a more fundamental objective. This would include improving efficiency, optimising costs and aligning supply chains – collaboration too as we experience iin our Team.
Fancy a cuppa …
We all love a cuppa … but is it doing even more good than just waking us up in the morning or perking up a dull afternoon? A new study from the University of California have found that drinking black tea may promote weight loss and speed up your metabolism. Apparently, not only is it good for the gut by boosting the production of good bacteria but it also changes our energy metabolism in the liver via gut metabolites. Not just black tea either, green tea showed similar benefits from the study with regard to weight loss. Surprisingly maybe, given green team probably has the edge over black on its perceived health benefits, black tea was the one that produced the impact on the metabolism.
So, good news for all the black tea drinkers out there …keep drinking!
Movers and shakers …
The biggest influence on price movement we’re seeing currently is that of fish. Salmon is probably the biggest culprit but haddock and cod are also playing their part. Farmed salmon has been steadily rising for some time and coupled with fragile sterling position versus the Euro (and Nordic currencies – the home of many imported fish) prices are settling high.
Meanwhile, dairy prices are also seeing significant increases – up to 30% or more in some cases versus the same period last year – with the weaker sterling playing its part here too. However, another driver is the subtle shift in demand toward less mature dairy products – from older cheddar to younger mozzarella for example. It will be interesting to see how the industry and market dance over the next twelve months.
Overall annual RPI continues its upward trend, an increase of 0.2% over the last quarter. Almost doubling since this time last year and a picture we’ve not been accustomed to for some time. Beef and dairy have followed suit, posting the same increase of almost 3% for the quarter. A little further behind is cereals at just over 1.5%. Meanwhile, fish and poultry have both fallen (by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively in this quarter) but, along with all commodities tracked, both are also showing significant increases versus the same time last year. In particular, fish is more than 10% above its figure for September 2016.
Indications are that interest rates will rise in the immediate future to counter the steady underlying growth in inflation … hold on to your hats.
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