German and Dutch businesses are struggling financially – particularly where layers of management and additional output were built into company finances. Now that stock numbers and outputs are falling, the fixed costs are not diluted to the same extent.

Smaller scale Irish businesses will be hoping they can be more nimble and draw on better market premiums with niche products to get them through the downturn. Kerrygold, one of those premium brands, is losing its CEO John Jordan after more than 30 years at the company.

We wish him well. Ornua has delivered to its shareholders (Irish co-ops and farmers) in the industry growth phase. It looks like this year and next will be a real test of the benefits of brand premiums.