Wishing one and all a very happy Christmas and New Year

As we fast approach the final few days of the year, we’d just like to wish all our friends and colleagues across the confectionery sector a very happy Christmas and New Year, and may it offer the chance to take a well-earned break with friends and family.

Personally, 2023 has delivered many highlights working across the industry, from attending key events right across Europe, Dubai and the US, through to hosting our third edition of the World Confectionery Conference here in the UK, there’s been plenty to reflect upon.

We’ve seen some key headlines including the march of AI and robotics continue apace, matched by ingredients and systems breakthroughs that have left their mark on this year, offering plenty of food for thought, as well as major policy and finished product evolutions for good measure, that have kept us very much on our toes during the past 12 months.

While there has clearly been much instability in terms of global geopolitical situations in Ukraine and within the past month, Israel and Gaza, among other conflicts around the world, we can but hope that 2024 may bring at least hope of more settled times ahead.

The aforementioned conflicts have inevitably had impacts on traditional supply chains around the world during the past year, which has been saddening to see, but in spite of such major obstacles, food chains, including the relatively luxury ones for confectionery and snacks, have continued out of necessity, it’s just added layers of complexity that are not sustainable in the long-term.

Clearly, none of us has a crystal ball, but there are indeed many issues to weigh up in the coming months and years ahead, from ethical, environmental and technological perspectives, there’s plenty for the industry to consider moving forward in the quest to satisfy global tastes and demands.

Such issues are certain to come under the microscope as we develop our plans for the 2024 edition of our World Confectionery Conference, as it makes a welcome return to Brussels for 2024. So watch this space for further news emerging relating to the event. Also be sure to check out our dedicated website, confectioneryconference.com where you can register for the event, which is now in its 4th edition. Here’s hoping you all have an enjoyable Christmas time, and a peaceful, rewarding New Year.

Neill Barston, editor, Confectionery Production magazine

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