This is the time of year for final decisions on who should be on nice or naughty lists.

Farmers across all enterprises have earned their place on the nice list. They ensured food security through a time of global food market insecurity; they avoided exploiting food price inflation by hiking prices more than their rise in costs – and have faced severe price cuts in recent months, while others along the food chain continued ramping up food prices. That guarantees farmers a place on any nice list.

It would be good if there were more public recognition of the value of food security. Through Covid and the shock waves from the war in Ukraine farmers ensured the food supply here and across Europe was never at risk. Few, if any, politicians would make it onto my nice list if I were advising Santa.

One exception might be the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. In major speeches this year she has gone to great lengths to praise farmers for delivering a high quality, secure food supply every day to 350 million EU citizens and for helping ensure food exports are a key driver of the eurozone economy.

This contrasts with the position at Westminster, where not only are farmers not praised, they are ignored and undermined by trade policies more about cheap imports than local food based on quality and environmental standards. That alone puts swathes of politicians on the naughty list.

There they are joined by the many others who fail to see that green outcomes can be a by-product of food production, rather than the result of policies demanded by armchair environmental warriors with no understanding of how a living countryside has to work.

Very definitely on the Santa nice list would be every farm lobby organisation, from the giants of the farm unions to specialist groups all fighting for the industry. Brexit has certainly made life more difficult for the mainstream farm unions. They face disinterested politicians at Westminster and sadly even in the devolved regions.

Their power and influence have waned because they are no longer part of the more vociferous European farming lobby, which pursued and secured farmer friendly policies that had to be implemented by successive UK governments. They continue to do the job for their members while knowing politicians neither understand their industry nor care about what happens to it as a food producer and driver of economic potential for an ailing UK economy.

Like farmers, the farm lobby must not only be on the nice list, but well rewarded with a present they can pour, sit back, and enjoy – despite still working over Christmas when the rest of the world stops.

If this is the season to be merry there is some good news around.

Inflation has fallen to 3.9%, meaning it is now just twice the Bank of England target rate of 2%. The UK rate is still a percentage point ahead of the EU average and two points ahead of the US rate. Food price inflation is still 9%, which certainly does not reflect what is happening to farm gate prices.

The fall has little to do with government actions, although they will seek to take credit for it. It is certainly a welcome step in the right direction, although no interest rate cut is likely before mid-2024 at best. There is also better news for farmers in wider global food markets.

The European Commission says markets, both for outputs and inputs, are more stable than they have been in the close to two years since Russia's attack on Ukraine created a global food crisis. The Commission says market problems are related more to the extreme weather events linked to climate change than to the better now managed fallout from the dislocation of food supplies as a result of war.

On cereals, the EU says that while production is still below the five-year average it will end the year around the level of last year. This is another pointer to stability.

On dairy, it says markets are stabilising as buyers return, particularly in Asia. Again this is related to climate change, with concerns about extreme weather events of heat and floods potentially affecting southern hemisphere production.

In an increasingly uncertain world market stability is a prized asset – and one that represents a very welcome Christmas present.