The processor has partnered with one of Qatar’s largest distribution companies and has already received its first order for its entire range of products.
Stuart McNally, Calon Wen’s sales and business development manager, said the deal was a sizable one for the company and he expected exports to account for 25% of the business by the end of this year.
“This was a conscious decision by the company to diversify into new markets outside the UK to ensure stability of supply for our farmers,” said McNally.
‘30-40% of our total revenue’
“We are projecting that exports will become 30-40% of our total revenue within three years, thereby helping to ensure Welsh organic family-run farms have greater economic value and are more resilient to any fluctuations in the domestic market.”
Managing director Dai Miles attributed Calon Wen’s success in Qatar to its involvement in the Welsh Government’s food and drink export programme.
“Attending briefings, seminars and exhibitions gave us the confidence to invest in developing export sales and, with continued growth of the organic sector in these emerging markets, we feel there is significant opportunity for further growth,” said Miles.
Commenting on Calon Wen’s trade deal, cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths argued it demonstrated the importance of developing both existing and new export markets for Welsh food and drink.
‘Imperative to selling Welsh produce’
“Trade missions, like those enjoyed by Calon Wen, are imperative to selling Welsh produce around the world and helping businesses learn from and build relationships with others in their respective industry.
“In these challenging times ahead of Brexit, it is more important than ever that we champion Welsh produce and support food and drink businesses in every way we can.”
Established in 2000, Pembrokeshire-based Calon Wen was formed by four dairy farmers, who wanted to sell their own milk to local people and decided to set up their own company.
The cooperative has since quadrupled in size and now supplies Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose, as well as many independent retailers across Wales.