Meet the finalists: International Trade Award

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Meet the firms that have made the final for the International Trade Award
Meet the firms that have made the final for the International Trade Award

Related tags Food manufacture excellence awards

Find out which firms made the final for the International Trade Award at the 2024 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards.

Plant-Ex Ingredients

Plant-Ex Ingredients manufactures natural colours, flavours, extracts and food protection systems for the food and beverage industry, based in Avonmouth, Bristol.

Plant-Ex was established in 2010 as a one-man business in a 2,500 square foot facility outside of Bristol. Since then, as a result of organic growth and strategic international expansion, Plant-Ex is now a global distributor of food ingredients possessing a skilled workforce.

A key success factor for Plant-Ex’s international trade and global expansion derives from the alignment of its core values, clear objectives and a sense of belonging. Despite the barrier that Covid and Brexit presented, Plant-Ex was able to mitigate the obstacles and continue with the plans that were in place to develop Plant-Ex Polska and Plant-Ex Turkey. In addition to a sales operator in Spain, Plant-Ex now have well-established trade networks across Europe, supporting the company’s growing profits.

This year, Plant-Ex has been establishing a production and distribution facility in the USA, facilitating the firm’s commitment to international expansion and strive for sustainable global trade. Once finalised, this will enable Plant-Ex to enter into one of the largest consumer markets for the industry and increase the global competitiveness of the company.

Prima Cheese

Prima Cheese started its export journey in 2010 and have grown this sector of the business significantly. With more than 12 years exporting experience, it has continued to grow within existing and new export markets despite the various challenges all food and drink manufacturers have faced such as Brexit and recent price increases.

During the period, Prima Cheese not only maintained existing business but has continued to expand within worldwide markets. It is now recognised as a leading player in several markets around the world. The firm’s export success has contributed further to increasing turnover and profits, while volumes have increased substantially for existing customers and new markets.

The manufacturer is now loading approximately 173 tonnes a week and has added 10 new customers in the last year including new markets such as India, Nigeria, Ghana, North Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. Now exporting to more than 50 countries around the world, the increase in demand has resulted in the need to invest in new and improved processing machinery that will enable Prima Cheese to continue its growth and strengthen its position on a global scale. Meanwhile, the success of the firm’s export department has created new jobs and ensured the safeguarding of existing jobs.


International at Princes is a small team that is fully functional in its own right. Support is limited and knowledge is built up through the team’s work ethic and tenacity. Although it sits under the Princes business banner, the team work tirelessly to maximise existing business but to also win new accounts and develop further opportunities across strategic markets.

This has been challenging at times based on supply issues, inflation and market dynamics, but the team has continued to ensure that it is not overlooked for the core UK business. It has continued its expansion into more than 40 markets around the world and now works directly with retailers such as Walmart, Carrefour, Spinneys and Coles, as well as with distributors in market and e-commerce platforms.

Princes’ international team sells over two million cases of grocery products annually, which includes branded items, private label and newly launched SKUs that create a point of difference in categories that are heavily saturated. The team not only manages the customer trading relationship, but it is also responsible for order fulfilment, freight forwarding and documentation to ensure the end-to-end process is managed efficiently.

Regal Food Products Group

Regal Food Products Group manufactures and supplies a wide range of food and drink products, initially manufactured for the local Asian market in the UK. However, the popularity of its products has become well recognised throughout the world and the firm now exports more than 20% of its products to 50 international markets.

The manufacturer makes a range of baked goods, confectionery and drinks products, with its product portfolio extending to 400 products, a significant proportion of which are now exported. Regal Foods continues to invest substantial resources in product development, resulting in the launch of new lines on an annual basis. Its cake rusk is well known worldwide, while the firm also produces numerous types of biscuits, cakes and puff pastries.

Together with its bakery product range, Regal Foods produces and supplies speciality tea, cooking sauces, marinades, juices, sweets and savoury snacks. This includes Bombay Mix which has become hugely popular across Europe, the US and Canada. Since 2008, the business has become a prolific promoter of British industry overseas, with a fifth of its £30m turnover driven by exports.

In 2022, Regal Foods received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of international trade, one of just 15 companies awarded in Yorkshire and among 232 in the UK.

Wyke Farms

Wyke Farms is one of the oldest cheddar brands in the UK and the most widely distributed. With a legacy of quality and tradition, its products have been successfully exported to more than 160 countries worldwide, including France, where it is listed in all the national retailers.

With a wealth of unique values and quality, the Wyke Farms brand has carved an enviable position in the international cheddar market achieving sustainable growth and margin to the business and supply chain. It has been exporting cheddar since 1994 after attending a trade mission to Bordeaux organised by the DTI to showcase its cheese. Today, its cheddar is one of the leading imported cheese brands in France

Wyke Farm’s current markets extend beyond Europe into Japan, Australia, South Africa and the USA, with 6,000 tonnes exported per annum. This has doubled over the past four years and the firm hopes to double this number by 2027 with deals in the US, Hong Kong, Australia and Canada and emerging dairy growth markets in Asia.

The cheesemaker has shown strong growth in all export countries by targeting regions with bespoke brand strategies, while the Wyke Farms UK export hub has to house an additional 2,000 tonnes of maturing cheddar to meet the global demands of our vintage cheese.

The winners of this prize will be announced at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards 2024 on Thursday 8 February at the London Hilton Bankside. You can buy tickets here.​​​

Thank you to our headliner sponsor Menzies, alongside event sponsors Quor, HSBC, and CAS Recruitment.

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