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South Caernarfon Creameries breaks into the lucrative US dairy market

South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC) is breaking into the lucrative US dairy market and has received their first order for award-winning Dragon cheese and butter for the American market at the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) trade show in Anaheim, California.

Following a Welsh Government’s food and drink trade visit to the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) premier show – Summer Fancy Food, in New York last year, and months of online meetings with the American distributor Abbey Specialty Foods, the Welsh farmer owned dairy co-operative has now brokered a deal for their first shipment and showcasing Dragon products in California this week (4-6 June).

Abbey Specialty Foods specialises in importing and distributing speciality cheese throughout America, and as the US is one of the most important markets outside of the EU for UK dairy products – with more than £50 million worth of cheese shipped to America in 2021¹, SCC wanted to explore this market further.

SCC Marketing Manager, Kirstie Jones said, “Last year it was great meeting Tom of Abbey Specialty Foods in New York, and even better that we have been able to build on that relationship.

“After numerous online meetings, we met again in person at the SIAL International Food Exhibition in Paris last October to discuss how we could work together, and I’m happy to announce that everything has gone well and we are not only exporting to the US but showcasing our products on the Abbey Foods stand at the IDDBA to potential customers with a distributor in place.

“Securing new revenues of business is key in the ever changing markets, and getting a foot in the door in the US is a great win for us.

“In the first three months of 2022, the value of UK cheese exports to the US rose by 25% compared to the same period the year before with shipments worth £13 million², and we want to have a slice of that.”

Miss Jones added: “We are continually looking for ways to grow the business, and this export deal we have secured is a great achievement for the company. We hope to build further on this new relationship across the pond and deliver more of our products to our American customers.”

Between 2020 and 2021 Wales had the largest percentage increase in the value of food and drink exports out of the four UK nations rising by £89 million, a growth of 16.1%, with the value of dairy and birds’ eggs reaching £106m in 2021.³

Abbey Specialty Foods, CEO Tom Slattery said, “We are so excited to add SCC’s flagship Dragon brand to our catalogue of dairy products complementing our range or European cheeses. Wales is known for its rolling hills and lush green pastures known to produce the creamery’s quality Welsh Cheddar, which has proved popular with our customers and attendees at the IDDBA.”