Cheshire dairy taps into Australian market

Delamere Dairy FDMB North West

Delamere Dairy, the Knutsford-based producer of goat, sheep and cows milk products, has broken into the Australian dairy market, after seeing a gap in the market down under.

The Cheshire-based business struck a deal for its goat’s butter with an Australian distributor after being introduced at a trade show in San Francisco, which it attended with support from International Trade Advisers (ITAs) as part of the Food is GREAT campaign.

Food is GREAT is the cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to showcase UK food and drink overseas and help more businesses export.

ITAs based in the North West introduced Delamere Dairy to its Australian distributor at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in 2017 – an international food and drink sector trade show that DIT helped the business secure UK Export Finance (UKEF) funding to attend.

Delamere Dairy’s goats’ butter is now stocked on the shelves of Australian national supermarket chain IGA, three regional retail chains and a series of independent retailers across the country after the business made its first shipment to Australia at the end of 2018.

A second shipment has already been shipped and Delamere Dairy expects to see the value of its Australian sales reach six-figures by the end of 2019. The latest HMRC figures show that the UK exported more than £12.8m of dairy products to Australia last year alone.

According to market research company Arizton, global revenue from goat milk products are predicted to total $15bn (£11.2bn) by 2024, with Asia-Pacific the fastest growing region.*

Delamere Dairy, which began exporting more than twenty years ago, currently sells its products to more than 25 markets worldwide, including the US and across the Middle East, where goats’ milk products are part of a traditional diet.

In a bid to drive further export growth, it is now in discussions with potential new partners in India.

The business was founded 34 years ago by husband-and-wife team Roger and Liz Sutton. Since then, it has grown significantly, with its turnover this year forecast to reach £25m.

Jonathan Cope, Export Director, Delamere Dairy, said: “This new exporting opportunity has extended our international reach, and we’re expecting Australian sales to become a significant revenue stream for the business.

“Even though Australia has its own goats’ milk industry, we carried out analysis of the product range in major retailers via shopping websites, and it became quickly apparent there was a gap in the market for us. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits associated with our goats’ milk products, demonstrated in the overseas demand we are seeing.

“To make it work we had to find the right distributor, which can sometimes take us up to 18 months and cost a significant amount of time and money.  Thanks to support from our ITA, we were able to quickly find and secure an Australian partner, and we’re now stocked in stores across the country.

“Exports are an important part of our business, and because of this we’ve had a good working relationship with DIT for a while now. The team has been great at helping us answer any queries we’ve had, and I’d recommend that others looking to export make the most of its support. If we can find export success, then many others can too.”

Paul Stowers, Head of Region – North West at the Department for International Trade, said: “According to the latest HMRC statistics, North West exports of dairy and eggs were up 18% in 2018 compared to 2017 – an indication of global demand for our local produce.

“We know exporting can come with its challenges, which is why we’re on hand to help more North West businesses navigate every aspect of the process, from start to finish.