Castleford cheesemonger sets sights on the UAE and beyond

09 May 2018

Family-run cheesemonger Cryer & Stott is set to export to the UAE after its artisan cheeses impressed buyers at the world’s largest annual food tradeshow Gulfood in Dubai.

Hotel, restaurant and supermarket representatives present at this year’s event took an interest in the firm’s pies, chutneys, biscuits and cheeses.

Castleford-based Cryer & Stott exhibited at the event alongside 15 other food and drink firms from the region as part of a Food is GREAT trade mission, a cross-departmental initiative from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Cryer & Stott also visited a variety of stores across Dubai, building more relationships and further showcasing its products.

Richard Holmes, managing director at Cryer & Stott, said: “Though we have been exporting to France since 2014, exhibiting at Gulfood gave us the confidence to explore new markets like the UAE.

“The trade mission was an invaluable experience for us. We learnt so much from other like-minded businesses that were keen to share their experiences about exporting.

“Speaking to them and to the representatives visiting the show opened our eyes to markets that we didn’t know existed.”

“The experience also helped us find the best way of exporting our products overseas. For example, cheese has a much shorter shelf-life than people might think and we’re now working with Defra and DIT to devise a smart way of getting our dairy-based products from UK farms to plates in the Middle East as quickly as possible, while still maintaining the high-quality taste we’re proud of.

“Language barriers were another issue we were concerned about and addressed with the help of DIT International Trade Advisors.

“We know now that there is help out there to make sure we can, for example, train front-of-house staff and educate them about the cheeses so that the customer trusts the product and feels an affinity with us, the producer in the UK.

“Many potential challenges to exporting can be overcome with a bit of support and expert advice – if we can do it, so can other businesses.”

Following the cheesemonger’s success at Gulfood, the firm will now join other Food is GREAT trade missions to the Philippines and Singapore; two markets recently showing a significant demand for British products.

Mark Robson, regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber at the Department for International Trade, said: “The trade mission to Gulfood showed Cryer & Stott first-hand the strong demand that exists for fine British food products abroad.

“It’s great to see Yorkshire firms identifying and nurturing opportunities like this in the UAE.

“To ensure that businesses are supported with the know-how and have the right resources to tap into these markets effectively, we have 29 dedicated International Trade Advisors based across Yorkshire and the Humber region. For in-depth market advice, get in touch.”

Exports of Yorkshire and the Humber food and drink rose by 11% in 2017 compared to the previous 12 months, according to the latest HMRC figures. Dairy and egg produce were one of the best overseas sellers, with £73m worth exported.