The winning of the Queen’s Award recognises Somerdale’s sustained growth and development in becoming a leading exporter of high quality British cheeses and dairy products to over 50 countries around the world - growth which has accelerated over the past six years with the company’s overseas earnings increasing by 73%.
Somerdale International is now in its 26th year of operation and has a turnover of over £32 million, of which exports represented c.94%. It provides an effective route to the international market for over 250 great tasting British cheeses made in some of the country’s leading creameries including traditional Cheddars, blue cheeses, flavoured cheeses and traditional hand-made, artisan cheeses. Today, it is the leading exporter of British cheese to the USA with shipments leaving for New York every week. While it has also grown its presence in key markets such as China and the Far East, the Caribbean, Australia and emerging markets such as the Middle East & North Africa and Brazil.Commenting on the award Nairn Glen, Chairman of Somerdale International, said: "We are extremely proud to have won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade. The Award is testament to the experience and expertise we have accumulated in more than 25 years of exporting to all parts of the globe; the skill and dedication of our staff; and the excellence of our partner suppliers who produce some of the very best British cheeses and dairy products.”
Somerdale has invested substantially over the last five years in its British operational facilities located in Wellington, Somerset, England. Its 10,000 sq. ft., ISO 9001 accredited and fully SAP enabled, cold store and offices provide Somerdale with a state-of-the-art base from which to source, consolidate and undertake shipments every week to customers across the globe. While its commitment to investing in its future growth and development is demonstrated by the recent acquisition of an additional cold store facility adjacent to the existing Wellington operations. The new facility will come on line later this year and will provide additional capacity in line with Somerdale’s strategic growth plan for the business.In addition, Somerdale has also invested in its own dedicated in-market capabilities and resources providing international customers with ongoing support and advice on how to best market and sell what it believes represents the very best of British dairy produce. This includes having a team of three sales people and a product marketing trainer in the United States and dedicated sales representatives in Australia and China. These are complemented by an established network of trusted international shipping partners and in-market distributors with which Somerdale has built long term relationships
Stephen Jones, Director and co-founder of Somerdale International commented: "Somerdale is focused on delivering excellence in the export of cheeses and dairy products based upon leveraging our experience, expertise and state-of-the-art facilities. We have a strong and growing base of international customers and now supply many of the leading speciality cheese retailers, as well as mainstream distributors, across the world. This growth reflects our ability to offer our international customers convenient access to some of the very best British cheeses made by cheesemakers who care passionately about producing cheeses of the highest quality, consistency and taste.”
Commenting further Ernie Waldron, Director and co-founder of Somerdale International, said: "For our customers we are able to select, consolidate, ship and facilitate entry of all our products removing, what can sometime be, the hassle of buying specially imported cheeses. We are able to leverage our critical mass, in-depth knowledge of import procedures and regulations, established relationships and network of shipping partners and distributors. In doing so we have built a track record of providing an efficient, flexible and responsive service which we believe is cost effective, consistent and most importantly trusted.
"For British cheesemakers Somerdale represents a straight forward and highly reliable route to market for their cheeses. Through partnering with Somerdale they are able to access our in-depth understanding of international import procedures and regulations, an established network of customers and distributors and our expertise in marketing British cheeses to the world. As such, Somerdale represents a relatively risk free and low cost way of developing their export sales, whilst Somerdale benefits from being able to offer our customers some of the finest British cheeses there are.”
Founded by Stephen Jones and Ernie Waldron, Somerdale International exports over 250 British cheeses to over 50 countries across the globe. It has long established partnerships with many of the highest quality cheese producers in Great Britain and this allows it to offer a comprehensive range of award winning traditional, quintessentially British, cheeses. At the same time, it is able to work with its supply partners to develop new cheeses, brands and packaging formats to meet the diverse requirements of the international marketplace.
Many of its cheese suppliers are long established, family-run, producers who care passionately about producing cheeses of the highest quality, consistency and taste. Located across Britain Somerdale’s cheese suppliers include award winning producers such as Barbers based in Somerset, Joseph Heler in Cheshire, Long Clawson in Leicestershire, Quickes in Devon, Singletons in Lancashire and The Abergavenny Fine Food Company in South Wales.
Somerdale’s range of cheeses also includes its own brands specifically developed for export markets including the eponymously named Somerdale and Westminster Cheese ranges. While many of the cheeses it offers customers are very traditional, Somerdale is also proud of its ability to innovate and create new cheeses for international markets. A good example being the very popular ‘Il Truffelino’ which combines the creamy texture of Classic English Cheddar with the complex and luxuriant flavour of Black Summer Truffle and the Somerdale Poacher's Cheddar which brings together two amazing flavours, creamy smooth Cheddar with wonderfully sweet caramelized onions.
It is the second time Somerdale International has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade having also received it in 2009.