Texas deal spelts export success for Sharpham Park

Somerset based company specialising in growing and milling organic spelt, has expanded into the US market after securing orders from a new supermarket partner in Texas.

Sharpham Park, a Somerset company specialising in growing and milling organic spelt, has expanded into the US market after securing orders from a new supermarket partner in Texas.

The business has secured orders worth £17,000 for its spelt grain, spelt flour and breakfast cereals from Texan gourmet supermarket chain Central Market after attending a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Bristol organised by the Great British Food Programme as part of the Food is GREAT campaign.

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

Central Market initially featured Sharpham Park’s products as part of a fortnight-long showcase of British food and drink and has since gone on to place this second order.

Global demand for spelt products is in part being driven by increased interest in healthy lifestyles and more people adopting a plant-based or vegan diet. Market research company Technavio predicts the global spelt market to grow by $12.2bn between 2018 and 2022.*

Exporting does not come without its challenges – and in the case of Sharpham Park’s entry into the US, the challenge was of the strict labelling and regulatory requirements. DIT International Trade Advisers (ITAs), who have been working to support Sharpham Park with exporting for the past 12 years, were able to recommend a reliable partner.

Sharpham Park’s success in the US has helped it significantly grow its export sales in the last 18 months and has provided a strong platform for growth by getting the products ready for a market with huge potential.

The business is now looking to further expand its reach in the US market, as well as in other markets overseas. It is currently in discussions with a potential new partner in China and has continued working with its ITAs to access advice from the China Britain Business Council on its Chinese market strategy.

Martin Brooks, Sales and Operations Manager, Sharpham Park, said:

“These sales to Central Market have been a big win for the company, and we’re now setting our sights on further US growth.

“I’d recommend that anyone interested in exporting makes the most of the support and resources available. When we started out, we didn’t realise how much customer taste can vary from market to market – our bestselling products here in the UK are completely different to the biggest sellers in the US. Our British branding has also been a real draw for customers in the US and China.

“As well as supporting us on this particular US export deal, our ITA is always on the end of the phone for any questions and has been quick to refer us to other agencies for further support. If we can find success overseas, so can many other businesses.”

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West, said:

“Sharpham Park is taking advantage of growing demand for South West food and drink overseas. In fact, in 2018, food and drink exports from the South West totalled £823m.

“As well as running ‘Meet the Buyer’ events to help businesses like Sharpham Park identify new partners overseas, our local network of ITAs is on hand to help companies navigate everything from overseas legal requirements to language.

“I would encourage firms with exporting ambitions, or just looking for more information, to get in touch with DIT today.”


*Technavio, Global Spelt Market – Rising Demand for Organic Food to Promote Growth