Barbers, a local dairy business which has been operating out of Ditcheat in Mendip for over 180 years, has made the successful transition into an international trading company. Its products are easily recognizable in many local outlets and soon you’ll be able to purchase their famous Cheddar cheese in Brazil too!
Last year Barbers, contacted the Food Standards Agency, FSA, asking for assistance with getting the official documentation required to begin exporting whey protein powder to China. After being referred by the FSA to Mendip District Council, Michael Berry, an Environmental Health Officer, picked up their case and began working closely with Barbers offering advice and assistance.
After 3 months of preparation and guidance from Michael Berry, Barbers received an inspection visit from the Chinese authorities to ensure everything was in place. Barbers f received the all okay from the FSA and the Chinese authorities to begin exporting in June 2014.
The exported whey protein powder will be made into baby milk for the Chinese market.
Wishing to expand their company even further, Barbers this time set their sights on the exportation of cheddar cheese to Brazil. Much of the cheese currently available in Brazil is classed as ‘soft’ cheese so, hoping to seize on a gap in the market, Barbers once again contacted Mendip’s EH team.
Brazilian officials travelled across and met Mendip District Council at Maryland Farm, where Barbers make their cheese, to discuss the requirements needed to export to Brazil. Once the FSA have come to an agreement with the Brazilian authorities, hopefully in the next few months, exportation can begin.
Michael Berry, Environmental Health Officer at Mendip District Council said; “To gain the documentation required to trade internationally involves satisfying the FSA’s and the relevant countries regulations surrounding imported food. Through site visits and inspections, I was able to offer Barbers advice and support throughout this process and am excited at what they have achieved. Let’s hope they don’t stop there and I look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Martyn Allcorn, Business Technical Manager at Barbers Farmhouse Cheesemakers, said; “I would like to thank Michael Berry for his support and clear communications throughout this process. We always knew what was required from us and were always kept up to date as to the progress of the approval process with the FSA. It was pleasure to work efficiently and professionally with Michael towards the achievement of a successful application with the foreign authorities for our registrations to export.”
If you’re thinking of starting up a food business or wish to expand to new markets it may be worth contacting Mendip District Council’s environmental health team to see what advice and support they can offer on 0300 303 8588 or visit www.mendip.gov.uk/foodsafety