The Blue Sea Food Company Limited, based in Paignton, started working with UK trade and Investment (UKTI) several years ago, at a point when the company’s trading overseas was limited to the EU. UKTI have helped the company to benefit from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding, and enabled them to open up new export markets for a range of fresh crab and crabmeat products. Now, exports make up nearly half of the company’s turnover.
Blue Seafood Company have recently undertaken a successful market visit to South Korea, where they had commissioned a UKTI OMIS (Overseas Market Information Service) report. On the return journey, they stopped off in Hong Kong, where they had commissioned a previous OMIS report and have successfully landed a number of major new export supply deals with existing and new customers. This year, the Blue Seafood Company’s exports to China and Hong Kong are expected to be worth more than £2 ½ million.
The Blue Seafood Company was created in 2004 as a project by a group of MBA Students at Exeter University. They spotted the double opportunity represented by the excellent seafood being landed in the region and processed in small but under-used factories.
The company has gone from strength to strength and now employs more than 160 people at its Paignton factory, as well as another 100 at a separate seafood business they recently acquired in Scotland. The business currently turns over approximately £11 million annually and exports to markets as diverse as France, Spain and Australia.
Commenting on the company’s export success, Sales Director David Markham said:
“Devon Crab is amongst the finest in the world and we at the Blue Sea Food Company are proud to have introduced this West Country delicacy to markets in East Asia. Until recently, France was our biggest overseas customer, but now China and Hong Kong are just as big and indications in Korea are very positive.
“We have really benefitted from the help and support we have received from UKTI and would recommend any business thinking of selling abroad to make use of their services.
“With the right support and market intelligence, exporting is never scary and is always a lot of fun, but you do need to market the right product. Blue Sea Crab is healthy, sustainable and above all delicious.”
UKTI International Trade Adviser Steve Southcott said:
”It’s been a privilege to work with David and his team and help them build their business in various markets around the world. An important component of their success has been their willingness to undertake overseas visits to meet with prospective customers.
“Through commitment and perseverance, they have achieved success in overseas markets by identifying demand for their excellent products and exploiting opportunities wherever they find them. The results speak for themselves and I very much look forward to working with them to repeat this success in their next chosen export market.”