Calon Wen, a group of 25 organic family run farms across Wales that produce organic dairy products, has been exporting its products to Asia with the help of the Mineichi Group since 2017. Riding the wave of the Rugby World Cup 2019, which was held in Japan, Calon Wen and Mineichi saw the opportunity to venture into the Japanese market.
Stuart McNally, Calon Wen’s business development and sales manager, said, “During the BlasCymru/TasteWales event in March 2019, we were able to connect and create leads with some Japanese customers, while mapping out strategies to venture into the market side by side. Then from September 2019, Calon Wen’s retail stockists in Japan began expanding gradually. They are now available at around 100 locations and online. As well as supplying retailers directly, Calon Wen products are also distributed by major Japanese dairy products traders that distribute to supermarkets and various major department stores.
“However, since the summer of 2020, the Japanese authority revised the regulation regarding imported organic products and any products branded as ‘organic’ must now obtain Japan’s organic JAS certification, and label it with the certified JAS mark on the packaging.”
McNally said a year later, with support from the Welsh Government’s Tokyo office, Calon Wen became the first European dairy brand to be JAS certified.
“Our future plans include expanding stockists to over 120 stores in Japan within 2021, introducing new products of Calon Wen to strengthen the brand and introducing other Welsh brands and products in partnership for example Tan y Castell Welsh Cakes and much more.”
Since September 2019, Calon Wen has been expanding in Japan, and now around 100 physical locations and online merchants stock its products. As well as directly supplying retailers, Calon Wen products are also distributed by major Japanese dairy products traders Morinaga, Mitsubishi, and Kokubu who distribute to supermarkets and major department stores in Japan.
Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths said: “Securing new export markets, as well as maintaining and building on current ones, is crucial for the future prosperity of the Welsh food and drink industry.
“Japan has a population of 127m, and is one of the wealthiest and more mature consumer markets in the world. Food and beverage is the largest expenditure for Japanese households and the country relies on food imports to satisfy consumer demand.”
BlasCymru/TasteWales 2021, the third edition of Wales’ international food and drink trade event bringing together buyers and industry professionals from across the globe will take place at the ICC Wales, at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport on October 27 and 28.