A WILTSHIRE exporter has achieved substantial sales growth of nearly 50 per cent on the back of exports to more than 35 countries worldwide.

Coombe Castle International Ltd in Melksham specialises in exporting high quality British and Irish dairy products including cream, butter and cheese.

Managing director Darren Lavin said: “This has been a very successful period for us, with much of our growth coming from our markets in the USA and Canada.

“However, we’ve also been able to develop in new markets like China, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand.”

Last year, the company - which employs 35 people in Melksham and is based at The Creamery close to the Asda supermarket - won its fourth Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade.

Mr Larvin spoke as latest official figures show exports of South West food and drink totalled £50.4 million in 2018, with exports of food and drink products totalling £823.2 million nationally.

Customers all over the world seem to be acquiring a taste for UK regional delicacies, with coffee, tea, cocoa and spices being particularly popular.

Mr Larvin added: “Our cheese range has something for everyone, be it a classic farmhouse Cheddar, traditional Red Leicester or one of our more exotic blended cheeses.”

The HMRC figures show more firms in the region are targeting Singapore, with 54 per cent more food and drink exported to the country during the period than in 2017.

There was also a marked increase in appetite for South West produce in Australia (27 per cent increase) and China (12 per cent increase).

Many food and drink businesses across the South West have been receiving support on their export journey from Food is GREAT, a cross departmental campaign.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) are promoting the campaign to showcase UK food and drink overseas and to support firms which export.

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West, said: “UK food and drink is globally recognised for its quality. International demand for our local produce is soaring, particularly across Australia, Singapore and China, making now the perfect time to export.

“Many South West food and drink producers are beginning to export, breaking into new markets around the world and claiming international renown. We know that firms that export are more resilient, profitable and ultimately more successful.”