Skip to content

Tags

Farming Food General

A case study outlining how the end of 2013 saw the famous Pembrokeshire Early Potato join the elite ranks of some of the world’s most famous food products by being awarded protected food name status by the European Commission.

The end of 2013 saw the famous Pembrokeshire Early Potato join the elite ranks of some of the world’s most famous food products by being awarded protected food name status by the European Commission.

“The Pembrokeshire Early potato is one of the best products in Wales,”

said Puffin’s managing director, Huw Thomas.

“Achieving Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status has been a long and rigorous process, but we’re absolutely delighted with the outcome. We are very grateful to the Welsh Government and their supporting agencies for helping us with the application and to achieve our goal.”

Created in 1995, Haverfordwest based Puffin Produce evolved from the Pembrokeshire Potato Marketing Group; a grower’s co-operative formed in the 1970s, and has remained true to its collective roots being majority-owned by Welsh growers. In 2011 the company launched its ‘Blas Y Tir’ (Taste of the Land) brand in response to demand from Welsh shoppers and retailers. The brand encompasses a range of vegetables including the award-winning Estima baking and aptly named Rudolph potatoes, also leeks, cabbage, cauliflowers, swede, spring onions, and daffodils, and the flag-ship Pembrokeshire Earlies. Targeted marketing – including television advertising - has seen the brand achieve a retail sales value in excess of £8m per annum in 2 years and continues to grow at over 200% year on year.

Turnover has increased from £9m to a projected £16m (2012-2014) with plans to double this over the next 3 years.

Supported by a Processing and Marketing Grant (PMG) through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013 (RDP), which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government, £8.4m in capital expenditure has been invested in the company in recent years, enabling Puffin to increase volume sales by 50% so far and increase the workforce from 55 to 107 members.

“It is an exciting time, we aim to expand the business even further and we are keen to build links with farmers looking to add value to Welsh produce and provide our fantastically loyal consumers with as much quality fresh Welsh produce as we can.”

he added,

“Without this help we would never have been able to make this investment in horticulture production in Wales and re-build the potato and vegetable sectors. The investment has accelerated our growth enabling us to increase capacity and efficiency meaning we are able to supply most of the major retailers in Wales. Our next goal is to take the brand to the rest of the UK.”

For more information: www.blasytir.com.