Meatless Farm Co CEO Robert Woodall.
Jane Imrie

Leeds plant-based startup boosts global footprint with first US export

A startup specialising in plant-based meat alternatives is set to export to the US this summer.

The Meatless Farm Co is preparing to break into its seventh export market by shipping its plant-based products to the US.

Founded two years ago, the Leeds-based firm was the exclusive UK supplier of plant-based products to Sainsbury’s and has since expanded distribution overseas with support from International Trade Advisers (ITA).

Meatless Farm Co CEO Robert Woodall attributed the brand’s international success to the growing number of ‘flexitarians’ - meat eaters looking to reduce their meat consumption for health, environmental or ethical reasons.

Robert said: “Flexitarians are becoming more prevalent all over the world, particularly in North America and Asia-Pacific countries. In April, a US meat alternative manufacturer became the most successful listing on the Nasdaq this year, valuing at $3.8bn – a great sign of the market’s potential.

“This is why we’ve been internationally minded from the start. We’ve had an abundance of support from Defra and DIT [Department for International Trade] and their networks overseas.”

The startup received support from the local Department of International Trade’s advisors in expanding its global footprint and breaking into new markets.

Robert continued: “Our ITAs based in Barnsley have helped us to find logistics partners that keep our food fresh in transit. They’ve also helped us to find plenty of buyers at trade shows and speed-dating style meet-the-buyer events.”

Mark Robson, head of regions in Yorkshire & the Humber at DIT, added: “By including exporting in its growth strategy from the very beginning, and by thoroughly taking advantage of the support available, The Meatless Farm Co is firmly on track for success.”

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