Jersey Dairy is gearing up for maximum production this month to meet growing demand for its premium products from around the world.
Major new contracts in the UK and rapidly increasing orders from the Far East are pushing production to record levels.
A new contract with Britain’s largest national ice cream distributor will double sales of Jersey Dairy’s Soft-Mix Ice Cream in the UK this year, while sales to the Chinese market through a Hong Kong distributor are running three times higher than expected after just three months.
As a result the dairy has taken on a number of new employees in recent months, mainly through the Advance to Work and Back to Work schemes, and in addition has appointed its first full-time sales manager in the UK.
The major new UK contract won by Jersey Dairy is with Ice Cream World, which distributes ice cream from 28 depots across Britain. The company supplies all sectors – convenience stores, petrol forecourts, leisure sites, retail multiples, cash & carries, secondary wholesalers and mobile ice cream vans – and is due to take 600,000 litres of Soft-Mix Ice Cream from Jersey Dairy this year.
This contract will double sales of this premium natural product, which is free from artificial colours, flavourings and preservatives. Representatives from Ice Cream World recently paid a visit to the Trinity dairy, saying they were impressed by the facilities at the plant, which opened in 2010.
In addition, Jersey Dairy has won new contracts to supply 100,000 litres of Soft-Mix Ice Cream over the next year to a chain of 89 cafés and cake shops across Britain, and a further 100,000 litres a year to Butlins, who run three major seaside resorts at Minehead, Bognor Regis and Skegness.
These new deals come on top of existing exclusive contracts that have been renewed with Brighton Pier (which sells more Jersey ice cream than all the outlets in the Island) and the Chelsea Flower Show.
Further afield, sales of UHT milk to the Chinese market are running at three times the anticipated level after just three months. The first delivery of five containers arrived at the Hong Kong distributor in January and the product is proving highly popular with Chinese consumers – so much so that the distributor has ordered 15 more containers, amounting to more than 300,000 litres.
Head of Marketing and Export Bob Jones, who recently secured the dairy’s contracts to supply distributors in both Hong Kong and Shanghai, is due to return to China shortly to re-assess demand and discuss other product opportunities from Jersey in the light of these highly-encouraging initial sales.
Japan is also an important market for the dairy, with sales of Jersey butter in a chain of high-quality delicatessens in Tokyo and other major cities. A major Japanese retailer with in-store bakeries is considering using Jersey Dairy butter in its Jersey butter cookies, and the dairy plans to expand its sales in the country by supplying butter to a large Japanese bakery for the production of its brioches.
Jersey Milk Marketing Board Chairman Andrew Le Gallais recently hosted a visit to the dairy by the Japanese Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mr Keiichi Hayashi, who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Hiroko Hayashi. The VIP visitors were taken on a tour of the production facilities before meeting some of the dairy’s bovine producers in an adjoining field.
The strength of the overseas market for Jersey Dairy’s quality products is well demonstrated by the premium price their butter attracts in Japan – 1,200 yen (around £7) for 250gm.