Yorkshire vegan food firm to create 10 new jobs with US export deal

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The growing demand for vegan food has led to a Yorkshire firm beginning to export to America.

The Meatless Farm Co is to exporting its plant-based meat alternative products to the USA from the summer, opening its seventh export market.

The Leeds-based firm started out two years ago, exclusively supplying Sainsbury’s in the UK.

By the end of 2019, the business expects overseas sales to make up 50 per cent of overall revenue, an increase of 20 per cent from today. To support the business’ expansion in new markets, it also plans to hire 10 new staff, taking its total headcount to 30.

The global plant-based meat market is expected to more than double in value over the next six years. It’s estimated to be valued at $12.1bn by the end of 2019, which is predicted to reach $27.9bn by 2025.

Robert Woodall, CEO at The Meatless Farm Co, said: “Roughly 80 per cent of our products are consumed by ‘flexitarians’ –meat eaters that are increasingly looking to cut their meat intake for either health, environmental or ethical reasons.”

“Flexitarians are becoming more prevalent 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 and their networks overseas. 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. There’s more help out there than you might realise; if we can do it, so can you.”