NI porridge oat firm announces £1 million export success

Northern Ireland oat firm White’s Speedicook Ltd has secured contracts in the Middle East estimated to be worth over £1 million, Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced.

The Tandragee-based firm is a brand leader of porridge oats and granola across the UK and Ireland. Its range of porridge oats and oat cereals are now on shelves in Carrefour stores across the Middle East and Union Coop in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Making the announcement during a visit to the company, Minister Dodds said: “I commend White’s Speedicook on winning such lucrative contracts. Its fierce export ambitions are testament that hard work and persistence can indeed pay off.

As we rebuild our economy, it is essential that companies are actively working on plans to boost export sales, enter new markets and safeguard jobs.

“My department is working closely with Invest Northern Ireland to ensure that companies, both large and small, continue to access the support and advice they need to be more resilient and succeed in international markets.”

Commenting on its recent contract wins, James Mathers, general manager at White’s Oats, said: “The Middle East region is a dynamic and vibrant market with a large international community for which demand is growing for high-quality oat breakfast cereals.

We have developed a number of new trading relationships with partners who value our provenance and authenticity.

“These values ensure we continue to produce high-quality products, the key pillars of our success in these markets.

“The support from Invest Northern Ireland has been invaluable in helping us scope out opportunities, develop relationships and allocate appropriate resources to maximise the opportunity.”

The new contracts follow a number of years of trade support from Invest Northern Ireland including market visits and attendance at Gulfood in Dubai, which is the region’s largest food and drink show.

Steve Harper, Invest Northern Ireland’s executive director of international business, said: “We have worked with White’s Oats for many years to help it develop new routes to market, particularly in the UAE.

“This has involved expert advice from our in market team in Dubai, market intelligence research and support to attend global exhibitions.

In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever that businesses look to exporting as a way to grow.

“We have prioritised new ways to assist businesses with Covid-19 related export challenges, which have included a range of online solutions. I would encourage companies to make use of this support and seize the export opportunities on offer.”