Ford Farm’s move into export was based on a strategic decision made by the then owners of Ford Farm back in 2000 - Mike Pullin and Cedric Littman.
Cedric, through his marriage to a North American, spent much time in the States. Whilst there, he met Bruce Cohen a specialist dairy produce importer, based in NYC. Having seen the Ford Farm portfolio, Bruce was convinced there was a way for the farm to ship the speciality collection direct to the States, taking out the middle man.
The challenge was to summon up enough orders to be able to justify the transport costs, as well as keep prices to a commercially viable level. Cedric, Bruce and Mike Pullin boarded planes to the US armed with samples to get a foot in the door with as many customers as possible.
The first shipment arrived at Petersons in 2000 and the rest is history.
Ford Farm USA was established in 2007
The USA remains the key market for the business. Ford Farm USA is headed up by Bruce Cohen whose responsibility is for the East Coast along with Shannon Patten who manages all the business on the West Coast.
Ford Farm also exports to a number of other countries worldwide, including India, Lebanon, Malta, Canada, France, Israel and Germany
Ford Farm has achieved a number of prestigious awards for its services to export including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise on two occasions.
Shannon Patten was introduced to Ford Farm while working at the Peterson co.
‘I helped introduce the line to Costco when they first started testing their expanded imported cheese cases, and worked with the sales team at Peterson introducing them to Ford Farm and the wonderful products they had to offer. I very much enjoyed selling Ford Farm cheddars at Peterson and was excited by the growth of the line which made me want to pursue a career with them.
I started working with Ford Farm in 2007, I handle the US sales, working closely with Bruce. I focus on communications primarily with Peterson, getting them information and products needed for new and existing customers to promote continued growth. I work with our distributors on sales calls and trade shows across the US. I have regular appointments and communications with Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joes to keep them aware of new items, promotions etc. to keep our brand strong and alive in their stores.
I was also lucky enough to accompany Mike to Buckingham Palace to accept the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Export category!