Trioni, an award winning organic dairy brand, is the first UK dairy farm to achieve an organic certification to export to China and Hong Kong. Holding this endorsement, the family owned farm based in West Wales is leading the way for the UK organic dairy industry to expand into global markets.
Owner, farmer turned entrepreneur Laurence Harris has seen the business come a long way from the 120 acre farm he took over from his parents, having increased the size of the farm by 1,500% in just over 40 years.
Trioni’s story began in 1999, when joining forces with two neighbouring dairy farmers, Harris began buying a milk round and driving delivery vans, cold calling, collecting money and educating people on the benefits of organic dairy produce. Spotting a gap in the market for long-life organic dairy, Harris took risks, carving out a niche and breaking the mould of many traditional farmers by actively seeking out new business opportunities. For example, the company created Daioni in 2003, a low sugar organic flavoured milk drink which has continued to grow in popularity and is still the only drink of its kind in the market today. The proactive approach has since paid dividends, with the company achieving a sales turnover of £1.4m in 2013.
The business has recently secured a year-on year-growth rate of over 20% since 2012, bolstered not only by domestic production, but by expansion into international markets, including China, the UAE and Hong Kong. Driven by Harris’s personal motto of “onwards and upwards”, the company continues to pursue growth into new markets, targeting China, India and the Middle East, whilst continuing to strengthen its focus on London and the South East in the UK.
While exports account for 15% of the business to date and the company is looking to further increase export capabilities, the farm very much remains a family business operating from the remotest part of West Wales. Trioni uses local Welsh contractors, with the oldest farm member being 73 who has been with the farm since he was 14. The farm is extremely self-sufficient, growing nearly all the crops required for feeding its livestock, with just the purchase of organic cereals and protein to compliment the animals’ diet.
Harris said: “Our Organic Certification in China is proof that through innovation and entrepreneurial product development local British family run businesses can expand into international markets. Our company has grown from small beginnings, to a world class organic dairy brand whose products can be found on shelves from Dubai to Hong Kong. We recently won the Great Taste award for our Strawberry Milk, and continue to produce innovative and exciting new products, such as the new protein enriched Daionic recovery drink. Whilst we focus on expanding into future markets, we won’t forget our UK roots, as we continue to produce and distribute consistently high quality organic dairy products throughout the UK from our family farm in West Wales.”