Collaboration the key for sausage supplier

The owner of a Devon sausage supplier has urged small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industry to collaborate with each other for success.

Speaking to MTJ from Foodex at the NEC in Birmingham, Westaway Sausages’ Charles Baughan said companies could benefit massively from sharing their skills sets with each other.

At Foodex, Baughan and Westaway Sausages were set up just a stone’s throw away from Nythe Farm – a company specialising in cooked meats, with which Baughan works closely.

Baughan said: “Nythe Farm provides a safe and technical cooking service, so we’ve combined our skill sets with them to make cooked sausages. This is the kind of collaboration that can be really productive.

“Companies also have the opportunity to share databases and marketing – I think this is the future.”

He added that smaller companies might find an advantage over their larger competitors by working together: “In the UK lots of companies are large processors with huge turnovers, but they are quite inflexible. So SMEs like ours can dodge around the big businesses, adding value and being flexible by exchanging skills with others.”

The supplier, which already sells sausages to destinations such as Barbados and India, said that exports were an area that could be especially difficult for SMEs. However, he again emphasised the importance of collaboration for success.

Baughan said: “Exports require energy and commitment; building export partnerships doesn’t happen overnight. The export market can be quite a lonely place for SMEs – it’s big ask.

“However, they can exploit the opportunity abroad by sharing information and talking to each other. Together, SMEs can reconcile most problems.”

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