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CommonwealthFirst is CWEIC's flagship initiative to help SME’s trade and invest across the Commonwealth.

Over three years, 100 leading UK SMEs have been selected to become CommonwealthFirst Export Champions. Export Champions are provided with unique access and support in their quest to win new business in the fast growing Commonwealth markets. Their success will be showcased as an encouragement to the wider UK business community.

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Donald Russell

Donald Russell are a Royal Warrant holding Scottish butcher and Britain’s leading mail order meat supplier. Having originally opened in Aberdeenshire in 1974, the company quickly started selling to a range of top end clients in the UK and worldwide, from Simpson’s-in-the-Strand to Raffles Hotel in Singapore. They have held their Warrant for the supply of meat and poultry to Her Majesty The Queen for over 30 years.

The business now operates through three main channels: direct to customer mail order business; trade direct to UK hotels and restaurants; and exports which are both wholesale and retail, again to hotels and restaurants. All receive the highest quality produce including Donald Russell’s signature grass-fed UK beef, free-range pork and UK lamb, as well as their range of gourmet seafood, game and chef made meals. Donald Russell prioritise quality and flavour above all else, and are experts in the selection, maturation and hand-cutting of meat. They champion the art of craft butchery and have established an acclaimed apprenticeship scheme to protect these skills for the future.

The company is now rebuilding its export business, which was decimated by the BSE crisis, and is at the forefront of reintroducing UK beef to customers around the world. It is looking to expand into Singapore, Canada, Malta and Cyprus, and CommonwealthFirst looks forward to helping this proud British company to establish new relationships in these areas.