The dairy, which has won the Queen's Award for Export twice, had lined up £65,000 worth of orders with Russian distributors but needed Defra's policy team to send a letter to Russia requesting that the company be placed on a list of approved premises.
Last week, it was advised by the meat and dairy exports section at Defra's animal health department that, because a different request for approved premises had recently been sent to Russia, Defra would not be submitting a further list in the near future.
The dairy contacted The Grocer claiming that it was missing out on millions of pounds in exports as a result and we immediately got in touch with Defra.
On Wednesday, Defra said that it was having a letter translated and on Thursday Defra confirmed that it had translated and emailed it to the Russian authorities. "I am delighted that the process has been speeded up by the intervention of The Grocer," said Singleton's sales manager John Carr. "We look forward to processing our customers' orders."
The move marks a u-turn for Defra, which last week sent an email stating it could be some time before new submissions were made. "No indication was given as to when further premises would be submitted for consideration, although it is likely they will wait until they have a few potential exporters who wish to be approved," a member of the meat and dairy section said in the email, relaying a message from the policy team.
The email sparked fury from Singleton's Dairy, which claimed it was "losing a steal on the market" and had spent £12,500 on getting documents translated. "The answer just made me boil," said Carr.
The dairy exports £500m of cheese to Germany each year and believes the Russian market could be "four or five times bigger".
Singleton's exports premium dairy worldwide.