An east Suffolk-based baker and chocolate maker has been presented with a prestigious King's Award in recognition of the firm's work in building relationships overseas.

Orford's Pump Street Bakery was handed the King's Award for Enterprise in the international trade category by Lady Clare, Countess of Euston, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Mark Pendleton.

Former Ipswich Town chair David Sheepshanks, who is now a business coaching specialist, also attended, along with Suffolk County Council chair Keith Robinson. 

The honour acknowledges how the company became a pre-eminent UK chocolate maker overseas while helping to strengthen the sector as a whole.

READ MORE: Pump Street bakery of Orford, Suffolk receives King's Award

Pump Street works with cocoa farmers to find the best beans grown with minimal intervention, which creates a transparent, honest and sustainable supply chain and direct trade that helps to support the farmers.

The bakery can therefore pay prices greater than fair trade prices, which are the minimum amounts paid for agricultural products imported from developing countries.

Pump Street’s international exports increased by 78% between 2019 and 2021 with most growth in China and the USA.

North America was the leading export sales location accounting for more than 50%, whilst Asia came in a close second with over 30% and 12% from the EU. 

READ MORE: The best bakeries in Suffolk that are well worth a visit

Pump Street co-founder Joanna Brennan said: “We are so honoured to have received this award in the first year of King Charles III’s reign.

"His Majesty’s ethics align closely with ours in terms of sustainability, the delivery of quality produce through fair means.

"We have spent a great deal of time and put heavy emphasis on nurturing relationships across the business by frequently visiting and supporting our local and international partners, ensuring a personal connection.

READ MORE: Orford news

"We are proud of our British heritage, but thrive on global influences to ensure we maintain an innovative approach to flavour which we feel was a defining factor in our win."

The King's Awards are the highest official awards for UK businesses and recognise businesses and other organisations that excel at international trade, innovation, sustainable development or promoting opportunity.