International Meat Importers

The names Weddel and Swift have been held in high regard in the international meat industry for well over 100 years. The pioneering spirit evinced by both William Weddel and Gustav Swift provides a fine example for our endeavours.

Our primary focus today is the import of meat from Southern Hemisphere producer countries to the UK.


William Weddel in London and Gustav Swift in Chicago both became active in the 1880’s, first nationally and then internationally as they realised the vast potential created by refrigeration.

W. Weddel & Co imported frozen mutton and beef from New Zealand, Australia and South America to European markets. Swift & Co revolutionised the North American meat trade by creating refrigerated rail-cars to carry frozen beef and pork from the Mid-West to the cities on the Eastern seaboard.

For over a century the names Weddel and Swift have adorned meat packing plants, products and trading offices around the world, and a great rivalry developed between them. In Britain in 1987 they merged and Weddel Swift continues to fulfil the aims of the 19th century pioneers in the international meat trade and to continue to be one of the leading meat importers across the UK and the World.

Product Integrity

As leading meat importers, our BCR accreditation demands systemic disciplines, controls and responsibility for our products and our service. Traceability from farm to fork is non-negotiable and we employ technical staff to carry out regular plant audits and production inspections.

Trade Associations

As experienced and reputable meat importers, Weddel Swift is a member of three national associations:

  • IMTA in UK
  • VDF in Germany
  • AIME in South Africa

These provide us with current information regarding the prevailing animal and public health requirements, the veterinary status of individual countries and the regulations that currently govern international meat import and export trade. Both IMTA and VDF are members of the UECBV, the EU-wide body that represents the meat trade and which lobbies the EU Commission on its behalf.

Route to Market

Anti-slavery and human trafficking policy

Modern Slavery Statement

Weddel Swift Trading