Young Welsh accountant wins prestigious gold award for achieving highest mark in the world

Newly qualified accountant James Carew, 25, from Pembrokeshire’s fresh produce company Puffin Produce Ltd, completed his Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) exams qualification in March 2021 and has been awarded the highly coveted Gold Award for achieving the highest average mark in the world.

Having studied A-Level mathematics at Milford Haven Comprehensive School, James went on to achieve a first class honours degree at Swansea University. After graduating he joined the Haverfordwest based company as a financial analyst.

Speaking about his role James said, “After leaving university I jumped at the chance to work at Puffin Produce, as I was keen to play my part in driving the business forward, and the fact that they put me through my ACCA qualifications was very exciting. An added bonus was the fact that Puffin Produce are on my doorstep and being so close to home was a huge attraction.

“When I left school, I didn’t have a clear idea of the career path I wanted to pursue, so I selected a degree that I thought could open doors to a variety of jobs in the future. As I had a keen interest in maths this made my degree choice a fairly easy decision.”

Since the 1970s Puffin Produce has been offering Welsh customers the best Welsh potatoes and seasonal vegetables, grown, picked and packed in Pembrokeshire. With an annual turnover of around £30 million and employing 180 people, Puffin Produce is now the largest supplier of Welsh produce to multiple major retailers and wholesalers in Wales.

Jane Sadler, HR Manager at Puffin Produce said, “We are committed to developing our people at Puffin Produce and are extremely proud of everything James has achieved so far. Moreover, it’s fantastic to have Welsh Government support to enable us to create so many high value jobs in our business. We are very excited for James’ future career here at Puffin Produce.”

Jon Langmead, Finance Director at Puffin Produce added, “It’s imperative that we can offer high value jobs in order to meet the ambitious growth plans we have for our business, and therefore the financial support we have received from the Welsh Government in order to do this has been vital. Being able to offer good jobs and long term career opportunities to local people like James here in Pembrokeshire is fundamental to our success.”

The Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd Lesley Griffiths MS said:

The Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths said: “I would like to congratulate James and Puffin Produce on this great achievement. It is an excellent example of how young people can train, learn and accomplish first-rate qualifications while working and gaining valuable job experience.

“The Welsh Government is committed to supporting businesses throughout Wales in providing high quality jobs for our young people and graduates. It is essential that a wide variety of jobs are available in rural Wales so we can retain highly qualified and experienced employees.”

For more information on support for your business from the Welsh Government, go to