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BUSINESS WEST – CONNECTING BUSINESSES


Cider takes on the world S


omerset’s Pilton Cider is poised to take its quintessentially British product to a global audience. The company


currently produces around 50,000 litres of speciality keeved cider, which is sold in food halls across the UK including Windsor Farm Shop, Harvey Nichols and Gloucester Services. The cider producer is now celebrating having


secured its first export partner in the US, and is now sending regular shipments of cider to specialist bars across the country. Pilton Cider is one of a number of food and drink producers in the region that have boosted their export potential by taking advantage of the support offered by Department for International Trade (DIT) via its Exporting is GREAT campaign (www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk), a government initiative to consolidate the export support available to companies. Martin Berkeley, founder of


‘It’s been


Pilton Cider said: “We began working with DIT a couple of years ago when we first started considering exporting our cider. We took advantage of the regular seminars and meetings on offer to get a better understanding of what is involved in exporting, particularly in the food and drink sector. “We also benefited from having our own dedicated adviser, Hilary Charman, who we continue to work with today. It means that there is always someone on hand to answer questions, and if Hilary is unable to help she can always put us in touch with someone who can!


really useful to meet with fellow local producers and share experiences’


inspire


pounds, organised by sector and market, with around 1,000 new opportunities uploaded each month. There are currently 164 live export opportunities for the food and drink sector on Exporting is GREAT. This is something that Pilton Cider has also taken advantage of. Their response to an opportunity listed on the website led to them securing a contract to supply 6,000 litres of cider to a festival in Finland over the summer. Martin continues: “These are the kind of opportunities we wouldn’t have access to on our own, and are really valuable for smaller businesses like ours. “Our next target is China and Hong Kong


where we know there is a huge appetite for traditional British products. We’re currently in discussions with an importer in Hong Kong so are hopeful that a deal is in the pipeline. And we are also working towards making contacts across Southeast Asia as well as exploring opportunities to export even more products to the US.


“We’ve received a great deal of support from “Hilary also leads the South


West Beer and Cider Cluster which brings together producers from across the region. It’s been really useful to meet with


fellow local producers and share experiences and opportunities.” At www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk, UK businesses can also apply for real-time global export opportunities. The site contains export opportunities worth hundreds of millions of


DIT over the last couple of years. involving DIT in our export strategy means that we are confident that we are doing all we can to make the most of the opportunities that are out there to take our product to the worldwide market.” Pilton’s Cider is produced through a speciality


process called ‘keeving’ which produces a drink that is naturally sweet, with no added sugar or water. It uses apples collected from traditional cider


orchards in and around the parish of Pilton, which are then slowly fermented for six months.


Du Maurier signals time for global growth


Devon-based Du Maurier Watches is poised to launch its range of luxury watches to a global market, keen to capitalise on demand for its high quality British designed products, delivered with unique literary twist. Watches are a passion of co-founder Ned du


Maurier Browning, great grandson of famous author Daphne du Maurier. He founded the business, alongside his wife, Marianna, in 2013. Each watch in the range has been inspired either by a character in Daphne Du Maurier’s classic novel Rebecca or by one of the many other colourful characters that make up the Du Maurier family tree. The watches are designed in-house by Ned,


and each design is created in limited edition runs of around 300. The couple have focused on developing the business as an e-commerce operation and, as such, the Du Maurier range has already gained a loyal customer base across the globe. However, they now feel it’s time to take a more proactive approach to export. With Ned in charge of design, Marianna leads the day- to-day operations of the business and is leading the export drive. She said: “So far our export strategy has been very reactive. We’ve attracted some overseas customers, in fact we think we probably have at least one Du Maurier watch in most countries around the world but, now is the time to become more proactive.


“We believe that the international


market is definitely key to the next stage of our growth, and as an e- commerce business, we are well placed to take advantage of that. Our vision is that the majority of our sales will eventually come from overseas.” As a young business with


no international trade experience, Du Maurier have looked to the Department for International Trade (DIT) for help and guidance on launching its business to overseas customers. They are now one of a number of companies in the region that have boosted their export potential by taking advantage of the support offered by Exporting is GREAT, a government initiative to consolidate the export support available to companies. Marianna said: “We met our DIT adviser,


Hilary Charman, not long after we launched and she persuaded us to join an introductory export programme. The programme ran for 12 months and during that time we attended regular


seminars, heard from other businesses with experience of exporting and generally were given a thorough education on the export market. “By the end of that year


we felt that we knew what we were doing and were ready to start putting together our own strategy.” Marianna continued: “The


amount of support available via the Exporting is GREAT programme is phenomenal.


There is a huge amount of information on offer, and access to a huge network of contacts. “With the support of the DIT we


have achieved things we’d never have believed possible as a smaller business.” There are currently nearly 60 fashion and


jewellery opportunities available on the Exporting is GREAT website.


Businesses in the South West who are looking to export should visit www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk for real-time global export opportunities as well as access to expert advice, trade services, training and services.


NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 insight 15


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