International Business Festival 2018

LIVERPOOL 12-28 JUNE

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RAISING A GLASS TO NEW EXPORTERS

Andy McFarlane, The Business Tribune
24 April 2018

THE value and volume of British exports has been rising fairly steadily for a couple of years, with sales boosted by Sterling’s post-Brexit slump and an improved global economic outlook.

Existing exporters have been taking advantage by stepping in to new markets, such as Australia and India, according to Bank of England economic monitors.

However, as they reported in December: “There were fewer examples of domestically focused businesses considering exports for the first time than might have been expected.”

In a bid to encourage more newcomers to overseas trade, the government is highlighting success stories among first-time exporters. Among those championing the message is London soft drinks and mixers producer, Double Dutch.

“The revenues from exporting helped us build the company more quickly… and gain credibility for the brand,” says co-founder Raissa de Haas.Raissa and Joyce De Haas with drinks outside a pub [Image: Simon Hanna/DIT]

With co-founder and twin sister, Joyce, she is starring in the Department for International Trade (DIT) If We Can You Can campaign. Featuring providers of anything from gourmet popcorn or education to stadium design or pharmaceuticals, the campaign focuses on the export journey of home-grown brands.

“We now export to 17 countries, it shows that the company is growing and has the capacity to handle bigger customers,” adds de Haas.

Cheshire-based Forest Gin is another star of the campaign, having expanded sales to central Europe, Japan and China.

“Exporting has given us confidence,” says co-founder Karl Bond. “Seeing Forest Gin in premium bars and restaurants around the world gives us incredible pride in what we are doing, and ensures that our business is sustainable.”

The companies were mentored by DIT advisers who helped with market research, introductions to buyers and attendance at trade shows or on missions.

“There’s very little to lose from attempting exporting,” says Karl. “But a huge amount to gain.”

Find out more at great.gov.uk.

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