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International Trade Club Awards 2016 ??? Just Magic!

Article Date: 07 December 2016

International Trade Club Awards 2016 – Just Magic!

East Lancashire business gathered at the Mercure Dunkenhalgh for this year’s International Trade Club Awards.

The International Trade Club, which is sponsored by Cassons, meets regularly throughout the year to share best practice and increase their knowledge of international trade. The awards celebrate the success of local companies in international markets.

See photos from the extraordinary event here

This year was a truly magical event with entertainment provided by Award winning no sleeve magician Peter Turner (as seen on TV) with his amazing magical twist that played on the mind of the audience.

The awards were for:

  • Outstanding Exporter Achievement
  • Outstanding Import Achievement
  • Newcomer to International Trade

The winner of the Outstanding Exporter Achievement Award was Vision Support Services. With 6,500 customers in 84 countries, including half the world’s ten biggest hotel chains and five out of six of the UK’s hotel groups, international sales have increased by more than 50% each year with projections to achieve £10 million in 2017. This year they have achieved Authorised Economic Operator status ensuring they continue to deliver an efficient service in the international supply chain.

Laurie Thomas said “This award goes to a lot of people in a lot of countries. “ He added “We’ve picked up some strong brands which have helped the business grow.”

Highly recommended in this category was EP International Limited. With a relatively small team they have increased sales volumes. 99% of their products are exported and with their new packaging system of ‘BitBox’ allowing 22% more product to be shipped per container resulting in a cost effective and more environmentally friendly method of shipment. Helen Holyard said “2014 and 15 were hard years for us in West Africa due to the Ebola outbreak. We’re now looking at expanding into new markets including South America … so it’s onwards and upwards!”

The winner of the Outstanding Import Achievement Award went to Steven Hargreaves Textile Group. Continuous evaluation of their supply chain is a strong focus for this company, with the business adopting a strategy of global sourcing for competitive pricing. Key services to support the business are sourced within Lancashire comprising of shipping agents, warehousing & logistics and accountancy services. Shipments are now received into the UK via Liverpool rather than sea ports in the South of England. Quality and service remains forefront, aspiring to exceed customer expectations with new innovative textile designs launched in the last 12 months. Steven said “My Grandfather taught me the basics of business. I learnt strategy from draughts and chess and monopoly taught me how to buy, sell and take a chance.” Steven thanked his partners who had supported him over the past 15 years.

Ashburn Stoves Limited was highly commended. Importing from the Czech Republic and Poland their supply chain has more than doubled to cater for their target customers of renewable energy installers, architects and developers.

The Newcomer to International Trade category was won by CWV Wallcoverings Limited. In the past 12 months this company has launched 10 new collections featuring design and product innovation to inspire their customers. Since commencing their export journey at the beginning of this year, they have achieved sales in Israel, France, United Arab Emirates and Morocco, with additional orders pending for Jordan, Egypt, Czech Republic, Nigeria, Cyprus and South Africa. With 13 countries visited in the last 6 months they are well on their way to achieve budget and aim for the £2.3 million export sales they have set themselves within 3 years.

Neil Fletcher said “I previously worked for another wallcovering company and I was able to access a number of contacts that helped get me started.”

Each winner was presented with an engraved glass trophy from Les Nutter, managing partner, Cassons who congratulated all the winners and wished all our exporters the best for 2017.

Les said “We are delighted to sponsor The International Trade Club and these awards. Cassons have a love for International Trade.” He added “Here at The International Trade Club we meet, get involved, learn, share information and find opportunities.”

Mandy Lockett, International Business Director at East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, thanked all of the entrants and looked forward to a prosperous 2017.

 “It’s going to be a wonderful year for the International Trade Club next year as we celebrate our 60th Diamond Anniversary. It’s also the Chamber’s 130th anniversary year so you can see we really are embedded into the trading fabric of the area.”

 Click here to view the video from the day 

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