Businesses considering tapping into the global marketplace have been urged to grasp the new opportunities afforded by Brexit.
Farmers attending last week’s Oxford Farming Conference were given a first-hand account of how they could make their businesses successful on the world stage.
Two business leaders, Ali Capper, of Stocks Hops and Fruit Farm, and Jack Hamilton of Mash Direct, told the audience how they built their brands and began exporting across the globe.
Provenance, traceability and quality products were recurring themes of both talks, but good branding and a willingness to network were seen as equally important when it came to selling on world markets.
Mrs Capper, who supplies major domestic retailers such as Tesco and Marks and Spencer and also sells in the US and Asian markets, said: “To break into the world market you need to collaborate with the rest of your industry; have loads of energy; the ability to turn problems into solutions; clear unique selling points; good branding and marketing; to travel; to engage and to learn to export and sell.”
Mr Hamilton manages Mash Direct’s sales, which reach all the way to the Saudia Arabia and Dubai.
He said the key to the company’s success was very simple – offering a wide variety of potato products which were not overly processed, unlike their competitors.
He told the audience British products were very highly regarded in the United Arab Emirates and having the Red Tractor logo meant you could charge a premium, but said having local people on the ground to explain key brand messages was vital.
Asked to give advice to others considering exporting, Mr Hamilton said: “Keep in mind which time zones you are targeting. Target one marketplace, make it work and then move on to the next one.”
He also recommended going to trade fairs, bearing in mind capacity and volumes to ensure customer demand can be met and entering awards.