Chamber honours international traders

The International Trade Club has honoured three Lancashire companies for succeeding in international markets.

International Trade Club 2018 awards

An awards ceremony was held at Mercure Dunkenhalgh where businesses from the region met to celebrate and reflect on the year.

The Newcomer to International Trade category was won by Fjelltopp, of Padiham, which was incorporated in February this year founded by a team comprising of World Health Organisation and UNICEF consultants.

The organisation builds technology for public health and the provision of humanitarian aid. Ithas already collaborate with seven new clients totalling $210,000 from Ukraine, Madagascar, Jordan, Central African Republic, Egypt, Switzerland, Finland and Jordan, winning competitive tenders in difficult markets.

Jonathan Berry, director said: “It’s been a hard but exciting year. We really believe in what we are doing and thank both our international partners and the International Trade Club for their support.”

Highly Commended in this category was Burnley-based Calyx Drinks.

The winner of the Outstanding Importer Achievement Award went to Performance Fluids of Nelson. The company's highly developed supply chain involves imports to the UK and US from Mexico, India and China along with Belgium to China and China to Brazil.

This relatively small business is the preferred supplier to major global companies around the world and with a recently developed food grade lubricant for the burger bun industry the opportunities for sales are immense with 68 million buns produced daily. A truly global business which imports over £3.5m and exports over £6.5m.

Chorley-based Hedges Direct, which imports more than 40 per cent of its products from Europe, mainly Holland and Italy, and its own branded tool range from China, was highly commended.

The winner of the Outstanding Exporter Achievement Award 2018 was Burley-based Blackburn Distributions, which has increased its team from six to 13 people. Averaging 128 per cent growth over the last two years, the company exports to 66 countries with key markets such as the USA, Germany, Australia and Poland.

The launching of new e-commerce websites in Polish and German languages and currencies along with enhanced supply chain management has seen their bespoke sports supplements business increase substantially. Teaming up with the BBC to manufacture over 20,000 capsules to investigate the placebo effect also provided great exposure and credibility for building their brand.

Owner Ben Blackburn said “We’ve worked fantastically hard this year and credit for this award goes to the whole team, who have made us such a success.”

Highly Commended in this category was Firesafe Fire Rated Ductwork, based in Haslingden.

Each winner was presented with an engraved glass trophy from Les Nutter, managing partner of club sponsor Cassons, part of the Baldwins Group. He said: “East Lancashire Chamber was one of only three Chambers across the country who has, once again recently been rated excellent by BCC. The International Trade Club was a club in the true sense of the word providing lots of information and support to its members.”