East Lancashire businesses gathered at the Mercure Dunkenhalgh for this year’s International Trade Club Awards. The awards celebrate the success of local companies in challenging international markets.

Festive photos from the day can be found here

Winners of the grand prize draw 2018 can be viewed here

Check out our video taken at our Gala Luncheon.

The International Trade Club, which is sponsored by Cassons, part of the Baldwins Group, meets regularly throughout the year to share best practice and increase their knowledge of international trade. This year, with BREXIT uppermost in our minds, the challenges and uncertainty facing East Lancashire’s businesses is greater than ever.

The theme for this year’s event was ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ which was brought to life by Civic Arts Centre and Theatre. On the day we were not only able to reveal ‘Who done it’, but also the companies across East Lancashire ‘Who won it’.

Before presenting the awards Les Nutter from Cassons, part of the Baldwins Group, thanked the Chamber team saying

“East Lancashire Chamber was one of only three Chambers across the country who has, once again recently been rated excellent by BCC. He added “The International Trade Club was a club in the true sense of the word providing lots of information and support to its members.”

The awards were for:

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

The Newcomer to International Trade category was won by Fjelltopp Limited. Incorporated in February this year founded by a team comprising of World Health Organisation and UNICEF consultants. Their aim is to build technology for public health and the provision of humanitarian aid. Since the beginning of this year they have connected 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 Calyx Drinks, their objective is to become a global brand in the drinks industry, made from flowers and natural ingredients thereby improving health and wellbeing.

Raphael Ogunrinde, Managing Director said:

“It’s been an exciting year and I’d like to thank all our staff for our success.”

The winner of the Outstanding Importer Achievement Award went to Performance Fluids Limited. Their 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 £3.5 million and exports over £6.5 million.

David Horsfield, operations Manager said

“It’s fantastic to receive this award. It’s exciting times because the opportunities are phenomenal”

Hedges Direct Limited were highly commended. The company imports over 40% of their products from Europe, mainly Holland and Italy, and their own branded tool range from China.

Samantha James, Trade Marketing Executive ‘said

“Hedges Direct is going from strength to strength and we’re really looking forward to 2019.”

The winner of the Outstanding Exporter Achievement Award 2018 was Blackburn Distributions Limited who have increased their team from 6 to 13 people. Averaging 128% growth over the last two years, this 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 Ltd. It is a family-owned business protecting life and property at major airports, malls, hotels, exhibition centres, restaurants and other commercial properties around the World. This year the company has secured new licensed manufacturing Partners for Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and the USA.

Chairman, Richard Coxen said

“Firesafe have designed a fire-resisting ductwork product which is internationally accredited. We have developed a successful business with international partners who manufacture the product, in their region, under licence. We’re really excited about our future.”

Each winner was presented with an engraved glass trophy from Les Nutter, managing partner, Cassons, part of the Baldwins Group, who congratulated all the winners and wished all our companies the best for 2019.

Mandy Lockett, International Business Director, thanked everyone for entering the awards and reminded them of last year’s winner who said

“Winning awards gives you great credibility in international markets.”

For further information on the International Trade Club and how to be part of the prestigious meetings, please contact m.white@chamberelancs.co.uk

To view Cassons, part of the Baldwins Group’s press release please click here

Future International Trade Club dates:

  • Thursday 21st February 2019
  • Thursday 9th May 2019
  • Thursday 11th July 2019
  • Thursday 3rd October 2019
  • Thursday 5th December 2019
  • Thursday 20th February 2020
  • Thursday 14th May 2020
  • Thursday 9th July 2020
  • Thursday 17th September 2020
  • Thursday 3rd December 2020
  • Thursday 18th February 2021
  • Thursday 13th May 2021
  • Thursday 8th July 2021
  • Thursday 16th September 2021
  • Thursday 2nd December 2021