Peter Kindersley, Chairman of Neal's Yard Remedies
Hello. I am Peter Kindersley, Chairman of Neal's Yard Remedies, the UK's leading health and beauty brand concentrating on ethical and organic products.
We started exporting our products right from early on. It's very important for people to realise how British brands are very respected throughout the world but it's also important to realise that building your brand internationally gives much more force to the brand. What made us start exporting were people coming to us from around the world saying 'I want those types of products' and also because we believe that is the way we build our brand into an internationally recognised entity.
Exporting is an incredibly important part of our strategy in terms of expanding our workforce, expanding our factory and our production and getting scale. We started exporting to Japan and we have had a very strong relationship. We have got a lot of stores in Japan but that's spread to America and then it spread to other countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore.
The help we have had from UKTI with exporting is really country visits and also funding. They are both very very important. The trade mission to Mexico was very helpful in terms of getting in depth knowledge about that particular market. The UKTI was also very helpful with cultural issues that we face, especially things like regulations and so on. It's very important that you address those issues.
My top tip for UK expanding exporters is 1. to engage to UKTI and the other is to actually visit those markets yourself. There is nothing like direct contact.