Masham company gallops ahead
A long established animal feed company based in the Yorkshire Dales is galloping ahead after launching its innovative product down under.
The latest export success for Masham Micronized Feeds (MMF), a division of I'Anson Brothers, has been in Australia, where ten 22 tonne container loads of their revolutionary dried horse feed Speedi-Beet have been shipped out since April.
Four years ago the company approached UK Trade and Investment - a government agency that promotes British business overseas and offers training for companies interested in expanding in to foreign markets. MMF's Business Development Manager, Simon Parker, attended one of the export training programmes. He explained it was a move that paid dividends for the company:
"I'Ansons is an old established family firm - we've been trading for 106 years - but we were inexperienced when it came to the export market. We were aware that there would be a huge demand for our product overseas, especially in the southern hemisphere where natural forage tends to be scarce.
"But we had no previous international experience, so the course was a godsend. It was expertly run and the advice and encouragement we received was superb. Going on Passport to Export was a crucial milestone in developing our overseas markets."
Speedi-Beet was launched in the UK in 2000. MMF pioneered and patented a method that drastically cuts the pre-soaking time required for the traditional product from 24 hours to less than ten minutes. Its reputation for quality and convenience has made it a huge hit with horse owners, and it quickly established itself as a strong and visible brand.
Simon continued: "Australia has strict import regulations and this was quite a challenge for us. Usually importers of foodstuffs have to pay for their product to be irradiated, which is extremely costly. In order to overcome this issue, we arranged for an inspector from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service to visit our factory here in Masham, as well as those of our suppliers, to audit our production process from start to finish. This proved to be very worthwhile as we now have a two-year permit to export the feed to Australia - without the need for irradiation."
We were aware that there would be a huge demand for our product overseas
Simon Parker - MMF
Working with advisers from UKTI and Business Link the company now exports its product to over 20 countries worldwide, will be represented at Al Fares - a major equine trade fair in Dubai this December, and has a new animal feed in the pipeline that it is hoped will strengthen their position in the export market even further.
More information on export support for business is available at www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk