Seed and Bean confectionery firm gains international export backing
UK-based organic chocolatier Seed & Bean is expanding its operations in launching its range in France this month, with support from the government’s Department for International Trade (DIT).
The company, which has facilities in Northampton, will distribute its chocolate to La Vie Claire shops, a chain of over 350 premium French confectionery stores. Its investment follows the firm exhibiting at this year’s world leading trade fair for organic food, Biofach, where the team had an opportunity to network with stockists from across the world.
DIT recommended the four-day exhibition, hosted in Germany, as a great opportunity for the business to meet overseas buyers. It also supported with logistics and provided funding to make the trip to Nuremberg a reality.
Seed & Bean was founded in 2005, and produces organic, ethically sourced and exotically flavoured dark, milk and white chocolate products. Variants include Chilli and Lime, Lavender, Just Ginger and Cornish Sea Salt and Lime.
The business presently supplies to distributors in 22 countries, including Japan, Australia, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Oliver Shorts, chief chocolatier at Seed & Bean, said: “British chocolatiers are well regarded by foreign buyers, which is why we have already seen success in so many international markets. Today’s consumers are making more ethical and healthier decisions, which is what has made our organic products a firm favourite with chocoholics looking to live well.
“After showcasing our flavour portfolio at the Biofach trade show earlier this year, we received a really positive reception, leading to our first ever chance to win over the French market.
“The Department for International Trade has shared invaluable advice when arranging this trip, to ensure we made the most of the stand and networking opportunities when there. If we can secure exciting contracts like this, so can you.”
Ian Harrison, head of exports for the Midlands at the Department for International Trade, said: “Seed & Bean is an ambitious business with a fantastic product offering, which has set it apart from other players in the field. Oliver and the team have their eyes set on reaching all corners of the globe, and their track record of winning new business certainly matches their ambition.
“The Biofach trade show is the place to be if you operate in the organic food and drink sector. The firm’s presence at the event this year has been fundamental to both this export win with La Vie Claire and indeed for building relationships with other potential buyers.
“Firms looking to take their next step overseas should get in touch with one of our local International Trade Advisers using the details below to explore first steps and business opportunities.”
Michelle Ovens MBE, director of Small Business Saturday, said: “Across the UK, small businesses have provided their expertise and services to their own communities for generations. It is therefore great to see these local heroes looking overseas as another exciting route to consider. Businesses should not be restricted by size; small companies can trade overseas and offer as innovative ranges on their online platforms as the biggest corporations.
“This year’s Small Business Saturday falls on 1 December, with a whole range of small businesses – many of whom are already trailblazers in exporting their products abroad – hosting events and promotions to encourage people to shop local and support businesses in their communities. The UK’s 5.6 million small businesses are the heart of the UK economy, so having a day to showcase their contributions both at home and abroad is well deserved.”