Europe export success for Grimsby fish bait business

Europe export success for Grimsby fish bait business
Simon H King with Liam Fox

Haith’s has doubled the number of countries it regularly exports to within five years and grown its active European accounts by 16%, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The Grimsby-based company, which produces ingredients for fish bait and bird feed, regularly exports to 16 countries across Europe with top markets – including the Netherlands, France and Norway.

60% of Haith’s fishing product revenue now comes as a direct result from its overseas exports.

The company’s export activities were recently honoured by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox, with a DIT Board of Trade Award. The awards recognise UK companies for their exceptional performance in international trade.

After 74 successful years selling to the UK’s domestic market, Haith’s began working with DIT to build a five-year exporting plan, helping to grow its exports and create international demand for UK bait ingredients.

Director Simon King said: “The European carp fishing market has changed tremendously in recent years, with anglers across the continent looking to the UK for the latest developments on how to improve their performance.

“It’s remained a fiercely competitive category of recreational fishing and each market has its own idiosyncrasies, with price and performance driving buying decisions across the EU.

“With the help of government advisers at DIT, we’ve managed to cast our net over new markets and strengthen performance in existing markets to catch this growing demand.

“But, the journey hasn’t been without its challenges.The cost of marketing our product to international buyers initially presented a barrier for us.

“Working with DIT’s e-Commerce advisers, we found a cost-effective way to target customers through translated web-pages and enhanced international SEO. This alone helped to generate an additional £60,000 in new accounts.

“DIT also helped us with cross-border legal issues and to protect our intellectual property. The team gave us the confidence to approach overseas firms, which we didn’t work with, that were using our Robin Red® branding to attract customers online.

“We resolved this by introducing a licensing agreement, awarding each Approved Bait Firm with a unique logo and licence number to make it easier for anglers to locate our genuine ingredients.

“Bait firms now come direct to us and ask to become an Approved Bait Firm, which is a USP and key point of difference between us and the competitive set.

“Overcoming these barriers has helped us to maximise our success across Europe. If we can do it, so can other businesses in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.”