Torrington's Dartington Crystal exports to China and South Korea
A CRYSTAL company in Torrington has branched out to establish itself in countries on the opposite side of the word.
Dartington Crystal in Linden Close has started to export their glassware to China and South Korea.
The company, which is the UK’s only factory scale crystal glass manufacturer, employs around 150 people in Torrington and Scotland.
The move to sell products abroad meant company bosses took on more staff to work in manufacturing, sales and administration last year.
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Managing director of Darting Crystal, Neil Hughes, said: “Although we have had an export presence since 1967, like a lot of UK manufacturing, we went through a difficult time and our focus in recent years has been on the home market.
“We have now reached a point where it seemed right to start looking at export markets again and exploring the emerging markets, particularly China, for the first time.
“We had a tentative presence at some trade shows in China with limited success but really wanted to start making solid progress in that market.
“We contacted UKTI (UK Trade and Investment) and talked with our adviser about our frustrations and difficulties in getting into the Chinese market.
“She put us in touch with UKTI’s OMIS (Overseas Market Introduction Service) which got us introduced to potential clients at an important trade fair in Shanghai last October.
“We got some great advice on how to approach customers and do business in China.
“This has proved successful and we now have new export clients for all three of our brands with opening orders of £40,000.”
The company, which has a turnover of around £10 million, also owns the Caithness Glass and Royal Brierley Crystal brands.
Dartington Crystal has also arranged meetings with possible clients in South Korea as well as appointing a distributor there.
UKTI international trade adviser, Emma Collum, said: “Having successfully re-established itself in the UK, Dartington Crystal is now chasing success abroad and achieving results in some of the most challenging but rewarding markets with expert help and advice from UKTI’s dedicated experts.
“The importance of exports to growth can be seen in new jobs and investment created by Dartington in North Devon as a direct result of their decision to look further afield for new markets.”
Margaret Brown, mayor of Torrington said: “This is a real lift for the town as a whole.
“Congratulations to all those who have secured this opportunity, jobs are so important to our community. Well done Dartington Crystal.”
In addition to help and advice from UKTI, Dartington also received financial help from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the cost of visits to China and South Korea.