Nine UK fast growth businesses visit Chile and Argentina on latest Santander trade mission

Nine of the UK's fast growth companies visited Chile and Argentina for a week-long trade mission in March organised by Santander UK. The firms, the majority from Cambridge and Anglia, undertook a series of exclusive meetings with buyers and distributors and attended events with a view to exporting to Chile, the UK's second-largest export destination in Latin America, and Argentina, which is focussed on improving trade relationships and removing barriers to increase exports and imports.

As well as being able to support businesses locally through a network of Corporate Business Centres and specialists in the UK, Santander has a strong international presence thanks to its extensive global network in 10 major markets and more than 12,000 branches worldwide and a network of international alliance partners.

The companies that attended the trip were Christies International, Cocoda Ltd, Elgood & Sons Ltd, G's Fresh Ltd, Haymans of London, Ilec Ltd, JCS Hi-Torque Ltd, Pasta Foods Ltd and Teagle Machinery Ltd. The initiative is part of Santander UK's regular series of international trade missions across a range of UK sectors that are aimed at helping businesses export and capitalise on trade opportunities.

While in Chile and Argentina, the firms attended 80 tailored one-to-one meetings with large retailers including Jumbo and Walmart, buyers, well-respected distributors and international partners. They also attended large scale networking events supported by The British Chile Chamber of Commerce and Department for International Trade Buenos Aires, which showcased the best of British food, drink and manufacturing.

Chile has one of the largest portfolios of Free Trade Agreements in the world and is the UK's second largest export destination in Latin America largely, thanks to the lack of tariffs on UK products. Investment opportunities also exist in wholesale, retail, education, agriculture, construction and energy.

Argentina is currently removing trade barriers to increase exports and imports under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. There is high demand for imported luxury consumer goods and food and drink.

David Hill, Managing Director, Cocoda commented: “I have been on several Trade Missions over the years, this was by far the very best organised with excellent pre-mission briefing, highly qualified meetings and the first class levels of support throughout. As a result, we have already seen some initial interest, which we hope will lead to successful partnerships and trade opportunities in Latin America.”

Mauricio Munguia, Latam Desk Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Given the current uncertainties around Brexit and how it may impact established UK exporters who would traditionally look to Europe with their products, companies need to be brave and explore new, often overlooked global markets, such as those in Latin America. The region is forecasting significant growth and there is a real opportunity for UK businesses where British produce is seen as synonymous with high quality.

“We are confident this trade mission will help the SMEs which attended understand the opportunities available in these exciting markets. UK companies looking to access the region can take advantage of Santander's powerful network and presence in Latin America where we have a bank in all of the major markets.”

Helping SMEs to export is a core priority for Santander. The bank's trade missions are unique in the wider SME banking market – Santander regularly and proactively gets UK firms out to markets to meet buyers and network with key stakeholders. Previous trade missions have covered the US, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and Poland, among others.

UK firms interested in intending future trade missions should visit our website or contact

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Notes to editors

More information about the businesses who participated on the Trade Mission is included here:

Christies International
Christie International was established in 2002 to help UK food & drink manufacturers to grow their export business and access overseas markets. The firm provides a complete export market management service including managing invoicing and payments, preparation of any labelling and arrangement of onward shipping requirements. They work either directly with retailers or with food & drink importers to best service overseas markets. Each manufacturer is represented on an exclusive basis and their high quality brands are all made in the UK.

Cocoda Ltd
Cocoda is an exporter of UK confectionery and biscuit brands. Customers benefit from a single point of contact for multiple brands and benefit from direct invoicing by the brand owners. Cocoda exports products to North America, East and West Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and is seeking new long term partners in the Latin America region. Brands include shortbread baker Duncan’s of Deeside, Pulsetta Gluten Free Oat Thins, Holdsworth Chocolates and Summerdown Mint.

Elgood & Sons Ltd
Elgood & Sons Ltd are a 222 year old family brewery, owned & run by the Elgood family. Elgood’s brew a range of different styles of beers from dark milds, stouts, porters to IPA, sour beer, fruit wheat beer, Scotch Ale, Export strength beers and traditional English beer. The firm has won many awards, both domestically & internationally, for their beers & have earned a reputation as brewers of high quality, distinctive beers brewed with passion, enthusiasm & honesty. Their beers are sold throughout the UK, and export to Spain, Finland, USA, Italy, Uruguay, Lebanon & China.

G's Fresh Ltd
G’S Fresh Ltd is a brand distributor of a portfolio of freshly infused, marinated, pickled and steam cooked beetroot products. Their brands are sold in major food retailers in USA, Australia, South Africa and across Europe.

Haymans of London
Since 1863 five generations of the Hayman’s family have acted as custodians of the English Gin style, providing an unbroken lineage dating back to the original gin boom. Throughout 150 years Hayman’s have been perfecting the art of distilling English gin, using techniques and processes for generations.

Ilec Ltd
Ilec Ltd was founded in 1998 by Ian Appel with the purpose to provide electrical and mechanical building services with long term client relationships. One of the leading supplier of engineering services to commercial and residential, multi occupancy and high rise buildings. Clients include national house builders Barratts and David Wilson Homes.

JCS Hi-Torque Ltd
Producing over 25 million worm drive clamps a year, JCS is the UK’s largest hose clamp manufacturer and offers an extensive range of mild steel and stainless-steel products to suit applications across virtually all industries. All JCS hose clamps and their component parts are designed, built and tested at the purpose-built factory in Sudbury Suffolk under a strict ISO9001 quality system. With quality approvals including British Standards (BSI), NATO and Lloyds Register, JCS products are trusted to perform on the most demanding applications in the most hostile environments.

Pasta Foods Ltd
Established in 1964, Pasta Foods is the leading dry pasta manufacturer in the UK and a world leader in the production of snack pellets. Operating across three manufacturing sites, their products feature in some of the world’s best loved brands in over 40 countries.

Teagle Machinery Ltd
Teagle Machinery Ltd is a family owned company, 75 years old, making a range of agricultural machinery. Teagle specialise in bale processing machinery, mainly used for the cattle industry, either for bedding with long or short straw, or for chopping straw to add to the cows’ diet.

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Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 December 2017, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c19,500 employees and operates through 806 branches (which includes 61 university branches) and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of 2017, Banco Santander had EUR 986 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 133 million customers, 13,700 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 6,619 million in 2017, an increase of 7% compared to the previous year.

To help boost trade across the globe, Santander has an International Desk in each of the markets it operates in, dedicated to helping customers who want to grow their business overseas. With a particular strength in Latin America, the bank operates in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Puerto Rico. Our Latin American network includes more than 6,000 branches.

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