Organic fine food company cooks up global expansion plans following funding from Santander UK

  • Authentic and organic fine food company Clearspring benefits from increase in pandemic-fuelled home and scratch cooking and growth in demand for sustainable produce
  • The London-based company achieved 25% growth in 2020, building on more than a decade of consecutive growth 
  • Santander UK provides seven-figure trade funding package to support Clearspring’s international growth plans


Clearspring is an independent, family-owned company that sells authentic Japanese and organic fine foods. In keeping with its strong focus on supporting sustainable agriculture, and mission to provide easy access to quality organic food, its line of more than 280 products is plant-based, and more than 90% organic.

The combination of an increase in people doing scratch-cooking at home during the pandemic and growing demand from consumers for sustainable and healthy food has proved a recipe for success for Clearspring. Its turnover increased by 25% year-on-year in 2020. This reflects strong growth in the UK’s organic and health foods market, which is valued at £2.79bn, up 12.6% year-on year – the strongest growth in 15 years1.

In the UK, Clearspring distributes its products nationwide through major retailers, independent fine food and health food stores and e-commerce. During the pandemic, its monthly sales direct to customers through its website quadrupled compared to pre-Covid times. Its business strategy is to build global awareness of the Clearspring brand as the authority in authentic and heritage Japanese foods and premium organic fine foods.

To help Clearspring achieve its global growth aspirations, Santander UK has provided the company with a seven-figure funding package. It includes a trade loan facility, cross-currency overdraft, foreign exchange support and full banking services. The bespoke funding package will support Clearspring’s high growth strategy, enabling it to expand into new and existing international markets. 

Headquartered in London, Clearspring sources its products from 18 countries overseas, crucially including Japan, and has customers in more than 60 countries. To support Clearspring’s aspirations to expand into new international markets, Santander UK has worked with its market entry partner to provide introductions for Clearspring with importers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Clearspring employs a staff of 43, who collectively speak 15 languages. The company was established in 1993, but its origins date back to 1977, when founder and CEO Christopher Dawson set up a shop in Old Street, London, selling organic food. Its organic credentials include The Organic Soil Association – the UK’s leading organic food certification body - ranking it as the second-best organic company in the UK in 2019. The company is also a member of the Organic Trade Board, The Guild of Fine Food, and holds Demeter Biodynamic Certification.

Christopher Dawson, Clearspring CEO, commented: “We are at an exciting stage in our 28-year history, expanding our customer base in the UK and worldwide. In Santander UK, we have found a partner that recognises our passion for food integrity and the strengths of our business mission. It has provided us with financial support that enables us to accelerate our growth, particularly in international markets, where the bank has strong expertise. With Santander UK’s backing, we can focus on what we do best - providing great tasting and ecologically sustainable organic fine foods.”

Olivia Moorby, Relationship Director – Consumer Services at Santander UK, said: “We are delighted to have become Clearspring’s banking partner, supporting the next phase of its growth strategy. Our international support solutions and bespoke package of trade, currency and invoice finance facilities will help Clearspring expand into existing and new global markets. The business has a fantastic ethos of delivering ethical and organic products and we look forward to working together to deliver sustainable growth globally."

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Notes to Editors

1 According to the Soil Association: