Officers for the Department for International Trade (DIT) can use the UK’s Finest online platform to connect pre-approved sellers with their buyers more effectively.
Danielle Castellon – Trade & Investment Officer for British Consulate General Miami – was approached by US buyer UK Imports to find savoury, non-perishable products to sell to the US market.
“UK Imports wanted to grow their snack portfolio,” explains Danielle. “My role is to help American buyers find suitable (UK) sellers they can do business with.”
A more effective way to find sellers
Danielle’s process of finding sellers is traditionally manual, involving numerous email exchanges and manual spreadsheet lists.
“Before using UK’s Finest, I would send emails to International Trade Advisers (ITAs) across the UK, and from their responses, compile a spreadsheet of sellers to share with UK Imports.”
Danielle recently used UK’s Finest for the first time. She found that the platform helped to speed up how quickly she could identify and introduce appropriate sellers to UK Imports.
“I found it very easy to use UK’s Finest,” says Danielle. “I would identify potential sellers using the website’s search filters, and share information about their product ranges with the buyer.”
DIT officers like Danielle have access to hundreds of sellers on UK’s Finest. They can filter sellers by their primary operating sector, specific features and products to narrow down their searches in seconds.
Trade without Travel
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings between buyers and sellers would usually be done in person. However, with worldwide travel now greatly limited, developing relationships between buyers and sellers and facilitating meetings has moved online.
“Prior to COVID-19, myself and Steve [from UK Imports] would visit the UK to meet sellers in person at Meet the Buyer events,” explains Danielle.
UK’s Finest allows buyers and sellers to connect with each other and develop a business relationship online. Travel restrictions no longer get in the way of potential overseas opportunities!
“Knowing that every seller on UK’s Finest is a serious exporter provides officers like me peace of mind when introducing them to importers, distributors and retailers in the United States”
Buyers and Sellers can approach each other
Steve Thomas – Director of Sales and Operations at UK Imports – has worked with Danielle in the past, purchasing from sellers introduced to him by DIT. Using UK’s Finest, Danielle not only sources sellers, but Steve can use his profile on the website to find potential sellers himself.
So far Steve has connected with 55 UK brands on UK’s Finest, and he continues to develop UK Import’s network by connecting with the latest food and drink sellers who match his buying criteria.
“Sellers can now find my Buyer profile, send me a connection request and we can start having a conversation,” explains Steve. “This recently led to a very effective virtual meet-the-buyer meeting, as we hadn’t known of each other before meeting on UK’s Finest.”
Steve, like many buyers, is particular about working with businesses that are serious about exporting.
“I want to work with companies that have had previous export success and are open to my advice about how to approach the US market with their product.”
UK’s Finest ensures every seller on the platform has had prior exporting experience and has been recommend and vetted by an ITA.
“Knowing that every seller on UK’s Finest is a serious exporter provides officers like me peace of mind when introducing them to importers, distributors and retailers in the United States.” says Danielle.
Business potential supported by UK’s Finest
Pipers Crisps benefitted from the support and buyer introductions they’ve received from DIT, including their meetings with UK Imports.
“The market for premium chips in the USA is already well established, and our brand is well positioned in the premium end of this market.” explains Simon Briggs, International Development Manager for Pipers Crisps.
“We had a productive meeting with UK Imports, and there’s potential to do business with them in the future.”
Interested in joining UK’s Finest Food & Drink Marketplace as a UK Seller or International Buyer? Click here to started, or if you already have an UK’s Finest account log in and start connecting today.
If you’re a member of DIT’s network of Trade Officers and DIT Employees and would like to discuss how UK’s Finest can support your food & drink initiatives, contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.