Family dairy sells cream fit for the Queen

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The Clarke family

A Cornish dairy which has grown from a small business into a company employing 100 is now supplying its clotted cream to the the Queen’s grocer, Fortnum & Mason.

The Trewithen Dairy secured the supply contract in 2015,  along with contracts to supply the London based Tate Galleries and Great Western Rail (GWR).

The successes come after the company took home the Grocer Gold Award for SME Brand of the Year in June.

Trewithen Dairy’s clotted cream is now available in the world-famous Food Hall at London’s Fortnum & Mason. The store was founded in 1707.

The Tate Galleries is a family of four art galleries in London, Liverpool, and Cornwall known Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. Trewithen Dairy has secured a listing with the Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

Its milk is also being used on the first class carriages of Great Western Rail’s Pullman service in the South West. This will be rolled out to all services on the GWR trains at some point this year.

Trewithen Dairy’s Managing Director, Francis Clarke said: “We are lucky to have a strong talented team delivering a range of great Trewithen Dairy products all over the UK, which include butter, milk, yoghurts and Cornish clotted cream.

“We have undergone a tremendous growth period and adding significantly to our sales, gaining new hospitality and retail customers right across Cornwall and the South West, as well as a number of critical supermarket listings.

“We are also continually grateful for the hard work that our farmers consistently put in to bring us our great products for our fantastic and loyal customers.”

Trewithen Dairy has grown rapidly over the last few years, undertaking a £12m redevelopment project to expand the processing site and create over 40 additional jobs.

Bill and Rachel Clarke have been at Greymare Farm, near Lostwithiel, for 25 years. In their early years, they would milk and bottle their own product while their children were in bed, delivering their milk themselves the next day. They’d also cook and pot their own clotted cream.

As demand from hotels, restaurants, garages, and shops grew, they decided to sell their own herd and concentrate on production of their brand products, including milk, butter, creme fraiche, yoghurt, and buttermilk, with milk from other local farmers. Sons Francis and George joined the business, and the company now employs 100 people.

Trewithen Dairy is now Cornwall’s third largest direct milk buyer and the largest bottler of milk in the county. Read more about the company here: http://www.trewithendairy.co.uk/

Maria Williams is a copywriter, professional blogger and PR for small businesses. Visit www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

 

 

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FSB organises Welsh leaders’ debate on the economy

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The Welsh leaders of five political parties will debate the economy in an event organised by the Federation of Small Businesses ahead of May’s Assembly elections.

Labour’s First Minister Carwyn Jones, Conservative leader in the Assembly Andrew RT Davies, Plaid Cymru’s leader Leanne Wood, Liberal Democrat leader in Wales Kirsty Williams and UKIP’s Welsh leader Nathan Gill will take part in the debate on March 30.

The FSB Leaders’ Debate will be held at the Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, (pictured above) between 5.30pm and 7pm.

A satellite screening of the debate will be held in Swansea at the School of Management, Bay Campus, Swansea University, at the same time.

The five will face questions on business and the economy. FSB members who would like to pose a question to the leaders can  email rhodri.evans@fsb.org.uk

FSB members who want to attend the event in Wrexham can book tickets here. FSB members who wish to attend the Swansea event can book tickets here.

The FSB has 10,000 members in Wales, a Welsh Policy Unit, two regional committees, and 12 branch committees throughout the country. It also has a Welsh Press and Parliamentary Office in Cardiff.

The economy is set to be a key issue in the Senedd election. In January, the Wales Voice of Small Business Index from the FSB showed that in the final quarter of 2015 confidence among FSB members fell three points to -1.3. It was the first time the index had pointed to a lack of confidence among small firms since the start of 2013.

FSB Wales Policy Unit Chairwoman Janet Jones said last month: “It is disappointing to see the index fall back into negative territory, but it does mirror some of the anecdotal evidence that we have heard from our members across Wales in recent months.

“We know that smaller businesses are absolutely key to the success of the Welsh economy, and indeed to the success of local economies in every part of Wales.

“With that in mind we need to do all we can to nurture and sustain our small firms and help them to achieve their potential.

“That is why in our business manifesto for the next Welsh Government we have proposed the creation of a Wales Small Business Administration, bringing SME finance, business support, procurement and SME research under a single umbrella body.

“We believe that such a body has an important role to play in boosting confidence and capability among the small business sector in Wales.”

Maria Williams is a journalist, copywriter, and professional blogger for small businesses. Visit her website www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

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52,000 oppose plan to stop business owners being paid through dividends

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More than 52,000 people have signed a petition calling for a re-think over the Government’s plans to stop business owners being paid via company dividends.

The petition created by Frauke Golding says the move to change the system, which the Government says is needed to complement other tax reforms, does not take into account the risks entrepreneurs take when setting up a company.

The petition says: “This flies in the face of risk and reward for running a business and contributing to the economy. Life as a business owner means very long hours, low pay, stress, no holiday or sick pay and a life of uncertainty and worry.

“Small businesses make up 99.3% of all private sector businesses and we provide just under 50% of all private sector jobs. There is a real danger that this new tax, along with auto enrolment and minimum wages increases, will have a significant effect on those people brave enough to start up a business that could make a meaningful contribution to the economy and jobs market.”

As this blog was written, 52,002 people had signed the petition which has until February 24 to reach the 100,000 signature target to trigger a potential debate in Parliament.

Here’s the Government response to the petition:

“The Government is fully committed to supporting business and entrepreneurship. As set out at the Summer Budget 2015, the Government believes that one of the best ways to support growth and enterprise in the UK is through lower and more competitive Corporation Tax rates.

“Owners of small companies will also benefit from a range of other measures announced at the Summer Budget, including an increase in the National Insurance Employment Allowance to £3,000 from April 2016 and a permanent increase to the Annual Investment Allowance to £200,000 from January 2016. They will also pay less tax as a result of the increases to the tax-free Personal Allowance to £11,000 and to the Higher Rate Threshold to £43,000 in April 2016. We also have a commitment to go much further, taking the Personal Allowance to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold to £50,000 by the end of this Parliament.

“However, it is not possible to continue to reduce the Corporation Tax rate without looking at the overall balance of the tax system, including taxation of dividends. Lowering the Corporation Tax rate without action elsewhere increases incentives for individuals to set up a company and pay themselves through dividends to reduce their tax bill (also known as tax motivated incorporation).

“Therefore the Government is reforming dividend taxation. These reforms, which will also simplify the dividend tax system, will significantly reduce the incentives for people to set up a company and pay themselves through dividends rather than wages simply to reduce their tax bill. Taxpayers and the Exchequer will now be £500 million better off as result of reduced incentives for tax motivated incorporation.

“Those who choose to work through a company continue to pay lower rates of tax than the employed or self-employed. But the reforms move the overall tax rates for the self-employed and those incorporated closer together, making the system fairer overall.”

View the petition here.

Maria Williams is a professional blogger, copywriter, and PR for small business. Visit www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

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How to get the fish biting with content marketing

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We live in a world full of big data, conflicting sets of analytics, and ever-changing technology.

Sometimes, it’s enough to make your head spin. Sometimes, it means we lose sight of important home truths about how we connect with people.

Getting on the front page with your keyword search in Google is great.

Business, however, is about more than fishing for passing trout in a fast-flowing river.

It’s about building a dam, and creating your own pond.

To do that, we have to never forget what it’s all about – relationships and trust.

Our customers won’t forget it. Their decisions aren’t often made using big data. Their purchases don’t usually come down to using analytics.

They buy from the people they know and trust, whether they are people on their local High Street, or those they’ve met on social media or through other business contacts.

JK Rowling’s Mr Weasley put it quite succinctly in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”

The best way to build that relationship and create that trust is by content marketing.

Let your would-be customers know where you keep your brain, and what makes your business tick.

Blogging regularly allows you to create content – or outsource its creation – and share it with your ideal customers. The fish you want to come and live in your pond.

A great blog which speaks to their needs is the starting point for your content marketing journey, tickling those fish through the stages of awareness of your business, contemplation of what you could do for them, and into the funnel of your website and your call to action.

Words matter. They cement your relationships with your customers.

That doesn’t mean, however, that visuals are unimportant. Impactful pictures, strong graphics, and engaging videos can all be embedded into your blog posts to give them a multi-platform appeal. Podcasts are also an excellent way of building that trust.

Build in some interactivity – create a quiz your customers can share, for example. Get them to post their results on Facebook or Twitter.

Get your blogs shared by the right people, influencers in your area or industry, groups of people whose social media posts have a powerful reach.

You’ll soon discover some of the fish will swim the way you want them to right away.

Others, however, need more love and attention, more persuasion.

As Lemony Snicket said in The Penultimate Peril: “Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors where it is harder to get a splinter.”
Those cautious fish are worth the effort, though. There’s nothing more loyal than a cautious customer who finally bites, and gets a great product or service.

These are the customers whose recommendations will carry the most weight with their peers. If old Cautious Fish likes it, it must be good.

There’s something else which is important in building that trust: reciprocity. Offer your customers something useful to them free, asking for their email addresses so that you can build your database.

When we accept something free, we feel that duty to reciprocate. That builds your bond even further. It enhances your chance of a future sale even further.

It also gives you the chance to send out more links to your blogs in the future in direct emails, and make your pond a little larger.

 

Maria Williams is a copywriter, blogger, and PR for small businesses at Words You Can Use Limited. Visit www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

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