International Trade Portal provides one stop shop for exporter, Cairngorm Brewery

Award-winning craft brewer, Cairngorm Brewery, has its sights set on overseas growth with support from Bank of Scotland’s International Trade Portal.

Exporting is definitely our future growth area," says Sam Faircliff, Managing Director at Cairngorm Brewery. "We’re putting significant resources into creating a strategic approach to exports."

Established in 2001 in the village of Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, the brewery has won over 80 awards for its bottled and cask ales. In 2016, the company acquired the Loch Ness brewery brand, a move Sam feels will stand them in good stead for establishing international trade.

Getting ready for overseas trade

"We certainly feel that having an iconic Scottish brand name like Loch Ness, that’s known globally will give us a little more traction to export, backed by Cairngorm’s quality reputation," Sam remarks.

But for many businesses, dipping their toe into exporting for the first time can be daunting. Sam explains how Bank of Scotland’s International Trade Portal has helped Cairngorm to take that first step in considering new markets.

Exploring new markets

"The International Trade Portal really is like having a one stop shop at your fingertips," she says. "It’s been invaluable in helping us compare markets because the information it offers means you’re comparing like with like, so we can properly benchmark opportunities."

Sam explains that, without the Portal, researching potential markets and understanding the value of the information available from different sources would have been laborious.

"When you’re getting information from different places, you have to be aware that naturally they’re going to big themselves up. The International Trade Portal removes that risk because there’s no hidden agenda."

A starting point for exporters

Beyond the initial research stage, Sam says that the most useful aspect of the International Trade Portal is that it provides leads for businesses to pursue.

"One of the countries we’re looking at is Singapore. By drilling down in the International Trade Portal I got contact details for six potential drinks distributors, which is a great starting point in a new market.

"And, from a due diligence perspective, being able to explore information about potential contacts before you invest time and money, is fantastic."

Information at your fingertips

For other businesses looking at opportunities for trading internationally, Sam has a couple of pointers:

"Don’t look at exporting as any different from domestic sales – it’s still about building relationships and trust. Your starting point though should always be about establishing demand and a margin for your products. For us, that means looking at the retail price of beer in a target market, considering the alcohol duty regime and whether there are any specific labelling or environmental requirements.

"For all of that information, the International Trade Portal is my first port of call."

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"The International Trade Portal really is like having a one stop shop at your fingertips."

Sam Faircliff Managing Director, Cairngorm Brewery

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