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Fenland firm earns royal seal of approval

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Staff at agricultural engineering company Agrimech have reasons to be cheerful after the business on the borders of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its outstanding progress in the international sales market.

The Three Holes-based firm, which supplies weighing, sealing and packing solutions for the agricultural sector, was founded in 2009 and only entered the export market in 2018, targeting North America. In that time the family-run business' overseas sales have grown by more than 200 per cent, moving from 3.9 per cent of the company’s total sales to 13.4 per cent.

In addition to the prestige of winning such an honour, Agrimech - along with 224 other organisations - will be invited to a Buckingham Palace reception in July, hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Agrimech has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise. (56199893)
Agrimech has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise. (56199893)

“This is such a thrill for everyone on the Agrimech team,” said the company’s co-founder, Belinda Smith. “The dedication and hard work that everyone has put in over the years to build up such a good reputation for quality machinery and excellent customer service has earned us awards before, but recognition like this, for our success on the global stage, takes things to another level altogether.”

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK. The awards were first established in 1965 and since then over 7,000 companies have achieved a Queen’s Award. This year 225 organisations nationally were recognised.

The awards celebrate the success of exciting and innovative businesses which are leading the way with pioneering products or services, delivering impressive social mobility programmes or showing their commitment to excellent sustainable development practices.

Agrimech’s export success has focused on the lucrative North American potato industry, and over the next five years the company hopes overseas sales will account for up to 40 per cent of its business.

“In 2018, we recognised that to prosper and progress, we needed to look at different markets for opportunities to build our brand name internationally and we felt it would help drive us to continue to innovate and introduce new products to our range,” said Agrimech's other co-founder Darren Smith.

“At the start of this exporting journey, we were confident that our established core products would generate enquiries from international markets, and after a business trip to the US in the summer of 2018 to meet a prospective distributor, our confidence increased that we could make in-roads in this market and sell our machinery to US businesses.”

Lessons learnt in the US are also proving beneficial closer to home, with the Agrimech trademark now registered in 28 countries across Europe.

Previously, Agrimech has won honours at the manufacturing industry’s Manufacture MX awards, the Processing and Packing Machinery awards, the National Potato Industry awards, Innovate UK, and the Fenlands Business awards, both for its machinery, such as the Hydra weighing system, the Retribution stitcher, and the Genesis bag placing system, as well as its after-sales service and customer support.

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