Principle Healthcare International Limited, one of Europe’s leading producers of vitamins, minerals and supplements, with operations in Skipton, North Yorkshire, and Slovakia, has gained a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in recognition of its outstanding achievement in International Trade. Recognised as the UK’s highest accolade for business success, the Queen’s Awards scheme honours outstanding companies and encourages the promotion of British trade. Through the development of international markets for its branded products like BioCalth, Boost, Vitarenew, Vit Heroes and the Principle range, the company has expanded export sales six-fold over the last three years, securing business in the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Scandinavia, South East Asia and the Republic of China.
“This award is a tremendous accolade and demonstrates our wholehearted commitment to quality, innovation and growing the business,” says Principle’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Davies. “All of our international trade has been developed over the past five years and gaining a Queen’s Award will undoubtedly help to continue expanding our export business.”
“Our experience to date tells us that UK products receive a positive reaction in international markets, because of this country’s reputation for quality, and, by displaying the Queen’s Award emblem on our packaging, we will be given the Royal stamp of approval and be recognised as a manufacturer of excellence,” he continues. “The Principle workforce and all those involved in the business are extremely proud of this achievement and it is a real morale-booster to know that all the hard work we put into gaining this award will be rewarded with increased business benefits,” he adds.
Formed in 2002 by a small team of healthcare industry experts and this year celebrating its 10th anniversary, Principle Healthcare first started as a packaging and distribution facility in Skipton, to supply the UK private label supplements sector. Four years on, the business expanded to form Principle Healthcare International, which produces a range of vitamins and minerals that literally extends from A to Z, through its portfolio of branded products and private label contracts. Later this year, it will announce a multi-million pound manufacturing development at its headquarters site.
Working with experts at UK Trade & Investment and overseas business networks, Principle Healthcare International identified key territories with sizeable opportunities for sales of vitamins and minerals and is currently trading with 28 different countries. Through its team of experienced export sales personnel and selected distribution agents, it has developed trading arrangements through large grocery distributors, pharmacies and major domestic retailers, at the same time maintaining a presence at key healthcare exhibitions in Europe, America, the Middle and Far East.
Given the nature of healthcare products, there is often a lengthy and costly registration process involved when entering new export markets and Principle has responded by employing specific personnel for interpreting international documents and using their technical skills to ensure that all relevant local healthcare laws and regulations are observed. It has also established links with universities, utilising their international business and languages departments to obtain valuable market intelligence.
Once it was shortlisted for a Queen’s Award, Principle Healthcare International had to submit a declaration of corporate responsibility, outlining the wider social and environmental impact of its business activity. Here, it has certainly put something back into the local community by establishing its own registered charity, The Principle Trust, which provides free seaside holidays for disadvantaged children from the North Yorkshire area and has already raised in excess of £30,000 for the purchase of holiday homes.
The group also plans to offer increased apprenticeship opportunities for youngsters in the region, once the new Skipton plant comes on stream, and CEO, Mike Davies, was recently invited to No 10 Downing Street to discuss upcoming government initiatives in this field. On the environmental front, Principle has implemented in-plant schemes that have cut waste by 23% and energy consumption by up to 20%, and is currently looking to reduce the amount of packaging it uses and obtain alternative materials for sustainable sources.
Principle Healthcare International Ltd
Tel 01756 792600