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The ABC of being a top exporter


SHANNON Company ABC Nutrition won the Irish Exporters Association’s overall Exporter of the Year Award at a dinner at the Convention Centre in Dublin last week.
ABC Nutrition was presented with the award after winning in the Emerging Markets Exporter Award category earlier in the evening. That award was presented in recognition of the company’s exceptional performance in export markets, with particular attention paid to the marketing strategy employed.
The Exporter of the Year Award was for its performance in export markets with its range of sports nutrition and other health nutrition products.
The judging panel also paid tribute to the company’s new product, developed in conjunction with a cardiovascular service, which is aimed at the ‘greying’ market with the aim of improving arterial health and reducing blood pressure.
The company expects to employ 13 people next year and to have an annual turnover in excess of €5 million with some 83% accounted for by exports.
Mark Fitzgerald, president of the Irish Exporters Association said exporters are still managing to show credible growth, despite the global uncertainty.
“They are proving that with the right strategy and vision that export growth can still be achieved,” he commented.
Company director Willie Wixted said winning the Exporter of the Year award is a great achievement for the country.
“It’s quite a big award. We’re the first business of this size to win it. Green Isle Foods are also a former winner. They’ve recognised that we’ve performed well in export markets.”
He said the company has been around since July 2007 and their products relate to sports nutrition, weight management and elderly nutrition. Mr Wixted is from Broadford, while fellow director Sean McNamara is from Bodyke, with a third director Atis Vitolins hailing from Latvia.
The award will offer the company a number of benefits, he believes.
“It will give us great credibility overseas and the award should also give us credibility with State agencies when we are looking for backing for research and development.
He said that while business in Ireland isn’t particularly busy, business abroad hasn’t been so badly hit.
“Business in Ireland would be down a bit but when we set up we knew that this was a niche business so we that was how we oriented it. The market is growing globally and in some European countries there has been considerable growth.”
The company owe a lot to the Clare County Enterprise Board, he feels.
“I’d have to acknowledge the County Enterprise Board. With their support, particularly in years one and two, we mightn’t have made it.”
ABC Nutrition are former overall winners of the National Enterprise Awards, which are organised by the County and City Enterprise Boards.

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