Keith drinks to Queen’s Award

Selling ice to the Inuits, oil to the Saudis – why not tea to the Chinese?

Keith Garden and his company have done just that with huge success and their achievement has been given the Royal stamp of approval, for the second time.

Only Natural Products has just been awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2019 after exporting organic tea to Hong Kong and working with Soil Association of China.

Over the last three years Only Natural Products has become a remarkable success story, increasing exports by 77%, an impressive performance as overseas business accounts for 72% of the company’s overall sales.

This followed the sweet taste of success of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2016.

Pension-led funding chairman Adam Tavener said: “It’s fantastic to see that, yet again, Pension-led funding has played it’s part in helping an entrepreneur deliver his vision and, better still, achieve the recognition he so richly deserves.

“Being prepared to back yourself is a critical measure of the likely success of an aspiring business owner.”

Only Natural Products are exporting across the globe to Europe, Scandinavia, South America, Asia and are now the leading organic tea brand in Australia.

Keith started Only Natural Products back in 2008 after a career in sales and marketing. He launched brands Dr Stuarts, a range of herbal infusions called Higher Living and a South African organic, single-estate rooibos tea called Kromland Farm.

We first met Keith when he needed £150,000 to fund a management buyout and the banks were not lending. “I was scratching my head. There was a sum of money in the pension that was sitting there and not performing very well,” he said.

PLF helped Keith’s pension purchase the company Intellectual Property and a loan was made to Only Natural Products. Keith has since returned several times to his pension to fund his growing export-led business based in Gloucester.

There are more than 5.7 million SMEs in the UK and with only 201 companies given a Queen’s Award this year, Only Natural Products are part of a very select group.

To find out more about Only Natural Products please click here

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