A company from over here doing very well over there

A production line at Beardow Adams
A production line at Beardow Adams

AS the government steps up its efforts to encourage UK firms to export, one Milton Keynes company is showing the way.

Proudly a part of the city since 1977, Beardow Adams has seen its leading hot melt adhesives take over new global markets.

The company achieved a turnover of £40million in 2010 by selling 67 per cent of its hot melt adhesives to more than 50 countries around the world.

Beardow Adams markets include both Israel and Iran and the whole of South America.

The company, based in Blundells Road, makes hot melt adhesives for packaging things like breakfast cereals boxes, labels for events, woodworking, bookbinding, converting and product assembly.

Beardow Adams, which won the International Trade Award, sponsored by World Trade Center Holdings, at last year’s Chamber Business Excellence Awards, has the capacity to manufacture 48,000 tonnes of adhesives each year and concentrates on efficiencies and “continuing investment” in technology.

Beardow Adams is a sponsor of this year’s awards, too.

The company has a policy of investing in people and employs a total of 90 people in the city. The company has offices, a research and development centre and a factory in Milton Keynes. The only people not based in Milton Keynes are its UK sales force of five, plus a sales support engineer.

Mr Beardow said: “We are more likely to take youngsters and train them up than bring people in. We have done this with our team of development chemists.”

The company started exporting in the early 1980s to the Netherlands.

Five to 10 years ago Beardow Adams started looking at newer markets, including Brazil. It supplies hot melts to some 2,000 companies around the world.

Among the firm’s customers are household names such as Coca Cola, Kellogg, Nestlé and Unilever, who buy its adhesives for the packaging and labelling of food, pharmaceutical and personal care products.

Its adhesives also have widespread use in the automotive, electronics, print finishing, furniture manufacture and white goods industries.

Mr Beardow encouraged other companies to look at exporting. He said: “We have a language advantage and people like the British because we have integrity and we are very reliable. If we say we are going to do something, we will do it.”

He added: “But sometimes we don’t build ourselves up but now it is what the government wants as we refocus the economy on manufacturing.”