Chamber International hits sweet spot with Pecan

A major Yorkshire food company, which exports more than 75 per cent of its bespoke cakes, biscuits, sauces and desserts to the EU, has hired overseas trade specialist, Chamber International, to help it continue to prosper in Europe after Brexit takes effect.

Leeds-based Pecan Deluxe Candy, which supplies food and beverage companies, quick-service restaurants and bakeries across the EU, says it is harnessing the range of expertise at Chamber International to improve its exporting efficiency and enhance its marketing within the EU, to help offset any challenges posed by the UK’s decision to leave.

Pecan Deluxe Candy, a family business that exports to continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa from its UK headquarters in Sherburn-in-Elmet, says it is already having to work harder to combat challenges posed by the fall in the value of the pound as the company imports 90 per cent of raw materials used in its products.

Pecan Deluxe European and Asia Pacific managing director, Graham Kingston, says: “We are a big company trading successfully within the EU and we are determined to ensure that this remains the case. We want to adapt as smoothly as possible to any changes and challenges in trading circumstances which arise from the UK’s impending departure from the EU.

“But we have to be realistic about the challenges and prepare now. All our main competitors are on the continent and we need to avoid the perception that leaving the UK leads to us being perceived as ‘an outsider’ although we have traded in Europe for decades. We also want to ensure that we can continue to recruit people with the right skills if any eventual deal about the UK leaving the EU reduces worker migration.

“For these reasons we have engaged Chamber International to help ensure we are on our front foot and fully prepared in two years’ time. We intend to use Chamber International’s whole range of services with an initial focus on improving our marketing within EU countries and export training, including to enable us to handle in-house any new export documentation which is required post-Brexit.”

Pecan Deluxe was founded as a retail ice cream business in Dallas, Texas, by the first generation of the family, J C Brigham, in 1950. The business was sold in 1983 so the company could concentrate on manufacturing and supplying the ice cream inclusions, such as praline nuts and sauces, where the family saw greater future potential. The US operation now has a turnover of $115m.

The company was established in the UK in 1999 and, in conjunction with its sister facility in Thailand, now supplies all of Europe, the Middle and Far East and APAC (Australia-Pacific) regions with its tailor-made solutions including cookie dough, flavoured fudges, moulded chocolate shapes, sauces, cake and cookie pieces and praline nuts.  The business currently has 120 people based in Yorkshire, a turnover of around £12m, and still has members of the Brigham family on the board.

Pecan Deluxe is fully BRC double-A grade certified and holds numerous food standard accreditations including Halal, RSPO, UTZ, Fairtrade and Kosher.  Strict allergen segregation controls are employed across the site.

Chamber International director, Tim Bailey, says: “Brexit will affect different companies in a variety of ways depending on their sector, products or services. However, those who start to plan now, like Pecan Deluxe Candy, will inevitably be best placed to succeed when our exit takes effect.”

Chamber International helps hundreds of new and experienced exporters with a wide range of specialist services to make exporting easier and more cost effective each year and is exclusively partnered with London headquartered global testing organisation, Intertek, to assist with a wide range of issues including product conformity.