Thursday, 9 February 2012

Irish Export Cooperative has done it

‘Irish Export Cooperative has done it’

Irish Export Cooperative has done it slashing costs of international deliveries for SME’s. From this week, the Irish Export Cooperative will have achieved discounts for their members on international delivery. These reductions amount to a highly discounted rate. For the first time, small crafts people, food producers and micro enterprises can export at an affordable cost. The implications are profound for small retailers and small medium enterprise (SME) here in Ireland.

What started as a Twitter conversation has grown into a proactive initiative to help and support small, medium and micro sized enterprises to export their goods and enter new foreign markets.

DHL Express has been awarded the contract as the International Express carrier for the Irish Export Cooperative.
As a member of the Irish Exports Co-operative, you will now be able to avail of a special highly discounted group rate with DHL Express. This will enable small crafts people, food producers, micro enterprises  and SME’s to both import and export documents and packages to over 220 countries on an Air Express service. Not only will you experience enhanced transit times and significant cost savings, you will now be able to avail of the Express 12 service as standard.

DHL Express (Ireland) Ltd Business Development Manager Paul Toomey said “DHL Express Ireland is delighted to have partnered with the Irish Export Cooperative to support all registered members of the Cooperative.   As the leading Express international logistics provider in Ireland, we are committed to helping small and medium enterprises export their goods and this new partnership will provide better value for all registered member of the Cooperative, who send international shipments or documents.  Not only that but all registered member of the Co-operative will further benefit by leveraging DHL’s global reach and experience while supporting members as they explore new international trade locations”.

Our model is simple here in the Irish Export Cooperative. By combining our volumes, we have negotiated better terms with couriers. These terms give us a competitive edge in exporting internationally. We reduce costs to increase volumes, create jobs, increase exporting for small business and get some value back into the economy at this important time in Ireland’s history.

But more important than that, is the support of the companies and sole traders, crafts people and small businesses that are engaged by our model and how they can come together to reduce the cost of their deliveries.

Chris Gordon, Founder of the Cooperative said

“This cooperative breaks down the barriers faced by too many SME's on the island of Ireland. We have personally faced these problems and now we have a concrete solution. This opens up new markets for small firms and crafts makers on the island of Ireland. We are using time tested approaches of democratic cooperatives to create a real game changer in exports in Ireland.

By creating a better platform to work together to create this initiative, we have gained the interests and support of Enterprise Ireland, the Small Firms Association, ISME, The Irish Exporters Association and the Cooperative Development Society amongst others."

On our travels nationwide, in the past few weeks listening to stories from small businesses, we have heard many sad tales:

    ‘A small business owner in Kildare sells specialised motorbike parts to the UK. It is cheaper for him to travel to Newry to post his packages than it is from Newbridge. He makes this 5 hour round trip twice a week. That's 10 hours from his week that still saves him hundreds in delivery fees’.

  ‘A small food producer from Louth struggled to find a way to export his product. After searching for couriers for pricing, the cost of international delivery outweighed the cost of those products. In addition, these prices are in excess of what customers could be expected to pay.’

‘Chris Gordon, owner of an Irish firm called was  trying to sell an item to America for €40 that would cost $260 to ship before this deal.’

Irish Export Co-operative are proud to have support from the following partners:
Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, County Enterprise Boards, SFA, ISME, Irish Exporters Association, Cooperative Development Society, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Small Business Can,, Chambers Ireland, British Irish Chamber and even more.

Irish Exporters Association Chief Executive, John Whelan said ’The next wave of exporters will come from the early stage small businesses who are now putting their foot into foreign markets for the first time. The Export Coop is great initiative and will  act as an outreach support to many small businesses who want to export but don’t know how to go about it. The Irish Exporters Association look forward to offering an on-going  professional support to the Export Coop  members ’’

Chairman of Love Irish Food, Jim Power, said “It is becoming increasingly apparent that Exports and the SME sector combined, represent a key element of Ireland's future economic success. Building an export market is always going to be a challenge for small companies so anything that alleviates the pressure has got to be welcomed. The ambitions of the Irish Export Co-Op are incredibly positive and this initiative typifies the entrepreneurial spirit that makes the SME sector such an important part of the Irish economy.”

SME Capital Funds David O’Brien said "The Irish Export Cooperative is a positive game changer in the Irish Small Business Environment. It's ability to promote exporting as a viable model for growth to the Irish Small, Medium & Micro Enterprise sector and to tear down the cost barrier of exporting for this sector will revitalise our indigenous SME's and will contribute towards growth and sustainability in our Economy. However the real beauty of this initiative is that it is Irish business helping itself which we at SME Capital Funds believe is the model for sustainability and growth in terms of both growing business opportunities and jobs in the Irish Economy going forward. SME Capital Funds as a professional advisory firm for Irish SME's are delighted to have played it's part in the success of the Irish Export Cooperative and look forward to a sustainable and successful future with the Irish Export Cooperative as its administrative partner."