Bristol based business, Q21 water, which produces sustainably sourced bottled and bulk water for a range of industries has reported export growth of 50% to the Czech Republic and Denmark in the last year. Its sales to the Czech Republic are expected to reach £1.5 million in the next five years.
We spoke with the company on World Water Day, a United Nations observance day held on 22 March that highlights the importance of fresh water and advocates for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Commenting on the support the company has received from the Department for International Trade (DIT), Andrew said:
“The people at DIT we’ve been working with have been amazing. We’ve worked with Stefano Pucello, our International Trade Adviser (ITA) to bring on a company on in Denmark and one in the Czech Republic who now order from us every week.
“DIT has got us to focus on our key markets through mentoring sessions, and some of the events and roadshows have been really useful. The one to one sessions with potential customers have also been valuable and have opened up doors for us.
“We’ve also received support with marketing during the time of COVID which has been great and has really contributed to elevating our sales.”
The company’s export growth comes as a recent report by Globe News Wire found that the global market for eco-friendly bottles is projected to reach US $3.8 billion by 2025.
The company was established in 2014 by CEO, Johan Gallani, after he visited Iceland with his wife. During his trip there, he learnt about the The Westman Islands, home to the main fishing port. The islands have no water supply, so the Iceland government installed a pipeline to the area from the mainland from a spring source on the side of the famous Eyjafjallajokull glacier. The water then flows by gravity 24 km straight to the Island.
A third of the water flow weight is open for Q21 to use (which would otherwise be wasted), a third goes to the inhabitants and the rest goes towards making ice for the fishing industry.
One of the company’s customers in Denmark manufactures beer from the water – using the glacier story to promote the Nordic taste. The business is also in the process of expanding into the US, where one client is looking to use the water for facial beauty mists, using the chemical free, natural source as its unique selling point.
Andrew Davies, Managing Director of the company said:
“It’s one of the purest water sources in the entire world and has a very low number of parts per million of total dissolved solids, with just 41 mg per reading. Some of the largest water brands have about seven times this amount.
“When you taste the water its pure, crisp, and clean and if we didn’t collect the water, it would just flow into the sea.
The company’s electricity used for testing the water and pumping it into tanks ready for production and distribution is produced by geo-thermal power, while the tanks are manufactured to be lighter to transport, thereby reducing emissions.
Andrew continues: “One of the very important things for us is that our water is only available in glass bottles which are recyclable. We are also now looking at producing bottles that can be composted.”
Paul Shand, Head of Trade for DIT in the South West said:
“Q21’s achievements in these markets reflect the strong demand overseas both for products that are high-quality and ethically sourced.
“Trade will play an important role in getting our economy back on track and Q21 is a great example of how companies can look to lucrative overseas markets to boost their sales whilst creating more jobs.”
Get in touch
To discuss your own export options with one of DIT’s International Trade Advisers in the South West contact 01275 774 456 or visit www.great.gov.uk to find out more about the range of support available as well as live export opportunities. DIT’s services in the South West are delivered by Business West. For further information, click here.