Winners announced for 18th annual
Golden Bridge Trade & Export Awards
The 18th edition of the prestigious Golden Bridge Export Awards for outstanding achievements in exporting between the UK and the Benelux has been won by Brussels Airlines, Farnell element14 and De Bioderij. The Awards were presented by the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (BLCC), the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC). Awards were also won by export newcomers Ikaros Solar and Hema, and by SMEs Limelco, Decapac and OppoSuits.
The coveted Golden Bridge Export Award was handed over to Brussels Airlines by H.E. Mr Patrick Engelberg, Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to the Court of St James’s, during a gala ceremony in central London on 20 November. Brussels Airlines was awarded for the way it acts as an ambassador, not only for Belgium but also in promoting the UK as a destination around the world. Furthermore, Belgium’s national carrier is considered an employer of choice as well as an economic activity provider.
Farnell element14 received the award for British companies from Glynis Whiting, President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium. Farnell is a high-service distributor of technology products and services, and it was recognised for the strategic innovation initiatives at its regional distribution centre in Liege, as well as its approach to diversity, inclusion and engagement of the local community.
The award for Dutch companies was handed over to De Bioderij by Fred Olthof, head of economic affairs at the Netherlands Embassy. De Bioderij is now exporting a mind-boggling number of pancakes to the UK every day. It was awarded for its targeted move into the UK market with this Dutch national dish. De Bioderij has shown tenacity and creativity in its desire to convert the British and “make every day pancake day”.
Two awards were handed out in the category of Best Newcomer, to Ikaros Solar and HEMA.
Ikaros Solar received its award from Peter Braben, Relationship Director at KBC Bank. When government incentive programmes for photovoltaics (PVs) were changed, rather than exiting the UK market like most of its continental competitors, Ikaros Solar decided to stay and work in a different segment, contributing to the creation of a market focusing on small commercial PV systems.
HEMA was presented with its award by Michiel van Deursen, CEO of the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce. HEMA is a familiar sight on every Dutch high street and is now making inroads in the UK with its refreshing design approach to high-quality and low-cost household goods, beauty and food.
Best small & medium-sized enterprises
Awards were handed out to three successfully exporting SMEs: Decapac, Limelco and OppoSuits.
Decapac has experienced consistent export success into the UK market through innovation. Decapac prides itself on establishing long-term lucrative relationships with clients in the UK such as Marks & Spencer. The prize for Decapac was handed over by Carlo Thelen, Director of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.
Limelco is a leading provider of chilled desserts and milk products that has been highly successful in the UK because of its flexibility around retailers’ needs and its focus on innovative products. Limelco received its award from Carole van Eyll, First Secretary of the Belgian Embassy in London.
OppoSuits is a young company producing outrageous, creative and fun business suits for fancy dress occasions or for just getting attention. In just a couple of years, the company has grown several hundred percent annually. OppoSuits was presented with its award by Herlinda Wouters, General Manager of KBC Bank Netherlands.
BLCC Chairman Michel Vanhoonacker said: “With the awards ‘coming of age’ in this 18th year of the Golden Bidge Awards, it has been a great pleasure to see so many high-quality candidates take part. This year, we have been joined for the first time by the Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce, making it a truly UK-Benelux celebration.
The Golden Bridge Awards 2014 winners are, in alphabetical order:
Brussels Airlines – www.brusselsairlines.com
De Bioderij – www.bioderij.nl
Decapac – www.deca.be
Farnell element14 – www.farnell.com
HEMA – www.hemashop.com
Ikaros Solar – www.ikaros-solar.eu
Limelco – www.limelco.be
OppoSuits – www.opposuits.com
Contact Michiel van Deursen, Director
2596 BA The Hague
Tel. +31 (0)70-205 5656
Photographs courtesy of Isabelle Plasschaert