Birmingham espresso coffee machine manufacturer Fracino, an IOE&IT Business Member, is poised to further expand its global reach after securing UL certification to meet stringent requirements for exporting to the US and Canada.
The milestone coincides with an additional 4,500 sq ft expansion of the company’s 45,000 sq ft world-class production facility, which has undergone a multi-million-pound investment programme, and where the majority of components are fabricated in-house.
The business exports to over 70 countries, and supplies customers including Subway® PizzaExpress, Living Venture Restaurant Group, AMT Coffee and Pathfinder pub chains.
Fracino’s 40-strong network includes long-standing distributors from Australia, Poland, Dubai, South Korea, New Zealand, Chile, Sweden, Austria, and significantly, Italy. The most recent partnerships entail distributors from Thailand, Hong Kong and South Africa.
Exporting success has seen Fracino post significant growth, with exports now making up 30% of its total turnover and forecast to increase to 50% by 2020.
The team of 62 is the UK’s only manufacturer of traditional espresso and cappuccino machines, competing with Italian and Spanish manufacturers.
Launched in 1963 by founder and chairman Frank Maxwell, the business has become a driving force in espresso machine production in the UK and was a key part of the coffee shop boom in the late 80s, importing and supplying coffee machines to retail outlets in the UK.
Adrian Maxwell, Managing Director, Fracino said:
“The US and Canada are key growth markets and important to our strategic plan so we’re understandably delighted to have secured our UL certification and already have top-class distributors lined up to sell our products.
“What makes our operation so special is that nearly 90 per cent of all components in our espresso machines are made in-house, allowing us to have rigorous control over quality, product development and the manufacturing process. This has been instrumental in enabling us to meet different countries’ compliance requirements.
“The Department for International Trade and the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce have allowed us to access services such as overseas market introductions, including to one of our distribution partners in India. Our trade advisor has been with us every step of the way, offering insight into the requirements of different countries. There’s a big world out there, with a wealth of opportunities to maximise and I encourage other companies to be brave and find new markets.”
Ian Harrison, Head of Exports – Midlands Region, DIT said:
“Operating one of the world’s most advanced and efficient espresso equipment manufacturing facilities, Fracino demonstrates the scale of UK innovation and manufacturing expertise, and the ‘Made in Britain’ marque on every machine is a real testament to British craftmanship and it’s value around the world.
“I encourage businesses to look for opportunities in other markets. Our network of International Trade Advisors are available to give you insight and practical advice on your next steps to global growth.”
Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America, Antony Phillipson said:
“The US and Canada’s thriving coffee market make it an ideal region for Fracino to grow their brand, and achieving their UL certification is an essential first step. The demand for British goods and craftsmanship is particularly strong here, and Fracino’s machines are wonderful example of the excellent quality and design of British-made products.
“I wish them great success as they expand their international presence in North America, and our trade and investment teams stand ready to help them in any way we can.”