International traders recognised in New Year's Honours list

Tue 3 Jan 2023
Posted by: Richard Cree
Trade News

Global Britain

The hard work and economic contributions of leading British exporters was recognised in the New Year’s Honours list announced at the weekend (Saturday 31 December).

Toby Sutton and Jack Churchill, co-founders of Scanning Pens, were two exporters awarded OBEs for services to international trade.

Scanning Pens provides portable text-to-speech pen scanners that help people who have difficulty reading, including those with dyslexia. Churchill and Sutton’s OBEs were also awarded for services to people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Export revenues

Since launching the business over 20 years ago, Churchill and Sutton have turned it into an export-driven business, with activities in over 100 countries.

More than 50% of the company’s revenue comes from international trade and it has offices in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and India.

In a joint statement Sutton and Churchill wrote:

To say we are honoured is an understatement. When we first started, we saw the opportunity to establish a business that could help millions of individuals with literacy.”

“Looking back, it’s fantastic to know that through technology we have supported so many to succeed We look forward to many years ahead as we drive our business forward, while at the same time helping more individuals in their daily lives.

Yorkshire-based exporter

Another exporter recognised for her contribution to international trade – as well as her local community – was Sharon Jandu, who was awarded an OBE.

Jandu created the Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA) in 2017, with the aim of educating and promoting Yorkshire-based, Asian-owned businesses at home and overseas.

YABA now has over 3,500 corporate members and Jandu has driven joint trade opportunities between her members and the Indian sub-continent, where she embraces the possible trade benefits emerging from the UK’s future free trade agreement with India.

Jandu said: “It’s an absolute honour and privilege to receive such a prestigious award for my work educating and promoting northern-based, Asian-owned businesses. I am grateful for the recognition, and fortunate to be supported by an incredible team.”

Notables and officials

Other notable figures from the international trade community who received recognition included:

  • Alison Lyons, for services to the Department for International Trade (DIT) and people with disabilities
  • Richard Graham, Gloucester MP and the prime minister’s trade envoy to Indonesia, ASEAN economic community, Malaysia and Philippines, for services to trade and investment in south-east Asia
  • William Beckett, chairman of International Trade Forum, for services to manufacturing and exports
  • Dr Graham Harold Gudgin, for services to economic development in Northern Ireland

‘Trade drives growth’

International trade secretary, Kemi Badenoch, said of the honours:

“Trade drives economic growth, creates jobs and supports businesses and communities up and down the country.”

“Our fantastic exporters and dedicated trade officials are the ones who make that a reality and it’s brilliant to see them get the recognition they deserve.”

Marco Forgione, director general of the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT), was also pleased to see so traders and exporters recognised.

“We’re delighted to see this recognition of the importance of global trade and exports to the economy. The last few years have been testing for all businesses and particularly for those who trade globally.”

“While exporting brings business a range of significant benefits including greater resilience and increased profits, it can take courage and determination so it is great to see that hard work recognised in this Honours list.”