International Trade Minister Mark Garnier visits Spirit Yachts in Ipswich and Stowmarket-based Muntons

(Lto R)Spirit Yachts CEO Sean McMillan and managing director Nigel Stuart with International Trade M

(Lto R)Spirit Yachts CEO Sean McMillan and managing director Nigel Stuart with International Trade Minister Mark Garnier - Credit: Archant

Exporters from Suffolk have taken part in round-table talks with International Trade Minister Mark Garnier to discuss how the Government can best help firms in exploring overseas sales opportunities.

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier and Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill during their visit to

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier and Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill during their visit to Muntons in Stowmarket. Picture: Muntons - Credit: Archant

The members of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce met with the Minister during a visit to one of the county’s most successful exporters, Stowmarket-based malt and malted ingredients company Muntons.

Accompanied by Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill, Mr Garnier toured the Muntons site including its new £2.6m barley intake facility which is one of the most energy-efficient of its kind in the country.

They also met with Mark Tyldesley, deputy managing director of Muntons, which exports malt ingredients to 76 countries around the world and has plans to expand to new international markets. The meeting with Suffolk Chamber was then held at the Muntons plant following the tour.

Mr Tyldesley said: “We are pleased to be able to host the minister, and the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, at our Stowmarket plant. Muntons are a major exporter and so we see this type of forum as extremely beneficial, providing the opportunity to influence thinking on future international trade along with other local exporting companies.

Guests at the new barley intake facility at Muntons.
Picture: Muntons

Guests at the new barley intake facility at Muntons. Picture: Muntons - Credit: Archant

“We hope that the challenges that have been identified will help the Government to appreciate the needs of local exporters within the framework of Brexit.”

The minister also visited Ipswich-based Spirit Yachts where he joined its chief executive, Sean McMillan, to view work in progress on what is thought to be the largest single-masted wooden yacht to be built since the 1930s.

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It has been designed at the request of an overseas buyer, who already owns a Spirit yacht, and will also be one of the most environmentally-friendly superyachts ever created.

Spirit Yachts CEO, Sean McMillan, said: “We were pleased to welcome Mark to our boatyard and show him the world-class standard of craftsmanship and talent here in Suffolk. Our classic modern yachts have a timeless appeal and make their mark on the global market, with the Spirit 111’ being a perfect example of our ability to attract international clients on a regular basis.”

Mr Garnier, added: “What I saw today in Suffolk was the real ambition of business and the chamber of commerce to accelerate local growth through exports.

“We know British-made products are highly valued around the world. There are a wealth of opportunities out there and as a global economic department we are determined to help businesses like Spirit Yachts and Muntons make their mark on the world stage.”