Firms missing out on royal fillip

Marcus Coles of Maviga receives the Queen's Award for Enterprise from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent Allan Willett
Marcus Coles of Maviga receives the Queen's Award for Enterprise from the Lord Lieutenant of Kent Allan Willett

NOT a single Kent firm won the Queen’s seal of approval this year and officials are trying to do something about it.

Top firms in the county are being urged to seek the Queen’s Award for Enterprise next year after a dearth of success in 2005.

Kent was conspicuous by its absence from the names of the 137 companies granted the accolade this year.

As part of a campaign to raise awareness of the scheme, founded in 1965, Stephen Brice, Secretary to the Queen’s Award Office, visited a previous award winner in the county.

Mr Brice spent a couple of hours at Maviga in Yalding, near Maidstone, a dried pulse and food manufacturer that won the Queens Award in the international trade category in 2003.

He spoke of the benefits the Queen’s Award has brought past and current award holders – and how it can help future winners market themselves around the world.

There have been 11 holders of the award in the county since 2001.

Mr Brice said: "Maviga is an outstanding example of company which has succeeded overseas and fully deserves the recognition its staff’s efforts deserve.

"Over the years, Kent has produced worthy winners but I know there are many more good quality companies in the region that stand a good chance of winning a Queen’s Award next year. I urge them put themselves forwards.

"The Queen’s Award gives firms a crucial promotional and marketing tool in a competitive business world.

"It is internationally recognised mark of a high-class business, which opens doors to new customers and suppliers. Many of our winners report increased turnover following their award.

"Any firm of merit can enter. It’s a popular misconception that only big companies can win a Queen’s Award but size is irrelevant.

"Almost half of the 137 Awards granted in 2005 were made to companies with fewer than 50 employees and 14 had fewer than 10."

Maviga tripled exports over the past eight years and now distributes to more than 70 countries.

Marcus Coles, managing director, said: "We were absolutely delighted to win The Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2003.

"We use The Queen’s Award logo on our stationery, brochures and website and believe it acts as an international hallmark for performance, productivity and reliability wherever we do business."

The Queen’s Award is open to any UK-based company employing at least two full-time people (or part-time equivalent), and demonstrates commercial success and high achievement in its field.

Companies can apply for The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in one or more of three categories – International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development.

Winners are presented with an engraved crystal glass commemorative item and a Grant of Appointment and will be invited to a Reception at Buckingham Palace.

For more information call 020 7222 2277 or visit

The deadline for nominations is October 31.

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