BUSINESS AND FARM DIVERSIFICATION

ATLANTIC & MOOR LAG

£33,861.44 FUNDED

Cornish Water Blow Molder

Cornish Natural Spring Water Ltd

To purchase and install a blow moulding machine to enable the blowing of their own plastic bottles for their water, reducing raw material costs and leading to increased growth in the business.

Naturally filtered rainwater from the heart of Cornwall

Cornish Natural Spring Water is exactly what is says on the bottle: Pure, clear water from a natural spring on a farm near Launceston in Cornwall, which is so clean that Martyn Ham, the company owner, and his family drink it straight from the ground.

The water is filtered before being bottled for sale, and Martyn produces many brands for different customers, including Pure Blue, Life Water and Coastal Spring.

The business has been trading for nearly 18 years and, over that period, the price customers are prepared to pay has massively decreased. Around two years ago, prices dropped so low that Martyn, struggling to compete, considered selling the business.

When asked about the retail cost of bottled water, and about whether that translates to high profits, Martyn looks visibly frustrated. Despite the high price-point, wholesalers will only pay 8-10p per bottle – so buying in bottles for around 6p left him little room for profit.

A brilliant initiative to self-produce bottles
Today, cash flow and profit are buoyant again thanks to a brilliant initiative taken by Martyn to install a machine to blow his own bottles instead of buying them in, negating the need for lorry-loads of bottles to be delivered to the site and saving both money and environmental impact.

The bottles start life as a small, preformed piece of plastic that is blown into a plastic bottle using the new machine. One full-time member of staff has been taken on to run the bottling line, and more people are needed over the summer to help with packing and despatching.

Another Cornish business rejuvenated by LEADER funding
Martyn was able to purchase the bottle-making machine with the help of LEADER funding from the Atlantic and Moor Local Action Group. Thanks to the machine, three million bottles of water have passed through the production line this year and, dependent on the success of some new contracts, this is set to double next year.

The Eden Project approached the company after hearing that they were able to produce bottles made from 70% recycled plastic, and there has been interest from a major coffee chain, another contract Martyn would not have been able to consider without the machine.

The increase in production has had a positive impact on local suppliers too: “I recently bought 1.2 million labels from Citrus Print Solutions in Hayle, and I buy all my packaging materials from Carters in Redruth,” says Martyn, who believes in buying locally even though he could save money by using suppliers based further afield.

Cornish Natural Spring Water is a great example of how LEADER funding has rejuvenated a Cornish business. “Without the machine I wouldn’t be able to compete with larger suppliers. Now I can look forward to the future,” Martyn says.

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