We deal with a couple who live in Beijing who acts as our distributors, finding trade and retail customers in China. You need someone on the ground over there to be able to do that full-time, someone who speaks the language and understands the system.
A DALES company which secured a lucrative contract to supply hand-built pianos to China is preparing to send the biggest shipment yet - its first full-sized grand piano.
Yorkshire Pianos, at Bolton Abbey, Skipton, was awarded a five-year deal in May 2014 to supply the pianos it makes under the Cavendish name to a Beijing distributor. It has already sent 20 hand-crafted upright pianos, and for months the team has been working on the latest order.
Managing director Adam Cox said: “It is quite exciting for us. It takes a long time to build a piano and this has been months and months of work. So to see it almost finished and getting it crated up for shipping is very rewarding.”
The piano weighs just under half a tonne and costs £17,500, and the packing itself is a work of art, ensuring the cargo is safe in its shopping container for the journey to Beijing. Pianos are tremendously popular in China and European instruments are perceived as having more finesse. And as the only British manufacturer in existence, Cavendish is happy to oblige. The firm has even won praise from popular virtuoso Jamie Callum (pictured right), who visited the factory during a while making a BBC. documentary.
He played the latest model, free from the workshop, and said: “That's a lovely, beautiful instrument."
Aside from the premium product, Adam says their success is down to having a relationship with a local distributor, and getting Chamber International to deal with the export administration.
“We deal with a couple who live in Beijing who acts as our distributors, finding trade and retail customers in China.
“You need someone on the ground over there to be able to do that full-time, someone who speaks the language and understands the system.
“They came over here to visit us and we took them to see the sheep and cows in the fields which they thought were amazing!”
Chamber International acts as intermediaries with the shippers, deals with the letters of credit and all the necessary paperwork to enable delivery to be made.
Adam said: “We couldn’t have done it without Chamber International, especially the first time. It is good for us to know that all that side of things is being taken care of.”