An award-winning organic farm in north Wales has launched a range of natural beauty and lifestyle products as part of wider plans to expand its exports programme and build its reputation as a global brand.
The Rhug Estate, based in Corwen, Denbighshire, has added luxury clean skincare products, as well as sustainable homeware to its portfolio and has already secured several major overseas distributors with the support of Welsh Government.
The farm, which has a lineage dating back to the 11th century, is already famed for its organic meat for which it holds a Royal Warrant and supplies many of the finest hotels and restaurants around the world. And Rhug Estate owner Lord Newborough believes that the new line of beauty and lifestyle products will help to grow export sales, which currently account for a fifth of trade. The company is now aiming for export sales to make up around half of its turnover by 2026.
The announcement comes as the global market for organic and natural skincare products was valued at $5.1 Billion in 2020 and is forecasted to grow to $10.6 Billion over the next five years as consumer demand for a more sustainable and clean way of living continues to rise post-pandemic.
Products in the new beauty and lifestyle collection include the Moisturising Lip Treatment with Rhug Beeswax, Replenishing Mask with Rhug Honey and the Wild Foraged Skincare Essentials Kit. As well as Rhug Estate wool duvets, made using organic wool from organic sheep on the Rhug Estate.
Since introducing the new arm of the business in the summer of 2020, the business has already secured two distributors and resellers in the Middle East – a key growth market for the skincare sector – including Desert Fox in Qatar and Secret Skin in Dubai, which covers all UAE countries. The company also sells the products at Harvey Nichols in Doha.
Spanning over 12,500 acres, Rhug Estate produces and sells organic meat, with its own on-site farm shop. After acquiring the farm in 1998, new owner Lord Newborough made the decision to make the estate completely organic, with a focus on sustainability, and began to retail its organic meat in 2002. The business began exporting for the first time in 2006 and now exports to nine countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Far East.
The new lifestyle line was conceived after Lord Newborough considered other ways to make use of the multitude of natural ingredients found on the estate. Applying the same principles to these products as it does to its food and drink, the new line prides itself on natural, sustainable, organic and certified ingredients.
Lord Newborough, said: “We have an abundance of natural and organic plants growing around Rhug which can deliver positive benefits for the skin. Creating a luxurious skincare collection, made using the finest organic, wild, and sustainably sourced ingredients from our estate was something I had thought about for a long time.”
Initially retailing the new lifestyle products in its own farm shop and via its online store, Rhug soon sourced sellers in London and landed a contract with online retailer, Feel Unique. It wasn’t long before the Estate received international interest for its products and secured its distributors in Asia.
The business is now looking to expand its international portfolio of clients for its lifestyle range and is currently in the early stages of talks with distributors in Germany, Russia and Japan. It is also developing plans for expansion to the Netherlands and Italy.
As the demand for sustainable and organic products continues to increase worldwide, Rhug expects international sales of its lifestyle products to rise significantly over the coming years and the company predicts that its exports will increase by 10% in the next 12 months as a result.
Lord Newborough added: “Sustainability and organic, natural ingredients have always been at the core of Rhug and now, with our lifestyle ranges, we can help people remain healthy, inside and out. Introducing skincare and homeware will also help us in our mission to become a truly global brand.
“Not concentrating our sales efforts solely in the UK has enabled our business to diversify and remain resilient during a very challenging period. Having a mixed portfolio of clients in different regional markets has meant they have balanced each other out when one market is quieter.”
“We are very grateful to Welsh Government for the support we have received to help us grow the export side of our business, from financial aid, to support attending trade shows and advice and guidance to navigate export deals. The assistance and connections provided by the Welsh Government offices in Qatar, Dubai and Japan, has been invaluable.”
Going forward, Rhug plans to grow its customer base both at home and overseas by investing in its online business and selling directly to more consumers around the world.