Lee Corey is the founder and chair of Corey Nutrition – a family-owned pet food company based in Fredericton.
What was your first export sale? How did that first opportunity arise?
Our first export sale was ProSeries pet food to Poland. The importer found us through the Pet Food Association of Canada website.
When it comes to exports, what do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Simple, you need to do your homework and find the right partner. Make sure they fit your culture and have similar growth expectations and position the brand as you intended in the market.
Also, always insure your receivables. And take the time to go to the market so that you better understand the customers and consumers.
How has the trading world changed since you started in business?
Communication! It is amazing that I can be in Japan and face-time with my wife from a local restaurant without any delay. The world is truly getting smaller.
What is the #1 thing new SMEs need to know about exporting and trade?
Insure your receivables. If the party qualifies for the insurance, chances are you’re dealing with a credible organization.
It’s also important to always have your own translator.
And don’t be naive about the way business is conducted in many areas of the world. Understand the local culture and adjust to the local realities and customs.
Bonus question: What do you do when you’re not working?
I keep bees, up to seven hives now. I also relax by playing the acoustic guitar.