THE UK's only trombone maker, whose instruments are played by musicians from the world-famous Black Dyke Band, has called in Bradford-based overseas trade specialist, Chamber International, to help it export to China.

Rath Trombones, based in Honley, which makes 20 different models of instrument, has appointed Chamber International’s China affairs associate, Matthew Grandage, to help gain a better understanding of Chinese business culture.

Founder, Mick Rath, and his wife, Nikki, who employ nine skilled craftspeople, have already sold their instruments to 25 countries, have dealers in the USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Europe and export more than 60 per cent of total sales.

Mr Rath said: “The trombone market is fairly small and we need to export to keep growing. We cannot rely on the UK alone to sustain business and exporting enables us to take advantage of fluctuating economies and exchange rates.

“We’ve been trying to get into China, a large and increasingly wealthy market with good arts funding, for some time. However, a lack of understanding of Chinese business culture, which is very different to ours, is holding us back. Matthew Grandage is helping me understand this and, if it enables us to sell there, it can trigger a further 25 per cent sales growth. We could end up exporting 75 per cent of our products.”

Mr Grandage added: “Mick Rath understands that every country has its own culture when it comes to purchasing, and China is no exception. Understanding this is often the difference between success and disappointment in overseas markets. That's why Mick sought Chamber International's advice, and we are proud to a part of Rath Trombones’ exciting export journey.”