When Brad McNish, Natural Farmworks’ founder, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease he began the search for natural remedies and discovered the remarkable benefits of tea. As the same time, Sheila Didomenicantonio, Brad’s partner, observed his intake of daily greens and the benefits they had on his health. The seed for Natural Farmworks in Bridesville, BC was sown.

Natural Farmworks became the first Canadian tea farm to grow, harvest, and process greens as tea on-site. The duo created Tea’d Greens in 2019—a unique beverage that blends nutritious barley, wheat, and oats with the delicious flavours of tea.

The business bloomed from Brad’s story, and Natural Farmworks set out on a mission to not only cultivate these healing herbs, but to share them with others around the world who sought wellness through natural means.

With Export Navigator’s guidance, Bran and Sheila were given the tools they needed to understand the logistics of international export, empowering Natural Farmworks to launch into U.S. online sales.

A steep learning curve

Brad and Sheila were eager to introduce their products to the global market but found the complexities of export regulations and international market entry overwhelming.

“Our goal is to maintain the freshness and integrity of our farm-to-cup teas while establishing a global brand presence,” explains Sheila. “To do so, there are hurdles we had to overcome first.”

Natural Farmworks needed to find suitable partners for international expansion without compromising the core values that made their products one-of-a-kind.

Sheila encountered Export Navigator through a local networking event that spotlighted resources for businesses looking to expand into new markets. She soon realized that the resources and support offered by Export Navigator were exactly what Natural Farmworks’ needed to achieve their goals.

Natural Farmworks’ Export Advisor, Reanne Anderson, introduced Brad and Sheila to the Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) to prepare them for international markets. TAP equipped Brad and Sheila with a robust export plan to help them navigate the challenges of global export.

“It’s reassuring to know that we’ve already accomplished so much of the work needed to succeed, thanks to the support of the Export Navigator program,” says Sheila.

Tea’d up for success

Natural Farmworks is already putting this learning into action, as participation in Export Navigator has allowed Brad and Sheila to launch into the U.S. market through online channels. This hands-on experience has enhanced their understanding of international export even further and creates a path forward for revenue growth.

“Online sales were a big step for Natural Farmworks, and we’re optimistic that this foothold is just the beginning of our expansion success story,” says Sheila. “The skills and knowledge gained through the Export Navigator program are invaluable assets that we believe will lead to measurable financial gains in the near future.”

With a deeper understanding of international trade and market insights, Natural Farmworks is well-prepared to introduce Tea’d Greens to tea lovers globally.

“Our readiness is not just theoretical,” confirms Sheila. “Through working with Export Navigator, we’ve created a substantial foundation, including everything from compliance with export regulations to logistics planning, which will facilitate a smoother transition to international markets.”

Turning a new leaf

Brad and Sheila know that their work with Export Navigator was invaluable for demystifying the next steps to help their company flourish.

“I’d recommend Export Navigator to any business considering export,” says Sheila. “The expertise and tailored advice you’ll receive from your Export Advisor can help you avoid common mistakes and leverage opportunities you may not have considered. Even if immediate export isn’t on your agenda, the knowledge and planning frameworks provided by Export Navigator and programs like TAP will serve your business well in the long run.”

Raeanne Anderson