SMALL BUSINESS: Cosmetics maker washing her hands of China

Shunning China: Tracy Mort

Shunning China: Tracy Mort

David Cameron spent last week in China with the aim of boosting British exports, but  for some companies, exporting to China is definitely not part of the business plan.

Bath and body products firm Grace Cole is a supplier to retailers including Harrods, Selfridges and Boots, and exports to 69 countries, but it has said it will never export to China.

Founder Tracy Mort, who last week won the NatWest everywoman award celebrating successful female business-owners, said: ‘China requires beauty products to be tested on animals, which we just won’t do. We export to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia, but not China.’

Three years ago Tracy also began switching manufacturing from China to the UK. She said: ‘Now all of the single daily care products are manufactured in the UK and growth trebled last year. We expect it to have doubled this year.’

The business, which is based in Cheadle, Cheshire, and has a turnover of £10 million, was launched from Tracy’s kitchen table in 2007,  after she  suddenly lost her brother to cancer and was made redundant within weeks.

She said: ‘The beauty company I worked for went into administration. It was such a tragedy that a previously successful company went down under a new owner. I launched my grief into working 24/7 and had my first employee within two weeks.’