MP congratulates award-winning tea makers in Thakeham

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert visited the head office of Only Natural Products in Thakeham to congratulate them on the rare honour of a second Queens Award for International Trade (10 May). 

190514 Only Natural Products Queens Award.jpg

Mr Herbert met the company’s owner and Chief Executive, Keith Garden, and the team behind the award-winning organic tea ranges which include Higher Living and Dr Stuarts.  The family business is based in Thakeham and their factory is located in Gloucester.  

Last month, the Queen named 200 businesses as among the best in the country in the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise.  This is the second time Only Natural Products have been bestowed the honour, the first in 2016, a rare achievement for recipients.    

Charlotte Garden and Arran Elliott, both international sales directors for the business, will attend a reception at Buckingham Palace next month to receive the Award.  

Three quarters of this year’s Queens Award winners are small and medium sized businesses, demonstrating that the UK is one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.  The UK is ranked 8th in the world for doing business by the World Economic Forum and World Bank. 

Keith Garden and Mr Herbert spoke about the development of the business since they first met.  The company has expanded its ranges to meet the requirements and tastes of their overseas customers.  Higher Living tea is the second most popular organic tea in Australia, after Twinings.   

Only Natural Products are exporting into many countries, including China, a nation regarded as the birthplace of tea.  British tea blends are increasingly popular in Chinese stores and cafes as consumers seek new flavours. 

Keith Garden said: “We were delighted to win the Queens Award for the second time!  It reflects the great activity and passion from the team at Only Natural Products and popularity of our Organic Higher Living brand.  We are an independent family company with big ambitions, and now on sale in over 55 countries and in some of the world’s biggest retailers.” 

Mr Herbert said: “I am delighted for Keith and the team at Only Natural Products who I am proud to have in my constituency.  It is quite an achievement to receive the Queens Award twice, and is testimony to their exporting success and hard work in developing strong business relationships.  I wish them continued success.” 



1.     Photograph – Charlotte Garden, International Sales Director, Keith Garden, owner and CEO, Imogen Garden, Sales and Marketing Executive, Arran Elliott, International Sales Director, Claudio Calvo Torres, International Sales Director.

2.     For more information about Only Natural Products see

3.     For more information about the Queens Awards see 

There are 1.2 million more small businesses today than there were in 2010. In 2010, there were 4.47 million businesses in the UK with 249 employees or fewer; according to the latest statistics there were 5.67 million businesses with 249 employees or fewer. Small businesses employ 60 per cent of the private sector workforce (BEIS, Business Population Estimates 2018: Table 25, 11 October 2018, link).


Making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business.  We are ranked top 10 in the world for doing business by the World Economic Forum and World Bank and amongst the very best in Europe (World Bank, Doing Business 2019, 31 October 2018, link; BEIS, Industrial Strategy, 27 November 2017, link).   

Driving technological advances to create more well-paying jobs across the country, through our modern Industrial Strategy. We are investing £7 billion in new public funding for research and innovation – the largest increase for ever – developing education and skills in the industries of the future, and backing businesses by building the infrastructure the country needs (BEIS, Forging our Future, 6 December 2018, link). 

Legislating to make it easier for small businesses to access invoice finance, providing a £1 billion long-term boost to the economy.  These new laws arm small businesses against unfair contracts that stop them raising money from unpaid invoices (BEIS, 10 September 2018, link).   

Helping small businesses access the finance they need. The British Business Bank has already provided support worth £5.9 billion of finance to over 82,000 smaller businesses across the country (British Business Bank, 11 February 2019, link). 

Providing £200 million to support small businesses grow and create more jobs. We are making £200 million available through the British Business Bank to provide loans to small companies looking to increase in size (HMT, News story, 17 April 2019, link). 

Cutting business rates for small retailers by a third for two years – saving 90 per cent of all shops, pubs and restaurants up to £8,000. Our reforms and reductions to business rates since 2016 will be worth more than £12 billion over the next five years (HMT, Budget 2018, 29 October 2018, link). 

Providing a £31 million package of support for small businesses helping them to grow and reach their full potential. We are creating a small business leadership academy, business mentoring and peer networks to unlock the potential of small and medium sized businesses (HMT, News story, 1 October 2018, link). 

Tackling delays in payments to small business to build an environment in which businesses all over the country can thrive. We are consulting on unfair payment practices and how they impact on businesses, along with publishing what further steps the Government could take to tackle late payments (DBEIS, Press Release, 4 October 2018, link). 

Making it easier for small businesses to take on an apprentice. Some employers will pay half of what they currently pay for apprenticeship training – from 10 per cent to 5 per cent (HMT, Budget 2018, 20 October 2018, link). 

Supporting small manufacturing businesses, to increase their earning power and increase the use of technology.  Up to £121 million is being made available for investment. £20 million has been made available to the Made Smarter North West pilot to support up to 3,000 SME manufacturers to adopt and exploit digital technology (BEIS, 23 May 2018, link).