Ten years ago – following a career at Brewhurst and having been involved in sales brokerage since the early 1990’s – Tom Moses spotted a gap in the market and founded Natural Trade Brokers (NTB).
“I felt that for sales brokers to be really successful, we needed to focus on simple brokerage and not be hindered by ‘own brands’ or agency business,” explains Moses, who is also treasurer of the HFMA and the Health Food Institute. “That model made us unique, and there was a genuine need for the service along the lines of the grocery and pharmacy markets.”
When NTB started in March 2010, there were just three staff members and four brands: Green People, UnBEElievable Health, CLF and World Foods. Since that time, the business and team have grown exponentially, says Moses, from three people ‘on the road’ to 17 people across three sales teams representing about 22 different brands.
It’s still very satisfying to know that there’s a secure place for well-managed independent health food retailers who will always offer a unique service to the consumer
As well as continuing to look after Green People it now has a host of other brands including Ricola, Booja-Booja, Heath & Heather, Bio D, Panda and Comvita.
Not surprisingly, Tom and the team have seen many changes in the industry. “Undoubtedly, the rise of the Internet retailers who are now a dominant force is the game-changer,” he says. “But it’s still very satisfying to know that there’s a secure place for well-managed independent health food retailers who will always offer a unique service to the consumer.”
Moses puts the transformation of the business over the last four years down to Ruth Hawthorne – the ‘engine driver’ behind the company.
“As for the future, I’d like to see continued steady growth and build a secure, successful business for our great team of people,” he concludes.