A SOUTH Lakeland pharmaceutical research company has secured a £85million export contract extension with a Chinese firm.

Kendal Nutricare, which specialises in manufacturing healthcare products for babies under the brand name Kendamil, has won the five-year contract extension with import and export company Orient International Holding Shanghai Foreign Trading Co.


The news coincides with CEO of Kendal Nutricare, Ross McMahon, taking a trip to China alongside Prime Minister Theresa May.

Ms May is looking to boost trade with China and discuss new opportunities for British business both now and following Brexit.

She visited Wuhan, Beijing and Shanghai during her three-day trip and Kendal Nutricare was one of around 50 businesses and organisations representing a range of sectors which sent representatives to accompany her.

And according to reports in the national media, a photograph of CEO Ross McMahon holding two cans of Kendamil infant formula created a buzz on social media.

The website reported that users of Weibo, a site similar to Twitter, were guessing as to why Mr McMahon had chosen to hold the tins with suggestions of it being a present or product endorsement.

Mr McMahon clarified the situation, saying: "I am so proud of our products and I want the world to see them. The cans I am holding are samples of our new Kendamil Organic Formula which has received preliminary approval by China FDA (Food and Drug Administration)."

The business, which is based on Kendal's Mint Bridge Road, first started exporting to China in 2016, after it won a £6million contract to supply its infant formula milk to the country.

Mr McMahon also said that the was 'delighted' to have received approval from China's FDA, enabling the business to continue exporting its products.

“I look forward to working with colleagues in China, and to helping to create further employment opportunities here in Britain." he said.

The firm is expected to create an additional 25 jobs in Cumbria as a result of the contract, in addition to the 125 employees producing the Kendamil infant formula product range.