Swanson Health Products, a Fargo-based vitamin and dietary supplement company was named North Dakota’s 2015 Exporter of the Year on Wednesday for their achievements in international expansion and their support to the state’s export community. Valley Worldwide Logistics Solutions, a freight transport group that provides export logistics services, received the 2015 Service to Exporters award for their dedication to solving logistics challenges for North Dakota exporters. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley presented the awards during the Global Business Awards ceremony at the Global Business Connections conference, the biennial international business event hosted by the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO).
“Exporting is an integral part of our work to diversify our economy,” said Lt. Gov. Wrigley, chairman of the NDTO Board of Directors. “Recognizing the accomplishments of our enterprising trade leaders is one way we can provide support. Swanson Health Products and Valley Worldwide Logistics work hard to expand their global presence and their dedication has created opportunities for more North Dakotans in terms of jobs, freight options, and international partnerships.”
The Exporter of the Year award is presented to one North Dakota business each year. To win the award, the business must have expanded to a new international market in 2015, increase its export sales during the past year, and support the larger, statewide effort to expand North Dakota’s global reach.
Swanson Health Products was founded as a mail order catalog company by World War II veteran Leland Swanson in 1969 after a struggle with arthritis led him to explore natural health supplements. The company began reaching international customers after their website was launched in the 1990’s. In recent years, the company has proactively pursued exporting, establishing 80 distributors in more than 50 countries. Swanson Health Products expanded into eight new countries in 2015. The company attributes their success to a passion for health and wellness and a desire to treat each customer like family.
The 2015 Service to Exporters award is given to an international business resource that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting North Dakota exporters and increasing the state’s overall international business strategy.
Valley Worldwide Logistics Solutions has spent the last several years aggressively pursuing logistics solutions for North Dakota exporters. Operating since 1979, the company prides itself on solving logistics challenges for every mode of freight management. They offer U.S. customs bonded trucking, “less-than container load” shipments to Europe and Asia, and monthly vessel sailings out of the Port of Duluth to Antwerp, Belgium. Upcoming services include a container freight station at their Mapleton headquarters, customs-bonded warehousing, and an inland container depot. Valley Worldwide Logistics Solutions has stated their goal is to improve North Dakota’s export system as a whole in order to keep freight consolidation concentrated in the state.
Approximately 150 people attended the 2015 Global Business Connections conference, which is sponsored by the North Dakota Trade Office and its network of international business partners, and was held on March 30 and 31 at the Avalon Events Center in Fargo. This event consists of educational breakout sessions, panel discussions with leading business professionals, a networking reception and a keynote address. This year’s keynote address was delivered by Peter Zeihan, a geopolitical strategist and author of “The Accidental Superpower.”
The North Dakota Trade Office is a membership-based, private/public partnership that provides education, research, advocacy, organization, and leadership so that NDTO members and North Dakota companies can increase exports and grow their international business.