In an era defined by globalization and connectivity, expanding a business beyond borders promises a world of opportunities and is more than just selling products or services; it’s adapting, innovating, and staying ahead in a landscape of diverse cultures, regulations, and consumer preferences. Gaining knowledge and understanding of international markets is crucial for making effective decisions that can drive success in the global arena.
In this blog, we will dive into the complexities and benefits of breaking into international markets to understand why establishing a global presence is not just a goal—it’s a strategic imperative.
Regulatory Compliance: The First Hurdle
One of the most formidable challenges when entering international markets is navigating unique, and sometimes vague, regulatory landscapes as infrastructure is often underdeveloped in emerging markets like cannabis and hemp.
For example, EU law states that any market product containing a CBD extract falls under the Novel Food regulations and the EFSA is responsible for sending their final recommendation to the EU Commission for approval, where after a 27-member vote, the item will be added to the Novel Food Catalogue. In the US, the current legal and regulatory landscapes have allowed for an influx of CBD products with low-quality standards to enter the market and ongoing ambiguity around the status of CBD in consumer products has led to confusion for both manufacturers and consumers.
Making regulatory compliance a cornerstone of your business’ global expansion strategy means investing in standards to ensure that your products meet the highest quality and compliance requirements.
Companies like Vantage Hemp Co. are establishing leadership positions in key international markets and building a global network for long-term sustainability, as seen in the company’s rigorous four-day audit with Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) which stands as a testament to its commitment to meeting pharmaceutical standards worldwide.
Innovate or Stagnate
Product innovation and differentiation are the driving forces behind success in global markets. In order for a company to stay competitive, it must offer unique solutions to cater to diverse consumer preferences. Unique and effective solutions are built through knowledge and enable businesses to navigate the intricacies of different regions, grasp local nuances, and identify opportunities and challenges specific to each market.
Successful companies develop strategies for international markets that are different from those they use at home and often find novel ways of implementing them. Plus, emerging markets foster a different genre of innovations than mature markets do.
During the past two years, Vantage has tapped into new markets with non-CBD contracts including muscimol and oleandrin, which has driven business to new heights. New product offerings help establish unique value propositions to international partners and showcase a company’s commitment to diversification.
Scaling Up for Success
Scalability is a key driver for global expansion. This involves expanding production facilities, optimizing supply chains, implementing quality management systems (QMS), production line maintenance, and overall, ensuring adequate resources to support global ambitions.
Growth potential and corresponding scalability go hand-in-hand to determine a company’s valuation. Consumer-facing businesses look to work with best-in-class manufacturers to produce market-winning products. Vantage has invested in its processes, people, R&D, and facilities to ensure seamless scalability of manufacture for market readiness and as a result, produces regular shipments for an Argentina government-sponsored compassionate use program, has regular and expanding business in Australia, and multiple clients based in Brazil.
The Benefits of Going Global
While international expansion comes with its share of challenges, the benefits are substantial.
- Long-term Sustainability: Expanding internationally diversifies a company’s customer base and revenue streams. Economic downturns in one region can be offset by growth in another.
- Access to New Customer Segments: International markets introduce businesses to untapped customer segments with unique needs and preferences.
- Joint PR and Marketing Opportunities: Provides opportunities for cross-border marketing and public relations efforts, strengthening the brand’s presence globally.
- Industry Advocacy: Companies going global often have the chance to advocate for their industry’s interests and standards on the international stage.
- Research and Development Initiatives: Global expansion enables companies to harness diverse R&D initiatives, allowing for the continuous improvement of products and services.
Chasing Global Horizons: Vantage’s 2023 Milestones
In 2023, Vantage established partnerships in Chile for a government-funded pediatric epilepsy program, made its first shipments to South Korea through Seoul National University, to Germany for a drug development program, and will see another shipment to Asia in the coming months.
Plus, on a domestic front, the company has achieved a successful DMF filing for CBD isolate, leveraging the FDA’s global reputation for rigorous evaluation procedures and has secured a Safe Harbor registration for the state of Colorado, allowing the exportation of cannabinoids.
With the right strategies, businesses can leverage global opportunities, ensuring not only their own growth but also contributing to industry advancements and enhancing consumer experiences on a global scale.
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