Leslie Harty and her husband made –and still sell— the country’s first biodegradable coffee bag.
Their company, Maverick Enterprises Inc., has been operating in Monroe, North Carolina, for 21 years. The company specializes in making biodegradable products, including coffee bags and containers for food, to help reduce landfill waste.
Mrs. Harty, the company’s president, said they used the U.S. Export-Import Bank from 2005 to 2010 when they were selling biodegradable bags to companies in Mexico. They ultimately lost one of the contracts but intend to use the Ex-Im Bank again soon because they’re finishing up a biodegradable backing to use in baby diapers.
The potential buyer is in Mexico, and Mrs. Harty said the company will apply for export credit insurance from the Ex-Im Bank once the product is complete.
“I wouldn’t send anything down to Mexico without having the insurance from Ex-Im Bank,” she said. She said she’s heard “horror stories” of small businesses trying to collect payments for products they’ve exported.
She said it would be “disastrous” if the Ex-Im Bank weren’t reauthorized by Congress in September, right when the company is set to begin exporting again. In addition to hurting the company’s sales, it would hurt their ability to conduct research and development.
She said the company is currently designing biodegradable netting for capturing fish and for laying sod as well as small biodegradable coffee cups like those used in Keurig coffee machines.
Those cups, or pods aren’t biodegradable. There’s a potential market for biodegradable coffee pods, and they’d like to capture those sales if possible.
Having the Ex-Im Bank as a resource, she said, will help them do that.
“Exporters for Ex-Im” is a blog series focused on the importance of the Export-Import Bank to manufacturers. To learn more or to tell Congress you support reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, visit http://www.nam.org/Issues/Trade/Ex-Im-Bank.aspx.