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End-Of-Year Review : Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021 -- by Anthony

Dec 30, 2020


Well, what can we say about 2020 that hasn't already been said? = One thing we will say is that the Choc Edge Team is still standing, but it's a year that we'll never forget.

From tomorrow (31th December) the UK is increasing its level of nationwide restrictions in the hope of stabilizing the R-Number, just until enough of the population is vaccinated by either of the two vaccines that will soon be available (thanks to the most amazing efforts by some outstanding scientists).

So, with the war against the virus waging on, it's clearly not the most positive start to 2021... But I think we all expected this.

It is, however, in the nature of every member of the Choc Edge Team to look for the light when surrounded by darkness, and take whatever good there may be and everything there is to learn from every struggle.

Has this been the most challenging year for Choc Edge so far? = Absolutely. Like everyone around the world, we've faced unprecedented challenges, both in business and in our personal lives. In order to keep our promises to our customer base and our distributors, our team has worked around the clock throughout the pandemic to keep our offices manned and the wheels of our manufacturing facility turning, all while dealing with the pain of losing a number of our loved ones who were taken before their time.

Have we learned anything from our experiences this year? = Without a doubt, we've learned more about ourselves than ever before, both as a team and as individuals. The need for quick and effective solutions to destructive situations arising from the sudden onslaught of the virus has tested our mettle like nothing ever before.

What will change in 2021 ? = Well, it's clear from the announcements made by the government over the last few days that the pandemic isn't going anywhere anytime soon - Sadly, the virus that is relentlessly trying to bring us all to our knees really doesn't care that it's the start of a new year, and it will in no way whatsoever offer us any respite at the stroke of midnight.

However, our arsenal in this fight will soon greatly improve. A number of scientific developments have provided enhanced treatments for those people affected by the virus, and right here in the UK at least two vaccines will soon be rolled out, which will doubtless save lives and take us all another step towards life returning back to normal.

An enormous change that has been overshadowed by the pandemic is 'Brexit', the official departure of the UK from the European Union, which takes place the day after tomorrow (1st January). As our followers know, we're an 'international company', with team members and affiliates from a variety of different countries, so it's not difficult to guess what our preferred outcome of the referendum would've been, but as always we make the best of every situation.

Due to a combination of both 'Brexit' and the pandemic, we've decided to change the way in which we work - Most importantly for our customers and distributors, the way in which we supply our products (namely the Choc Creator V2.0 Plus) will differ.

Although we've already put our new way of working to the test over the past year, as a way of circumventing the obstacles thrown in our way by the pandemic, we're announcing that, from now onward, in line with the first day as a company now situated 'outside' of the European Union (that once brought us closer to the French, German and Belgium markets, which to us are the chocolate capitals of the Western world), we will no longer be keeping any stock of our products in our UK office.

Instead, all our administrative work will take place in our UK office, which is now our base for all international sales, as well as being our creative design hub, and the Choc Creator V2.0 Plus will be drop-shipped in every case directly from our new manufacturing facility in China to every customer's door, and our distributors will receive their stock in exactly the same way.

As no trade deals have been successfully agreed upon only hours away from the 'Brexit' deadline, which will force us to adhere to new (but as of yet unannounced) import/export rules, we are implementing our new approach to supplying our products, and having followed this procedure firstly out of necessity during the pandemic, we've found every customer has actually preferred our new way of working, as it is (in their words) 'faster', 'easier to judge the lead-times', and, quite frankly, 'less convoluted', so this is very exciting for us - We're always looking for ways to improve the way we do things, and it seems we've chosen to move in the right direction!

Another big change this year is in regard to our official distributors, who have been a rock for us, offering encouragement and support all year long. Never before have we worked so closely with our distributors, and in joining forces to overcome the odds, to ensure we all move forward, we've developed what was once solely a business relationship with many of our distributors into a deep friendship, which may never of happened had it not been for the need to pull together in the fight against a common enemy. Although there has always been a strong level of communication with our distributors, we've never had the time to spend on truly getting to know them on a personal level, that is until the pandemic locked us all indoors with only a videophone as our means of working together.

Our bonds with our distributors are so strong now that many are honorary Choc Edge Team Members, which tells you how closely we've worked together, and how closely we will continue working together into 2021 and beyond.

Similarly, we've developed a stronger connection with many of our customers due to the extra time they've found on their hands while in lockdown. Some of our customers are usually so busy that even the quickest telephone call is impossible, so it's no wonder they jumped at the chance to spend hours chatting with us and developing their knowledge and skills during the weeks they had away from their office.

Call it a 'silver lining' or whatever you may, the Choc Edge Team have learned a great many things from all the challenges we've faced this year, and if we remain positive, if we hold on, if we never lose faith, we will all come out of this stronger and wiser.

The time will come when we remember 2020 as a year that tried to break us all but failed, due to our spirit, our passion, and our dedication to the work we do - Nothing will ever stop us from achieving our goal. 3D Chocolate Printing is a dream that we've spent years creating for everyone to enjoy, and the likes of this virus can try to take that away from us, but it better be ready for a fight, because the Choc Edge Team, our distributors, all our friends, fans and followers, all share our love for the work we do, and that love
will overcome anything that's thrown in our way.

We wish you all a very Happy New Year 2021 !!


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