With so many great British companies and great British brands, all with enviable global reputations, the burning question is what is the real contribution to our economy? How much is smoke and mirrors and what is actually manufactured here, on our shores?
I have been on a road to enlightenment this week and my first stop was to truly find out what counts as a British product? Is it simply enough that the company is British-owned? For me the answer is no; as a consumer I really think it matters. We are all used to hearing the experts when they say we should buy British and this is even more critical when the economy here is starting to show signs of decline. However it isn't always so easy as a consumer to buy British because in recent years so many of the companies we have grown up with, and take for granted are still quintessentially British, no longer are.
Manufacturing is something that we have let go in our quest for ever cheaper products and ever cheaper labour costs. Supporting and championing true British Brands and encouraging manufacturing here helps to ensure our future place in the world... To create wealth, to sustain industries, to drive technologies, innovations and skills and so supply high quality jobs that command good salaries, which deliver good tax revenues and inevitably feed through into better infrastructure and a more dynamic, prosperous economy.
Applaud those entrepreneurs who want to stay here and manufacture. They are generally companies who are not so driven by the need to make low cost products which the global market can supply but high quality, technologically advanced products for the future. But the ones who really need the greater accolade? These are the forward thinking businesses who go one step further and demand that the raw materials and components that make up the products are also made here. They ultimately help to maintain many other jobs and keep skills and industrialised methods that might otherwise be lost.
As consumers we all have choices and its not just food and drink companies we can support. There is an incredible wealth of British made products right here. All you have to do is ask the right questions...... be an informed shopper. So, when you see 'Made in Britain, or England or Scotland, Ireland or Wales... why not applaud the company and find out how deep their 'Made in' goes.