In the Victorian era, Britain was responsible for 40% of the global supply of steel. It may soon produce nearly none at all. Should Tata sell off its sites in Scunthorpe or Port Talbot, following the closure of their Redcar plant last year, Britain would become the only member of the G7 no longer making steel. British steelmaking […]
The manufacture of some British medals is to be off-shored to France according to reports this morning. This will be the first time that any top British honour has been manufactured abroad and the news has apparently provoked anger. It is understood that the CBE medal, the Distinguished Service Order, The Order of the Bath, the […]
From “A Truly British Family” – 2/3/16 – click the link and have your say. 95% of respondents so far think this is wrong!
Ever since James Bond was sent on his first big screen mission in 1962’s Dr No, the most successful franchise in movie history has been a shop window for British manufacturing. Is Spectre, the latest incarnation of Ian Flemings infamous MI5 agent, going to continue to promote brand Britannia? Bond famously has a weakness for British cars. Along side his famous Aston Martin […]
Another great article from A Truly British Family – Consumer champions of manufacturing & farming. Sharing to widen the audience and promote GB. Thanks British Family. Looking forward to seeing the new Bond film hopefully next week.
Wherever I travel in the world, I make the effort to buy locally made souvenirs and support local people. At the very least I make sure I buy a gift that is actually made in the country I am visiting.
A well written article by British Family which I want to share with you. The problem as I see it is when production is often moved abroad after a foreign takeover. For example, HP Sauce (now owned by Heinz) is now made in the Netherlands, and American owned Cadbury have moved much of their production to Poland.
It is already the case that many British brands are foreign-owned, but the picture is complicated and sometimes foreign investment keeps British jobs in Britain. It’s a two-way street too. The UK has its share of global companies and makes a tidy return from overseas investments.
Countries like India, Japan and the USA all have processes that allow them to block foreign ownership yet we in Britain don’t have anything to protect our strategic companies of national importance from takeover and future asset stripping.
There’s a tendency amongst many firms to claim British heritage in such a way that it misleadingly implies manufacture in the UK and an assumption by consumers in the UK and abroad that for example all Cadbury chocolate is made in British (because it is still thought of as a British brand).
To be a bit more optimistic, Britain still makes most things, and we do it well.
Another great article from my fellow British bloggers British Family, which I have reproduced below, about brown sauce, that quintessentially British condiment and specifically British made brown sauce. Remembering that HP and Daddies sauces are foreign made these days, there are lots of great alternative British made brown sauces to choose from.
Not Brown and Out… a saucy review
An update on John Lewis’s progress in buying more British goods from the British Family. JLP have delivered (and indeed it seems exceeded) on their promise to stock more British made goods. This article from the British Family gives you the detail and as James & Emily point out “his seems to be driven by a consumer demand for items made in the UK, which is exactly what needs to happen”. Well done JLP.
I should possibly have posted this earlier but here is a short report on how the British Family did in their first year of trying to only buy British. The Bradshaw’s have done a remarkable job and I congratulate them, particularly on helping in bringing some long overdue support to the manufacturers and farmers of Great Britain, and raising awareness of their hard-work.
“It is down to us to seek out British made products and demand them from retailers.”
“Buy British and support UK manufacturing!”
Here is the full press release:
In January 2013 James (35), Emily (30) and their son Lucan (3) set themselves an unusual New Years resolution. Fed up with the slow economy, the lack of fair taxes being paid by large foreign businesses and a general 40 year neglect of the British manufacturing sector as a whole, they decided to see if it was possible to keep all of their money in the UK. They asked themselves the simple question can a normal British family survive on only British made goods?
12 months on and their year has not been without adversity, frustration and hard work. “The first 2-3 months were the hardest” James points out. “The research to find British made goods took over our lives and we would both be at a computer regularly until the early hours of the morning.” They also had problems doing their normal weekly shopping and would often have to visit 2-3 supermarkets in a day to get the range of goods required to feed the family only British. The family found visiting the high streets and local shopping malls to be fruitless exercises when looking for British made clothing, electronics and other such items and all this this forced them to consider alternative life-style choices to complete their challenge.
The last time there was a necessity for families in the UK to survive on only British goods was during the 2nd World War when it was nigh-on impossible for imports to reach the country. Initiatives such as ‘make do and mend’ and ‘dig for victory’ ultimately became the Bradshaw’s inspiration. “We began buying our food more directly from the farmers, growing and preserving our own fruit and veg and seeing our clothing purchases as investments that needed to be properly maintained rather than disposed of” says Emily. But despite the extra effort, 12 months on and the Bradshaw’s say that they have hit upon a new lifestyle that actually suits them better not least because they claim to now save up to 20% on their weekly shopping bills.
The last year also saw some high profile stories centred around foreign imports. The horse meat scandal raised questions about our foods supplies and the factories collapsing in Bangladesh killing over 1000 people made many think about where the things they buy were made. These issues have certainly made the Bradshaw’s think “We began to understand our place as consumers and understand the ‘real’ cost of what we buy. If something is too cheap we perhaps need to ask ourselves why” says Emily. However, the family are keen not to be labelled as protectionist or against imports. “We are certainly not anti anything. We do not believe that supporting Britain should mean that any other country loses out. We just want to celebrate and be proud of what the UK does produce” says James.
The original question the Bradshaw’s sought to answers was ‘Is it possible for a normal British family to survive on just British goods?’ The answer is no. Ultimately, there are certain things that are no longer made here in the UK; light bulbs, matches, batteries, children’s toys, printers and ink to name but a few. However, James is keen to point out that it is not all bad news “British manufacturing is still alive and kicking. There are some great UK products out there but they need much more consumer support. It is down to us to seek out British made products and demand them from retailers. The family also claim to have unearthed a rich seam, great quality British made electronics, clothing and plastics items all at competitive prices and regularly review these in their http://www.britishfamily.co.uk blog. They have even set up a dedicated website, called Britipedia, that seeks to connect consumers with British manufacturers.
By their own admission the family wandered quite naively in to their challenge, hoping perhaps to get some publicity for their cause locally, but were taken by surprise when the national and even international media began to call. “We are astounded, but immensity proud, that we have been able to bring some long overdue support to the manufacturers and farmers of Great Britain, and raise awareness of their hard-work on their behalf.” says dad James. Their numerous interviews on TV, radio and in the press have meant that they have now become well known consumer champions for UK industry, known affectionately as The British Family, but Emily is keen to note “In a way it is a shame that it’s us doing this. Promoting such an important part of our economy should not be left to a normal British family. Surely this should be the job of the Government, business leaders or maybe even celebrities.” It is perhaps testament to the neglect manufacturing feels as a sector that they were so quick to look for a champion in this normal British family.
As their initial challenge draws to a close what is next for the Bradshaw family? Well, 2013 saw them organise the first British Family Fayre, an event which attracted over 4000 people, and they already have a date set for 2014 and plan to make this years’ event even bigger and better. James is also on the committee of the new Made in Britain Campaign that have recently launched a kite-marque for British made goods. The family also have a number of other events lined up throughout the year with the sole intention of further celebrating British manufacturing and farming. But what about their challenge of buying British? James suggests they are keen to continue. “We would be silly to stop now. We have hit upon a lifestyle that suits us, that saves us money, that is ethical and socially conscious to boot. Buying British has now changed our lives forever and we have no intentions of ever going back.”
It has truly been a remarkable year for a British family with a passion for all things British.
10 reasons for giving British made gifts this Christmas:
- Helping preserve the future of British manufacturing and craftsmanship.
- You know where what you are buying is coming from.
- You are preserving and creating jobs for British workers.
- You are bestowing a gift that does not have a massive carbon footprint.
- It gives you the chance to buy something of quality that will last.
- You are encouraging others to buy British.
- You are helping people to realise that we do still make many wonderful things in the UK.
- You are being patriotic.
- British factories have ethical hygienic production, fair wages & decent working conditions.
- You are helping ensure future security of supply.
Manufacturing in the UK allows companies to control supply, guarantee quality, offer flexibility and to be ethical and environmentally sound. Please support UK industry by buying British.