Made/Not made in Britain

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It has been clear for some time that the virtual elimination of British-made goods in many consumer categories such as textiles and domestic equipment is due as much to the buying policies of the major retail chains as to the alleged inferiority of British manufactures.

The relentless search for the lowest possible price in the world, with only superficial quality measures applied, has led to the closing down of many British factories which then leads to the retailers saying that there are no British suppliers – “We would love to buy British but alas there are no suppliers”.

So despite employment costs at least as high as in Britain, France, Italy and Germany continue to supply major textile retailers like Marks and Spencer and white goods and electronics retailers like Comet.

However,  there are  independent manufacturers in Britain like Hotter (shoes) and David Nieper (lingerie) who successfully make and supply through mail order. Maybe Marks and Spencer could learn from their experience as well as their own in order to help firms like these to expand production (if they wished to) or help new firms into the supply chain.

The point is that the major retailers must shoulder part of the responsibility along with the banks and indeed government agencies, for getting Britain to manufacture more products which the public will buy.

 Without this shift, the country will slip further down the GDP table (it is already below Italy, France and Germany). It will have no reasonable prospect of eliminating its massive public deficit and there will be (very much) less money for health and social care, for science, for transport infrastucture, and for defence equipment. Wthout the latter, the country will come under irresistable pressure to give up its permanent Security Council seat, a humiliation which may itself provoke violent demands for revolutionary change in our governing system.

“Made/not made in Britain” will highlight examples of products which are profitably made in Britain or could be by imaginative and determined collaboration between the retailers, financiers, and manufacturers. Unlike “green” policies, to which all corporate firms are signed up, “made in Britain” policies are absolutely vital to our survival as a viable first world country over the next 25 years.

What you can do

Please send us comments on this page which include the details of one or more of the following:

1  British businesses which produce or manufacture in the UK

2  Imported things you have bought because you couldn’t find anything suitable made here

3  Imported goods you have found which, although passing current regulations, do not come up to British standards and should have been tested and rejected before being allowed to go on sale

4  British industrial assets which are in danger of being taken over by foreigners.  For example on the 18th October 2010 a consortium led by Allianz, a German insurance company, announced that it is bidding to acquire HS1, the high speed railway linking the Folkestone Channel Tunnel terminal with St Pancreas Station in London.  This link was paid for by the taxpayer at a cost of around £6 billion (or £90 million per mile).

We will keep an eye on this bid to see if it even begins to match what the British taxpayer paid for it.  As usual where investment in things is concerned, City money is notable by its absence in the bidding consortium.

The aim of the exercise

We will compile a database of British producers and manufacturers showing what they can supply and how they can be contacted.

We will compile a database of things people would prefer to be able to buy from British businesses.

We will compile a database of imported goods, which people feel are not up to British standards and should not have been passed for sale in the UK, due to, for example, the conditions under which they were produced, their quality, or their lack of instructions in English.

These databases will help to put consumers in touch with suppliers, but more importantly they will also reveal the gaps in our British based economy and encourage new or existing businesses to fill these gaps.

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Producer or Manufacturer Database

Name of producer or manufacturer Category of business Telephone number Website or Email
Marshall Aerospace aircraft 01223-399299
Criterion Ices food 01359-230208  
Troston Traditional Turkeys food 01359-269214
David Nieper lingerie 01773-83-6000
Musto outdoor clothing +44(0)1268-491555
hotter comfort concept shoes 0800-525-893

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Goods Wanted Database

Goods bought Category Producing Country Price paid (£ approx) Quality

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Imports requiring more stringent tests


Item bought Category Producing Country Why it should have been rejected for import


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Britain Watch is sponsored by PROSYMA RESEARCH LTD.

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