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Brexit boost as ‘Made in Britain’ businesses take on: ‘Improved focus!’

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Research by Barclays Corporate Banking found that with further trade deals on the horizon, British firms could add value to their businesses by boosting exports to nations where British products are desirable. In a global survey of 10,000 people published in March, respondents were asked how much extra they would be willing to pay if products such as food and drink, clothing and cars featured a Union Jack stamp. On average, Indian respondents said they would pay 11.8 percent more for British products.

Other nations willing to pay a premium for products bearing a “Made in Britain” stamp include South Africa, the US and the United Arab Emirates – each willing to offer 9.6 percent, 10.4 percent and 10.9 percent in gross premiums respectively.

The world’s most populous countries, China and India, also singled out UK-made products as being of higher quality.

Among products, consumers showed particular interest in are general food products, alcoholic beverages, soft, fashion items, automotive products and homeware.

Welsh lamb and Scottish shortbread top the cravings of international consumers, who said they would be willing to pay higher premiums at a price of 11.7 percent.

The Barclays report has suggested a number of potential trading partners for UK businesses to capitalise on, all of which are already making the largest contributions to UK exports.

These include the US at £1.2bn, China at £313m and France at £543m.

Global head of trade at Barclays Corporate James Binns said UK-made products are still held in high regard around the world.

It comes as the number of companies using the “Made in Britain” label surged over the past year.

According to a recent report by the Financial Times, UK manufacturers wanted to capitalise on rising domestic demand for goods made in the country after Brexit.

Businesses that use the label must manufacture in the UK and use British-based workers.

They also have to show that they try to source as many of their materials as possible locally and agree to a code of conduct.

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The number of businesses applying to use the Made in Britain label rose by 130 percent in the year to April, the report claimed.

It continued: “This resulted in 508 new members joining the scheme — an increase of 44 per cent over the previous 12 months — with a large number of applicants unsuccessful as they did not meet the requirements.”

John Pearce, chief executive of Made in Britain, told the publication the surge in interest was because businesses identified an “advantage in showing that they sell British-made goods”.

He said: “There is a changing mood to buying British things.

“We do have to build things closer to home.

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“This is not just the old-fashioned message about buying British but because of what it means for quality and sustainability. We’re trying to set some very high standards.”

Made in Britain is a non-profit organisation that works with smaller businesses that have a turnover of less than £30m a year.

Its membership ranges from window fitters Everest and Anglian, and building materials group Marshalls, to male-grooming company King of Shaves.

Four in five of the scheme’s members export and the organisation aims to help those struggling with the paperwork and costs of trading with the EU, in part by encouraging a community of similar businesses to help each other.

Mr Pearce added: “The [Brexit] deadline made a difference at the end of last year.

“Businesses were feeling that they’d be better as a smaller manufacturer with a group of other manufacturers going through the same challenges.”

Mr Pearce said British manufacturers had seen “some pain” since Brexit, pointing to problems with couriers and trade red tape, as well as the increased costs of shipping to the EU.

He said that having a higher proportion of locally sourced components had not “immunised” those companies “from the pain of trying to get stuff in from Europe, or sell to Europe”.

He added: “Brexit has improved the focus on what’s here — and where we can buy raw materials and parts from each other. It’s raised questions about where things are coming from and what we have got here that we should use.”

Made in Britain’s agenda fits with the government’s push to encourage domestic supply chains after the pandemic to cope better with any future disruption from global events.

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