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Old 05-26-2012
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Default What do we make in Britain?

I'm desperately trying to think of something we make in Britain that I could export, but apart from high-end cars, fashion etc (all way above my budget) there doesn't seem to be much that's not already done in China/India.

Any ideas anyone??

Cheers
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Old 05-26-2012
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You looking for British heritage stuff to sell?
I suggest anything with the Union Jack or Royal family on it

Just go down most of the High Streets in London and you will get a few ideas.
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We have 12 ton of well rotted chicken poo if you can find a market for that - plus we get another 6 ton a year on average
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We dont make cheap tacky nick nacks. That is all done over here.

We do make a lot of lazy unemployable louts - maybe try shipping a few of them out!

Honestly though - we don't really make stuff that you are talking about as far as I can think. High end yes, cheap tat - no.

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12 ton of well rotted chicken poo
What - you mean 100% Organic Free Range Guano!?That stuff sells for a fortune at the farmers markets! My mum was duped into buying some, bless her.

Chuck it in a pretty bucket and people will be queuing up to buy it!!
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Sadly we are not classified organic even though we keep our livestock that way. The problem is in animal feed if you want organic status your feed needs to be organic and organic soya is twice the price of non organic - we are free range but not organic

Last year we sold 6 ton for 50 a ton - it doesn't half pong though

Feel free to come and collect some
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There are signs that some of our more traditional industries may be seeing something of a revival.

Particularly in the textile industry

There was a television programme recently called 'the Town That Took On China'

It was about a cushion manufacturer who some years ago moved his whole manufacturing capability out to China where he built a monster of a factory.

He also kept a small factory in Liverpool.

For many reasons, mainly increased wages costs in China, increased shipping costs from China to the UK, increasing aspirations of the Chinese population, a new realism about the hard facts of life within the UK work force and quality issues. He did a like for like comparison involving all of his costs and he found that the items made in the UK were only marginally more expensive than those made in China and with a little tweaking of the production process could actually overall be cheaper.

Many other manufacturers are also now doing this exercise.

I'm not sure if that means the UK is going to become a low cost production area or if it means the rest of the world are no longer prepared to exist on a bowl of rice and a pickled cucumber a day.

Whatever it is there are signs that the world is still spinning and whatever country you are in opportunities still exist.

Personally I think the UK will start that long road back to being a manufacturing country - it's no longer seen as realistic to base a whole countries economy on betting on the exchange rate and the price of latte.

We need to produce something of value

Who knows - maybe in my lifetime we will go full circle
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I saw that too, it was very very interesting - I didn't think it looked promising for UK manufacturing though.

Like the ladies on the shop floor said, they need higher wages to attract people to come and work there and ultimately to stay there. Would you rather sit on your bum all day taking calls and reading from a script - or do some hard graft where everything you do is scrutinised and potentially can lose you money?

Only way to increase wages in manufacturing is to raise end prices. But then you are not competitive. We have been spoilt for years with cheap everything. I really think that we are one of the cheapest countries in Europe. When I have been on my hols in Europe everything is always more expensive (stuff like clothes, electronics, household stuff).

It is going to be near impossible to change the mentality of a whole nation to suddenly start buying more expensive things. Even if you tell people - "help our country!" It is going to be a big challenge.

Especially now the price of fags and booze is going up! How on earth can we afford to drink ourselves into oblivion on the weekend if we don't have as much disposable income!!!

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Feel free to come and collect some
haha I'll pop round next time I'm in town
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Old 05-28-2012
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I agree wholeheartedly with you but IMO the times they are a-changing.

We now have a situation developing in this country whereby benefit claimants are going to have to do up to 30 hours a week of 'voluntary' work or lose their benefits. In the trial of this one in five claimants stopped claiming. These are figures the government cannot avoid (without my getting in any way political) and in view of the current financial climate all social security costs are up for inspection.

Costs in China and other countries will continue to rise as peoples aspirations change. I cannot see us ever making the cheap nik-naks that have always been made in the far east but I can certainly see a return of more traditional manufacturing businesses, albeit not in the same number that we had for many years.

There comes a tipping point where the costs of importing are not sufficiently low enough to discourage investment. Until now the Chinese manufacturing capablity has been the powerhouse behind western Europe and USA demand - along of course with their view on copyright regulations. There is I suggest evidence that this situation is no longer sustainable - both from the Chinese perspective and from the western economies perspective.

If I am right I think you will see more and more industry returning to its home countries.

If I'm wrong we will all go to hell in a handcart
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We now have a situation developing in this country whereby benefit claimants are going to have to do up to 30 hours a week of 'voluntary' work or lose their benefits. In the trial of this one in five claimants stopped claiming.
Never heard of that scheme - that is a fantastic turn up! Sounds like if it is implemented properly it could have a real positive impact - both on claimants and our economy!

Yeh I agree totally - the China manufacturing bubble isn't going to burst, but it will deflate over time. If the US gets its way and manages to change the value of the local currency - it will certainly create a massive issue with foreign investors finding that they don't get as much for their money any more.

Hopefully that means a return to manufacturing at home...or maybe just to another cheap country. There are still quite a few other cheap Asian countries to be utilised/exploited!!

We are living in interesting times - I really wonder what the next decade will bring.

I hope you are right...but if not, do you have a spare seat in your cart?
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LOL - climb aboard FizzyFish - always room for one more
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Seems liek a nice partnership is forming up.
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