I’ve recently been to Australia. Pick up anything – perhaps a stuffed Koala toy – and where we here expect to see ‘made in China’ they’ll have a ‘proudly made in Australia’ sticker. A tin of pineapple chunks won’t say ‘packed in the Philippines’, instead it will say ‘grown on Mr Daniels’ farm on Australia’s Gold Coast’ or whatever.
Go to an Aussie restaurant. The source of the ingredients are listed. ’T Bone steak (Australian)’, ‘Deep fried Calamari (imported)’ – I think you get the picture and the less than subliminal message?
Back in the sixties we had a government led ‘I’m back Britain’ campaign. Of course we can’t now because we’d be discriminating against our cousins in the EU. But think for a second, whilst the government can’t promote Britain to its inhabitants, there’s no earthly reason why every newspaper in the land doesn’t decide to do it. No reason why the Union flag doesn’t become more visible on products, nor why supermarkets can’t rearrange their fruit and veg, or meat, or.. counters to let the consumer know what’s ‘ours’ and what’s ‘foreign’. Similarly every other business from automotive components to zoologists can do their bit to promote Blighty.
But why should we buy British? At the simplest, buying British means every penny of the purchase goes into the British economy. More money in our economy brings increased prosperity and more jobs. More money and more jobs leads to a better spread of the tax base or better services from a UK government whose coffers are swelling as opposed to some foreign counting house. From a green perspective, a locally produced product should surely have less of a carbon footprint and if it is fresh produce, arrive on your table days earlier than an import.