GA vice chairman praises Made in UK products

Made in UK entries for Gift of the Year won plaudits from the judges this year: Anna Rigby, the John Lewis Partnership’s Head of Buying, Home Accessories, Gifts and Seasonal, was among those who thought it was the strongest category in the competition.

This has delighted me as The GA Vice Chairman, as I presented the award to My Gifts Trade for the Stoke-on-Trent produced Hinchcliffe & Barber Songbird Grey Ceramics. The range also took The Judge’s Choice prize for the best product across the whole competition.

It wasn’t so long ago that people were saying that British-made products were too expensive and, often, not very good. But with costs rising in the Far East, manufacturers in the UK have grasped the opportunity and the quality of their product is now shining through - and in some markets they have created a greater appetite for it.

Made in UK as opposed to designed here is very close to my heart. As a stationery buyer for the National Trust, all our own-brand stationery, Christmas cards and calendars were all printed in the UK. And in my consultancy work I always recommend sourcing in the UK on paper because there’s more and more quality, innovative product available at competitive prices.

The GA is thrilled that The Potteries were so well represented in the competition this year and that Portmeirion - which is thriving - was highly commended in the Made in UK category.