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Exporting starts at home

8 May 2012

Peter Hogarth - Regional Director, UK Trade and Investment East Midlands

A short while ago I dined at a very well known Leicestershire venue that attracts people from all over the country.  The dessert menu included 'a selection of French cheeses'.  Nothing wrong in that you may say but ponder a little longer and you begin to wonder why specifically French cheeses.  That venue is but a few miles from the source of some of the best cheeses in the world, made locally in Leicestershire.  The UK more widely makes a huge range of some of the finest cheeses that money can buy. 

The French certainly buy very little cheese from this country, or from anywhere else for that matter, believing that theirs is best.  They are wrong of course. Ours is – in my opinion.  But if you take this a bit further, then why should people overseas buy our cheese, or anything else made here if we don't believe in it, buy it, and promote it ourselves?


In the budget the Chancellor said we had to double our exports by 2020.  We need to do that in part because we import too much and need to close the deficit between what we buy and what we sell.  And maybe we import a lot because we think foreign goods are better than our own.  Better cheese, better cars, better - and/or cheaper -clothes, better pretty much everything.  Yet there is no doubt we make some of the best products in the world, whether it is Stilton cheese or Noble cars, so we need to support them. 


When you go to buy something, do you consider where it’s been made?  If enough people stop to ask about the origins of what they consume, and to consider the advantages of supporting quality British goods, the knock on effects could be great. Maybe more people would be encouraged to revive production of certain products (as TV’s Mary Portas has done with underwear recently).


We need confidence in our products, so that we buy them giving confidence to those who make them to also sell their goods overseas.

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I agree with you 100%. Here in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, we find a wide selection of French cheese, and a very small selection of other European cheese (usually a "token" Edam, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, etc). If the Supermarket chain can import French Cheese, why not English cheese? Maybe the Cheese Marketing Board, if such a structure exists, could find some way for us to have a "British Cheese Fair" here in Abidjan! After all, the British Embassy is now reopened, an Ivoiro-Britannique Chamber of Commerce launched. If they can hold German Bierfesta and Italian Wine Fairs, why not British Cheese. Replies on a single side of a sheet of A4 paper to:

2012-05-11 11:10:39

LOVE MMMAC N' CHEESE! Whenever i'm in Dowtown Boston/ Faneuil Hall area and I don't bring mmmac n' cheese home Im in trulobe w/ the wife, kids and Grandma.. we all love it! My faves have to be BBQ/Buffalo Chicken Mac, Cajun Mac (Sausage, peppers, onions, Cajun spices) bacon mac, seafood mac. In addition to the great food, great service, and great value is that they prepare your meal in front of your eyes made to order even the family platters that serve up to ten ready in 10min, I don't know If that's important to other people; it's definitely important to me. Best mac n cheese, best place to eat in Quincy Market. Enjoy!

2012-07-16 03:13:08


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