NOT MADE IN BRITAIN: HOW THE OLYMPICS GOT OUTSOURCED OVERSEAS
July 15, 2012
In his Budget speech in March, George Osborne told the nation that the Olympics would be “Made in Britain, created in Britain, designed in Britain, invented in Britain”. And indeed, the Olympic Delivery Authority has made £6bn worth of Games contracts available to UK companies.
But these feel-good nuggets don’t tell the whole story.
There are plenty of London businesses who feel they have been squeezed out of Olympic opportunities by foreign firms.
Some 91% of the Olympic souvenirs weren’t manufactured in Britain. China alone manufactured two-thirds of the 194 products you can buy on the London 2012 website.
Team GB’s Olympic gear, designed by Stella McCartney, was made in a sweatshop in Indonesia.
The British ale industry was left high and dry as Olympic officials picked Dutch lager Heineken as the official beer of London 2012. And critics have slammed Olympic authorities for trading Britain’s legacy for cheap and cheerful production.
So have the “greatest Games on earth” really been that great for UK businesses?