Garden products business Stewart featured in Parliamentary review of manufacturing

Stewart, the British manufacturer of plastic gardening and catering products, is one of 14 elite British businesses featured in the Parliamentary Review, Manufacturing Edition 2015/2016.

The Review, which opens with a foreword by The Rt Hon Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, provides a review of the parliamentary year with emphasis on trade, industry and manufacturing. In his foreword, Hammond says: "Since 2010, we have made significant progress. Britain has been one of the fastest growing advanced economies in the world over the last few years; our employment rate has reached record highs as living standards rose to the highest level ever last year. At the same time, the deficit as a share of GDP has been cut by almost two-thirds from its post-war peak in 2009–10.

"While the decision to leave the European Union marks the beginning of a new chapter for our country and our economy, we start from a position of strength and our economy is well-placed to confront the challenges ahead. Britain will, in due course, begin negotiations to leave
the European Union. We recognise there may be some uncertainty as we negotiate and then a period of adjustment as the economy transitions to the post-EU reality. As we go forward, we are determined to build on our strengths as an open, dynamic, trading nation to forge a new global role for Britain."

The Review explores themes such as Brexit, engineering skills shortages and the digitisation of industry, known as Industry 4.0. It recognises the mixed response to the EU referendum result in June 2016 and sets out the Government’s approach to changing perceptions of apprenticeships, particularly among women. Regarding Industry 4.0, leading figures such as Tom Lawton, Head of Manufacturing at business advisory firm BDO, calls on the Government to develop a 15-20 year policy that, "avoids the disruptions of the political cycle."

In the review, Stewart is highlighted as having embarked on a strategy to become a "truly branded consumer products business, with investment directed towards a programme of in-store merchandising solutions to bring brand consistency across online and offline channels, aimed at strengthening the consumer’s perception of the Stewart brand.

Future outlook is for "transition from a manufacturing and trade driven business into a consumer and marketing led organisation sits at the core of all future thinking. This vision is embedded into a three year strategic plan that touches every part of the organisation."

Other companies featured in the report include British Ceramic Tile, Ceravision, Ancon, Design Rationale, Label Apeel, Godwin Pumps, Pollock Lifts, Domino Jewellery and Cardboard Box Co. 

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