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Sponsored by: Tracer Insight Consultancy

Encouraging sustainable shopping

Pandemic or otherwise, that the plight of our planet continues to hang precariously in the balance is not lost on most shoppers. Indeed, multiple surveys

evidence that not only do most claim that being environmentally friendly is important to them, they say that the “pause for thought” the pandemic has given them has increased their determination to do well by our world. Yet, we are still in a world

where convenience, efficacy, and value drivers far outweigh environmental drivers when it comes to shopping behaviour and purchase decisions for most shoppers. Recent research by Getty Images tells us that while 84 per cent of UK consumer said they were environmentally friendly, 68 per cent of them couldn’t name a single eco-friendly brand! Changing attitudes is one

thing – creating long term behaviour change is quite another, requiring considerable effort on behalf of all concerned, especially when the rewards aren’t always tangible or immediately gratifying. And here’s where brand owners and retailer have a role to play at the coalface of the shopping experience, and not just in the supply chain or in the community:

1. Making it easier for shoppers to find and identify sustainable products

2. Understand shoppers’ goals and motivations and align positioning, messaging and display of sustainable products accordingly

3. Re-balance the value equation by increasing the tangible and immediate rewards, and/or decreasing the financial pain of buying sustainably

For further information or an opportunity to chat, please contact Iona Carter, founding director: 07775 823334

26 CHAMBERLINKApril 2021

Chamber says exports slump only short term

The Chamber has labelled the post-Brexit slump in exports to the European Union (see other international stories on p34) as ‘inevitable’ – but only short term. The exports crash has been reported by the Office of

National Statistics (ONS), which said exports to Europe fell by 40.7 per cent in January. This drop equated to some £5.6bn, and it also meant

that trade between the UK and the EU – the country’s biggest trading partner – shrank by 2.9 per cent in January. Various elements have been blamed, including the

introduction of red tape for exports which has followed Britain’s final bowing out of the European Union, but also the coronavirus crisis.

‘It was inevitable that we would see a change in January figures, but this was only ever going to be short term’

The ONS cautioned that the January slump was a

blip, and said: “November and December 2020 saw increasing imports and exports of goods, particularly in machinery and transport equipment and chemicals. “These increases were consistent with potential

stockpiling of goods from the EU in preparation for the end of the EU exit transition period. “UK goods imports from the EU also peaked in the

weeks approaching previous Brexit deadlines in March and October 2019.” The ONS said that despite the slow start for trade in

January, data showed that importing and exporting had begun to increase towards the end of the month. Chamber international business manager Stef Bowes

said: “It was inevitable that we would see a change in January figures, but this was only ever going to be short term. “Businesses have adapted well and our focus here at

the Chamber is making sure that businesses who are still facing challenges are given the support they need to trade successfully with the EU.”

Stef Bowes: January trend is ‘short term’ UK-US trade deal put on hold

New US president Joe Biden has put plans for a UK- US trade deal on hold, it has been reported. The deal – supposedly progressing well under the

Trump administration – may now not see the light of day until 2024, if at all, according to the ‘Daily Telegraph’. The publication said that the Biden

(pictured) administration had other priorities, with the focus on restoring America’s pandemic stricken economy and also relations with China. The US Democrats are also said to be

ready to take the British government to task over its ‘wanton disregard’ for international law in Northern Ireland. Further complications are unresolved issues from

the Trump era trade negotiations, such as hormone- fed beef and chlorinated chicken.

Eileen Schofield, vice-president of Transatlantic Chamber and Solihull Chamber confirmed that the trade deal had been delayed, but stressed that relations between the UK and US remained strong. She said: “We understand that the President Biden Administration has delayed the completion of the UK-US free trade agreement beyond 2021, there are pressing issues at home and we understand the administration has given priority to China, Japan and the EU. “However the UK-US alliance remains robust and strong with significant long

standing economic benefits to both countries. “The Transatlantic Chamber continues to support

businesses trading with the US and those business who are seeking business opportunities in the West Midlands.”

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