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For a number of years, I have written a blog in September about attending our local Merchant Navy Day celebration.  In last years blog I commented, “I assume many countries have their equivalent of Merchant Navy Day and rightly so.  It was mentioned during the service that organisations connected with the UK merchant navy have been actively involved with trying to seek the recognition merchant seafarers deserve, for decades and they still are.  It was a great victory for them when the UK government agreed to a form of recognition with the establishment of Merchant Navy Day.”  The full blog is here.

My blogs have always been after the event, when I should be mentioning such an important day before the event; advertising it if you like, so that anyone who wants to can find out more information and possibly attend their local celebration service if they are so inclined.

Since 2000, UK Merchant Navy Day has honoured the brave men and women who kept the UK’s  ‘island nation’ afloat during both World Wars.  It identifies, recognises and celebrates the dependence of the UK population on modern day merchant seafarers, who are responsible for around 92% of the UK’s imports.  That includes almost half the food we eat, plenty of the fuel we rely on and virtually all the products and goods we tend to take for granted!  There is a lot more interesting information here.

Whenever I write a blog, I almost always have to do some research to either pad it out or check out the content for accuracy.  That means I start to get more interested than I really need to, going off in all directions, doing further research to see if I can make it extra interesting.  It takes me at least an hour to write the equivalent of a 20-minute blog!

When I was checking out the 92% of imports statement, I came across a page of UK statistics that to me was incredible…….

We hear so many people and I am one of them, that seem to be firmly of the opinion that ‘Everything comes from China’.  If you care to take a quick look here, you too will be surprised.  It contains a long list of countries that export to the UK, with Germany top at 12.9%, USA and China at 9.3%, New Zealand is one of the bottom 6 countries, all at 0.2%.  I guess NZ only send us food products and on the scale of things, food products will be low value compared to cars and electronics.

In my opinion, this is all interesting stuff and important to people associated with the worldwide marine industry, who think we should get a lot more recognition for the role we all play in the success of the global economy.

Here endeth today’s lesson.

John Lightfoot MBE, Solar Solve Chairman