Following a 7-month transition period, Premier Farnell last week announced that all it’s Raspberry Pi units are now officially Made in the UK. This was great news for most Pi enthusiasts who always believed that a UK-invented product should be home-made. Here’s what Farnell had to say about it:
“We believe that a UK creation should be produced in its home country and since partnering with Sony UK we have been delighted with the quality and the commitment they have shown in developing the product.”
Now it looks like RS Components is following suit, albeit slowly. According to Joanne Youson of RS, they are now “starting to move manufacturing to the UK” although “dual production in China will continue for the foreseeable future.” If we make the assumption, as The Inquirer has, that a similar 7-month transition will take place, this should mean that all units are manufactured in the UK by October, though the “foreseeable future” statement does rather cast doubt on this.
On a side note, at the beginning of February, Liz Upton of the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that new “red boards” would be produced for the Chinese market by Egoman Technology Corp. This indicates a clear separation between the two markets is taking place.
I for one would love to see RS make the move to the UK much quicker. There is a certain kudos to be had from having a board marked as “Made in the UK”, though there is some confusion as some Chinese boards have a printing error on them which says they are Made in the UK, which is normally covered by a little sticker.
UK manufacturing needs all the help it can get and I applaud both Premier Farnell and RS Components for making the effort to move production here. It’s a matter of pride that a great British invention can be made in Great Britain.