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| Business Issues
The BWMA Guide to
the 2004 Trading Standards Metrication Concordat is essential reading
for retailers using British units of measurement.
Click here for further
There is a clear delineation in the business
community between those that support compulsory metric conversion and those
that do not. Those which oppose compulsory metric conversion include all manner
of businesses: village shopkeepers, high street stores, national chains,
international exporters. These businesses believe there are sound economic
grounds against adopting metric, and for retaining customary units.
The stance of the British government - that
business supports the compulsory use of metric - is a contradiction in terms;
if business wanted to go metric, regulations compelling them would not be
British businesses have
made their position on metric clear; they
want metric as an option, not a compulsion. The London Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, for instance, advocates "choice for businesses in the matter of
metrication". Manufacturers and retailers want choice between the two systems
because, while metric is useful for some purposes, it is an obstacle and burden
For instance, metric is not
appropriate where it does not reflect manufacturing specifications.
The unpopularity of metric means
that the total removal of customary units cannot happen unless the government
resorts to coercion. This gives rise to another business concern; the use of
criminal penalties to enforce metric. Thousands
of traders such as grocers, butchers, fishmongers, market traders, village
shops and confectioners have been forced to undertake the costly exercise of
converting or replacing weighing equipment and labels.