It’s not every day one gets to hold an Olympic torch.
However, although I
was not one of those lucky enough to take part in the relay through the UK I did actually get the chance to hold 2 Olympic torches last week.
James McIntosh – AGA Rangemaster Brand Ambassador with Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch
One was from Beijing 2008 and the other from London 1948. It was interesting to see how the development of the torches has progressed in the span of 60 years. The London 1948 torch looked like it had the construction of a bowl with a stem containing a vaporising oil burner (like an oil fired AGA I joked), perhaps paraffin, where as the Beijing torch was long and smooth with a gas valve system. As I watched David Beckham speed down the River Thames to Stratford towards the amazing opening ceremony, I was reminded about AGA Rangemaster. As the 5 Olympic rings were forged during the ceremony, it occurred to me that the foundry which AGA and Rayburn cookers are made in was the original foundry that the Industrial Revolution started in. So many synergistic thoughts were floating through my mind.
You see the day before the opening ceremony of London 2012 was a huge day for UK manufacturing. AGA Rangemaster
together with the Chinese company Vatti
signed a monumental contract in London on the eve of the Olympics. I was proud to be there. Vatti
, who are a hob and gas products manufacturer in China (and who made the Olympic torches for Beijing 2008) have partnered with AGA Rangemaster to distribute AGA Rangemaster products in China, and in turn for AGA Rangemaster to distribute Vatti products in the UK. It’s taken many years of hard work and planning for all of this to happen. It’s a celebration of Great Britain, a chance to expand the global market and bring the Great British Cooker to China.
So why is AGA going to China?
William McGrath, Chief Executive of AGA Rangemaster Group plc said: “AGA – the greatest cooker of them all – will lead our brands in showing Chinese consumers the range and flexibility of our brands. Today’s signing is an important moment in the internationalisation plans we have for AGA Rangemaster. AGA Total Control, Rangemaster and La Cornue have the authenticity, cachet and quality to support Vatti distribution plans and in due course we hope to add Vatti built-in products to our Rangemaster and Falcon lines to complement our ranges in Europe.”
Mr Huang Qijun, Chief Executive of Vatti said: “Our research suggests the AGA Rangemaster brands will connect with the Chinese consumer, and we are delighted to be bringing them to China. The range cooker can move into the heart of the Chinese home, as it serves traditional Chinese, as well as introducing new cooking styles. We are also delighted that the evolving Vatti product range will be distributed in Europe. This is the beginning of an important relationship for us and we look forward to working with AGA Rangemaster going forward.”
So what was my part in all of this? As William McGrath the CEO of AGA Rangemaster PLC said in his speech:
“Not only have Vatti been assessing the opportunity with their own dealers but we have had the AGA Rangemaster brand ambassador, James McIntosh, out on cookery reconnaissance missions. He recently was garlanded for his cooking demonstration in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing”
- James McIntosh – AGA Rangemaster Brand Ambassador
You can read the full press release from AGA Rangemaster HERE
Well done Team GB. I’m proud to have been a part of it – just in a different way.