In the Beginning
India has high quality granite in the popular shades of tans, browns, and blacks. The United Kingdom has had to import and exporting trade with India for centuries. When India separated as a loyalist colony from the United Kingdom, everyone was wise enough to keep the trade market open. The India Trade Company is one of the largest exporters to the United Kingdom, and exports all of its to the UK. That means London is India's sole importer. They purchase it in large quantities and due to that and the low prices paid for India's exports, India's agents are able to send all the products to the UK and both sides make a sizable profit.
Today cheaper grades of it are available for UK to import from China and Brazil. This gives the United Kingdom quite an edge on the granite market, since they receive all of India's granite plus import from China and Brazil exporters, as well.
UK's tradesmen working on work tops, custom fireplaces, decorative building features and many other granite products are able to turn out lovely granite pieces and make good wages.
Modernization of Granite Craftsmen
Machines of the past were usually manually operated, causing excessive time to manufacture even a simply designed counter top. Today's CNC (Computer Numeric Control) technology decreased the production time. It also eliminates the human error factor. Computer Numeric Control electronically controls all machines for granite workers. CNC alone has reduced the time to turn out the same polished kitchen counter top which previously took over 3 weeks, and now can be ready in an afternoon. One of the savings of time and product is when Computer Numeric Control records in the template the exact pipe, sink or faucet hole requirements, which are registered for the Computer Assisted Design program (CAD). Then it is cut flawlessly per the computer's directions into the kitchen counter top, after which machine polishing is performed to bring the stone to a high sheen that will last for years.
India, China, and Brazil Granite plus CNC and CAD plus UK Workers...
The formula equals the fact that the UK has a tremendous edge on the natural stone market over the rest of the world, even the poorest countries where most of it is mined. Computer Numeric Control has contributed considerably to cutting costs of making natural stone fireplaces, counter tops and other quality home and building fixtures. Together with the low cost to the United Kingdom to import the granite in bulk through its Indian, Chinese and Brazilian trade companies, the UK can probably market the lowest priced products made from natural stone. As they utilize the CNC to cut the costs and time to manufacture their granite items, it will continue to get better and the UK granite craftsmen.