It was British Prime Minister Tony Blair who invented the term ‘Cool Britannia’, a play on the words of the 18th century patriotic song ‘Rule Britannia’, with the inspiring lyric ‘Britons never, never, never shall be slaves’; words that keep the most humble shopkeeper or street sweeper contented, proud and paying taxes.
Of course Cool Britannia could also be a reflection on English weather, which has its own enigmatic vocabulary.
When the wind is so cold that icicles start to grow from your nose, we Britons like to say that it is ‘bracing’; a word that implies health and vigour. When it’s so cold that most normal people would stay at home, in bed under various layers of blankets, we Britons like to remember the Empire, and especially Gibraltar, and say that it’s ‘brass monkeys’.
It may be the fact that we like our beer warm which makes us so incompetent when it comes to manufacturing ice cream. Perhaps for that reason we Britons look to the farflung reaches of the Empire, sorry the Commonwealth, sorry the EU, when it comes to buying that cold, creamy nectar of the Gods.
When I was a little boy there used to be ice cream vans that would visit each street, playing strange, tinny music and selling cornets and lollies to little boys and girls, who looked into their parents’ eyes with a passion and pleading that would melt the Arctic, were there any left to melt.
Alzira has for many years been the ice cream metropolis of Spain, and three of the most sold ice creams in the UK are produced there at their 110,000 square metre premises.
Ice Cream Factory Comaker, previously known as Avidesa, exports 60% of its production to 19 different countries, and largely thanks to its trading partner, the British supermarket giant Tesco, it is currently melting hearts young and old with an annual quantity of more than 80 million ice cream sticks, 40 million ice cream cones, 36 million ice cream sandwiches and 20 million ice cream tubs; the sale of which has led to a 2012 turnover of 74 million euros.
The founder of the company was local man Luis Suñer, who gained international notoriety when he was kidnapped by the Basque terrorist group ETA.
These ice cream makers at ICFC haven’t lost their innocence however, and haven’t forgotten what it means to be a small boy facing a giant ice cream that must be confronted and eaten; as they like to say, what they’ve been doing all these years is making smiles disguised as ice creams.
ICFC is also committed to the sustainable use and recycling of natural resources, doing more with less.
Their Global Energy Plan consists of awareness-raising of sustainable development, controlling use of all the company’s resources: water, electricity, waste and CO2 emissions.
There is also an Integrated Waste Plan System to achieve the proper management of packaging waste.
What they don’t seem able to do is recycle their ice creams, which are usually consumed with a speed and urgency that is the privelege of unthinking youth.