British Furniture Confederation
The BCFA is a lead partner in the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) (www.britishfurnitureconfederation.org.uk), which acts a single voice for the UK furniture, furnishing and bed industries and has a mission to ensure that it has a strong and sustainable dialogue with Government in order to understand and influence changes in the market. Its executive comprises the heads of the industry's leading associations (BCFA, BFM, FIRA, FMC, LOFA and NBF).
The BFC provides the secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group which provides a forum for Parliamentarians to discuss the issues affecting the sector, including education and training, export support, and fire safety regulations. The Group is chaired by Stephen McPartland MP, the Member for Stevenage, and draws Members from across the political spectrum and both chambers.
BFC Strategic Focus
- Engaging with Government and BIS to ensure that Standards and associated testing are fit for purpose.
- Engaging with DIT to ensure that the sector receives the financial support to enable a significant growth in exports.
- Campaigning for the prevention of any dilution of Government support for industry’s education and training needs.
- Raising the profile of the “furniture sector” so that it is recognised as an important, sustainable, core, UK manufacturing industry.
- Ensuring that the UK Government actively lobbies to force European and non-European companies to comply with European legislation.
- Ensuring that UK manufacturers are committing to environmental and sustainability excellence and that the UK takes a lead role in developing sustainability within the EU.
In 2017 the BFC is working on the following campaigns:
Apprenticeships and skills: it is imperative that Government recognises the wide range of skills required to sustain the competitiveness of our diverse industry. Our members have raised concerns that by not including Design and Technology as an accredited EBacc subject, pupils will be less encouraged to take the subject which is a key path towards manufacturing in later life. Some may perceive its exclusion as a judgement on its value, particularly relative to more traditionally academic subjects.
Revisions to the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations (FFFSR): In a bid to encourage progress with the review of the furniture and furnishing fire safety regulations, which appears to have stalled, the BFC has produced its own recommendations for updating them – which have the support of manufacturers, importers and retailers. These suggestions have been submitted to Margot James, MP, the Minister responsible for the review and sent to other stakeholders, including consumer groups and fire officers.
Support for export: DIT has undergone a fundamental restructure and we are still waiting for a clear long-term export strategy with accessible and flexible export support funding. The BFC continues to engage with DIT and government to help shape a sustainable export strategy and effective support for our members.
Sustainability and the Circular Economy: the sector recognises the importance of these issues and the BFC is fully supportive of a recent project initiated by the Furniture Industry Research Association aimed at progressing the sector’s Circular Economy agenda. However, it is imperative that Governments’ wide range of sustainability initiatives are proportionate and don’t result in legislation that reduces UK industry’s competitiveness when faced with a tide of imports from countries where companies don’t have the same legislative environment.
Design Rights: The BFC is lending its support to ACID’s campaign to ensure that UK designers are not disadvantaged by any erosion of either registered or unregistered design rights post Brexit. The strongest possible negotiated transitional arrangements, reciprocity and a focus on International obligations will play a key role to ensure that UK designers are fully supported.
For further information on any of these campaigns contact:
Company Secretary: email@example.com
British Furniture Confederation
C/o FIRA International Ltd
T +44 (0)1438 777700
F +44 (0)1438 777800
The British Furniture Confederation is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff 9th May 2006. Registered number: 5811554