The Furniture Industry Research Association

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Furniture Industry Research Association summarise third quarter activity

The Furniture Industry Research Association have shared highlights from their work for the third quarter of 2018.

A highlight for many during the quarter took place on 11th September when the Furniture Industry Research Association held their annual reception at the House of Lords. The reception, now in its 22 year, saw over 200 guests attend the event which was hosted by Baroness Warsi.

The ‘Compliance Scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture’ saw a new Certified Company, Lebus Upholstery – who are the first independent manufacturer to join the scheme. In addition there were two requests for Assured Advice under the scheme, via Hertfordshire Trading Standards, which were published relating to the validity of overseas test reports and also to arm caps.

A mid-year review of the performance of the furniture industry was also published by the Research Association which showed that the first quarter of 2018 had remained strong at £2.2 billion, with growth seen in mattress manufacturing and the contract furniture sector. However there was some uncertainty shown around the future movement of goods.

Towards the end of September the Research Association published their latest Standards update, which included details of 9 new standards, and where these superseded previous standards (if applicable). In addition current / forthcoming standards covered in the update included those related to non-domestic tables and desks / office desks, non-domestic / office seating, non-domestic / office storage, educational furniture, laboratory furniture, beds and mattresses, domestic seating, domestic tables, domestic storage, kitchens, children's furniture, hardware and also surface finishes.

A focus continued on monitoring REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals) with a new update report being released, detailing the latest additions and updates to substances of very high concern (SVHCs).

During the quarter the Research Association also supported the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) through the publication of their manifesto - which called for more Government cooperation and support for training, exports, standards and regulations and the environment. Members were also able to access the analysis by the BFC of the Government Brexit White Paper which was published on 12th July. The work published by the BFC aimed to inform which areas within the White Paper would affect the furniture and furnishings industry.

The Research Association also confirmed that 13 members had joined in the period from July-September, bringing total member numbers to 374.

Anyone wishing to see first-hand the work of the Furniture Industry Research Association are invited to attend their Office and Contract Furniture Forum on 14th November and also their Open Day on 11 October which both take place in Stevenage, Herts. See www.fira.co.uk/training for details and to confirm places.