The British Furniture Manufacturers Association (BFM) and the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) have signed an agreement which sets out details of a closer working relationship for 2014.

The new co-operative working arrangement will provide BFM with regular technical updates from FIRA including a representative to speak at its annual regulatory update meeting. Members of the BFM will also benefit from discounts on FIRA International’s product testing services and a wide range of industry-specific training offered by FIRA and The Furniture Ombudsman.

Members of FIRA will receive advanced information regarding UKTI-funded overseas trade missions, designed to grow UK exports and run by BFM. FIRA members will also be eligible to a discount on the BFM’s CPD-accredited online training.

Jackie Bazeley, MD of BFM, says: "This partnership is yet another example of how two respected organisations within the industry can work closely together to deliver an offering to companies which will aid them in growing the business and becoming globally competitive."

Phil Reynolds, council member of FIRA and COO for FIRA International, adds: “We are delighted to be working closer with the BFM. Whilst FIRA supports the whole furniture supply chain, we recognise that it is important to have a strong domestic manufacturing industry, and through supporting both FIRA and BFM members, we hope we can achieve this."

Established 64 years ago, the Furniture Industry Research Association was set by the industry for the industry. It provides invaluable technical support to the entire furniture supply chain and funds projects for the benefit of the industry. FIRA International works alongside the association to deliver the work of the association and to raises performance throughout the furniture supply chain by offering research, information, testing, consultancy, customer service and aftersales service to the furniture and DIY markets.

British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) is a trade association for UK-based furniture manufacturers, employers' organisation and member of the European Furniture Manufacturers' Association. BFM has been representing the interests of the UK furniture industry for more than 60 years and promotes the benefits of British furniture through its Great British Furniture Campaign.