20 July 2024, 17:46
By Furniture News Jan 17, 2022

Industry association reflects on 2021

The Furniture Industry Research Association has released its 2021 Annual Review, summarising its activities over the last 12 months, with output that continued to reflect the impact of the pandemic on the sector. The review also signifies strong growth for the association, with 28 new members joining its ranks.

The review opens with Brian Ahern (pictured), chair of the Furniture Industry Research Association, talking about his first full year in the role, followed by details of all the new knowledge and resources delivered by the association in 2021, which included: Horizon Scanning - New Hardline and Softline Materials; Guide to Alternative Packaging and Sustainability; Flammability Guidance for Contract Seating; REACH matrices for upholstery, mattresses and children’s furniture; Business Support Templates; and the Home Office Buyers Guide.

In addition, the association directed resources to update existing knowledge available to members to reflect continuing changes in guidance and regulations, most notably via Brexit and the extension granted to the UKCA Mark.

Brian says: “Seeing such exponential growth in members throughout 2021, which was a challenging year for many of us across the furniture sector, was very pleasing. As a not-for-profit research association we very much exist to support all our members, and they rely on us to deliver knowledge and resources they need and can depend on. All our members also benefit from access to the experts at our service provider, FIRA International. We worked very closely with our colleagues to deliver projects on topics that went from sustainability through to the issues of contract chairs in the working-from-home environment – in this example we called on the expertise of Trading Standards to further ensure compliance for the membership.

“Throughout 2021 we also collated feedback from members on various calls for evidence and standards proposals, representing a strong, united voice. With 28 new members, this voice continues to get louder. We aim to continue this momentum throughout 2022. These are uncertain times for many industry sectors, consequently the Furniture Industry Research Association intends to maintain our position working on relevant projects and keeping our very strong presence on the various committees and standards group who are looking to shape our sector’s future.”

Read the Furniture Industry Research Association’s 2021 Annual Review here.

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