The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, is calling for entries for a new award that will encourage and reward the export efforts of UK furnishing manufacturers. The Export Award, which was launched 4th July, is open to any furnishings company, including bedding, flooring and furniture, that manufactures in Great Britain.
According to data from The Office of National Statistics, the United Kingdom has a balance of trade deficit of £3.3b. Recognising the need to help repair the UK’s balance of trade, The Furniture Makers’ Company will acknowledge companies currently excelling in export and promote them through the new award as an example to others.
The Export Award will consider all aspects of how a business operates, including development initiatives, overseas’ markets penetrated, volumes, growth, techniques, long term commitment, and relevant accreditations. The deadline for entries to the Export Award is 31 August 2016.
Paul von der Heyde, chairman of the Manufacturing Guild Mark Committee, said: “The goal of the Export Award is to recognise and champion companies that are flying the flag for British manufacture in export markets. The UK has a great tradition of fine furniture, bedding and furnishing design and manufacturing and, while imitations are often manufactured overseas, there is an increasing demand for ‘the real thing’.
Stephen McPartland MP, member of parliament for Stevenage, chair of the all party parliamentary furniture industry group - and a judge on the export award judging panel - says: "I am delighted to be supporting this initiative by joining the panel of judges for this exciting new award. With the talent and creativity which exists across the industry, we must be able to move towards a balance in trade. I welcome this recognition of the adventurous and enterprising companies that are showing us the way."
Applicants are invited to submit case studies for consideration by a panel of judges who will select the manufacturer deemed to have made the best export initiative or effort in the previous year. The size of the business concerned will be taken into account so that the relative importance of their progress can be measured to equalise opportunities.
Entry forms are available from The Furniture Makers’ Company website www.furnituremakers.org.uk/excellence. Questions about this award can be answered by Jonny Westbrooke, Chief Executive and Clerk of The Furniture Makers’ Company, by telephone on 020 7256 5558 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org