BHETA has reacted to hostility to its pending merger with the BJGF by saying that the move will see the association thrive and deliver increased benefits for members.
In a statement released this morning on behalf of its Board and housewares committee members, the British Home Enhancement Trade Association says:
“The decision to physically move BHETA and share resources with the British Jewellery, Gift & Finishing Federation at Federation House in Birmingham has not been undertaken lightly and the Board’s priority throughout has been focused on how to maintain and grow services for members, whilst putting the association on a firm financial footing that would see it thrive in the future.
“The opportunity to fundamentally alter the cost base of BHETA in order to free up more resources directly for the benefit of members was key in the merger gaining unanimous approval from the BHETA Board, and later the housewares and DIY committees and a majority vote in favour from the general membership.”
Chair of BHETA’s housewares committee, Imperial International commercial director John Newcomb, says “all the committee members had plenty of opportunities to raise questions about the future of BHETA and what would be in store for our housewares colleagues.
“Following this process, all the housewares committee members, including the three of us who are also Board members, agreed unanimously to the merger and have no intention of reversing that decision.”
BHETA’s statement goes on: “The BHETA housewares committee is made up of 10 members, all of whom give their time and expertise to the trade association voluntarily. They represent a cross-section of housewares companies from large internationals such as Le Creuset, Meyer Prestige and Tefal to smaller/medium-sized, privately-owned companies such as I Grunwerg, Imperial and Lifestyle Products, and as such truly represent the voice of all member companies, regardless of their size.
“Following the committee’s work, at an open vote for all BHETA members, 95% then voted in favour of the merger with the BJGF.
“From July, following the formation of an umbrella organisation, the ‘super federation’ – provisionally called the British Allied Trades Federation (Jewellery, Giftware, Home & Finishing) Ltd – BHETA will continue to operate as a standalone trade association with its current Board and committees in place but sharing administrative costs with other associations within the super federation.
“This change will allow BHETA to ensure that all its members benefit from greater networking opportunities, the provision of market data (which has not been possible before), enhanced buying power for tried and tested services and the opportunity to add their voices on industry-wide issues to others in the super federation, giving BHETA members a more powerful lobbying platform and stronger representation at government level.”
Commenting on the merger, BHETA CEO David French said: “We’re working hard to make this change as positive and beneficial to members as possible.
“The mechanics of the change are difficult, because no such merger has been tried before, but we’re absolutely convinced that the end result will see increased benefits for members in a trade association that has a stable, well-financed future with a team in place which is excited and positive about what they can offer members.
Newcomb added: “BHETA members should also remember that we have a two-year grace period on the merger, which allows us to establish exactly how the merger will work to ensure it suits our needs.”