Industry News

BMF joins with WWF to promote responsible timber trade across merchant supply chain

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) will work with WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network in the UK (GFTN-UK) to promote responsible forest trade throughout the merchant supply chain.

Julia Young and John Newcomb at the Living Planet CentreGFTN-UK will share its expertise with BMF members, helping them to exercise due diligence on their supply chains for forest goods. The conservation organisation provides a framework that enables companies to identify and move away from materials coming from unknown or unacceptable sources, towards products from credibly certified forests or recycled sources.

BMF MD, John Newcomb said: “Timber is a core product category for general builders merchants, second only in importance to heavyside materials such as bricks and blocks, and we will be working with GFTN-UK to encourage merchants to consider environmental and sustainability issues as part of their purchasing policy.”

"Responsible purchasing is one of the BMF’s key goals for the industry.  Many merchants already consider sustainability as a matter of course, but we have a responsibility to encourage every one of them to do so.  GFTN-UK can help them ask the right questions to find out where their products are coming from, so they will know if they are sourcing from sustainable forests", Mr Newcomb added.

Julia Young, Manager at GFTN-UK, commented: “We’re excited to be collaborating with the BMF to create a thriving, mainstream market for environmentally and responsible forest products within the building industry. It’s great to see their appetite to get involved and, with the BMF working as an Associate within our programme, we’ll have a new platform to assist their member companies to get to grips with this important issue.”

Remarkably, GFTN-UK will also host the next BMF Timber Forum to take place on Tuesday 10th May at its HQ and visitor centre, the Living Planet building in Woking, Surrey.

[In the picture: Julia Young and John Newcomb at the Living Planet Centre]

BMF celebrates first students group to achieve its Post Graduate Diploma

The Builders Merchants Federation’s professional and personal development programme achieved a new landmark this week, when the first eight students graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Independent Merchant Leadership and Strategy, three of them with Distinction.

Five of the graduates, Andrew Brooker of T Brooker, Jason Rothwell of Howarth Timber, and Lee Church, Jake Feek and Jamie Pierce from Parker Building Supplies attended Birmingham City University’s Winter Award Ceremony, donning traditional gowns to receive their Diplomas.

The three other graduates were Gary Froggatt of Howarth Timber and Darren MacAskill and Steven Webber both from Elliott Brothers.

The ceremony was attended by BMF Managing Director John Newcomb, Richard Ellithorne, BMF Membership Services Director and Stewart Pierce, BMF Vice Chair. “I am proud and delighted to congratulate the first group to achieve the BMF Post Graduate Diploma.  I believe they are all planning to continue their studies at Birmingham City University towards a merchant-specific Masters Degree that has been developed in conjunction with the BMF", Mr Newcomb said. "This is a fantastic endorsement of the relevance of the BMF’s development programme for the industry."

2017 BMF All Industry Conference to be sponsored again by FAKRO

For the third year in a row, FAKRO has confirmed its headline sponsorship of the BMF (Builders Merchants Federation) All Industry Conference in 2017.

FAKRO  is one of the fastest growing manufacturers of roof windows in the world.  In the UK, distribution is via major builders merchants nationwide.  With a service and support offer geared to the merchant market, the company’s long-standing relationship with the BMF is a natural extension.

BMF MD, John Newcomb commented: “We are delighted that FAKRO is to sponsor the BMF All Industry Conference for a third time. The last two have both been hugely successful, with delegate numbers increasing each year. We have already started planning for 2017 and it promises to be the best event yet, so watch out for details of dates and venue later in the year.”

BMF Managing Director shortlisted for CEO of the Year

John Newcomb, Managing Director of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), has been shortlisted for the Chief Executive of the Year Award to take place on 15 December 2015 in London. The prize, promoted by The Association Network, rewards the passion and dedication that associations and their employees put into their work.

BMF Chairman, Peter Hindle MBE, who nominated John Newcomb for the Award, said:  “John’s passion for the industry underpins everything he does. Working closely with his team and with the Board, he has proved adept at overcoming problems and transforming them into opportunities.  It is fair to say that under John’s stewardship, the BMF has proved its relevance to the merchant industry in the 21st century, and is going from strength to strength.”

Commenting on the announcement, John Newcomb said: “This is a proud moment for the BMF. I am extremely fortunate to work with a great team who have all contributed to the BMF’s highest period of growth for more than a decade. My name may be on the shortlist, but it reflects their hard work and dedication. It would be a fantastic accolade for us all if the BMF go on to win this Award.”

The Associations Network includes 15,000 members representing the largest community of associations in the UK and Europe. 

BMF sales keep on rising despite Renewables sector contraction

The latest sales figures from GfK’s Builders Merchants Panel, released today by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), show sales in Q3 2015 through the UK’s general builders’ merchants were up on both the last quarter and the same quarter in 2014.

Sales in Q3 2015 were 2.8% ahead of the same period last year, and 1.7% up on Q2 2015. It was the strongest quarter since GfK started tracking builders’ merchants. Total sales ex-VAT for Q3 2015 were £1.38bn. The only negative note comes from the Renewables & Water Management, down -16.7% in Q3.

Commenting on the figures, BMF MD John Newcomb said: “The Builders Merchants Panel has now returned 15 months of data, enabling us to make year on year quarterly comparisons for the first time. Most sectors have performed strongly in the last quarter. However, Renewables & Water Management stands out from other sectors with a pronounced drop in sales. It appears to have suffered since the Government announced that Zero Carbon Standard for new homes would be discontinued.”