BPA notice board Summary of 2019
Robert Anslow M anaging Director
This year, the Baby Products Association’s AGM was staged virtually on 29th Septemberwith a good turn-out of members and the Association would like to thank everyone who participated. The annual report gave an overview of 2019 when Andy Crane of BabyStyle took the role of chairperson, Mark Hardenberg of Majuma Ltd vice chair, and Rachelle Harel of RHSM Group retained the position of treasurer. The executive board for the year included Luke Burns of Cybex; Neil Slagel of Hill Farm; David Welsh of Joie; Grainne Kelly of Bubblebum; Helen Robinson of Diono; Selina Russel of Cheeky Rascals; Mike Chapman of East Coast; Phil Howe of Peg Perego, Steve Howell of Dorel; and Paul Whatmough of Britax. The presentation was made by Julie Milne, membership
and technical manager for the Association, who described activities including updates on ISO and PROSAFE committees, both of which the Association is a member. Current activities for ISO include discussions for ISO/TC 136 Nursery Furniture (cots and highchairs); and ISO/PC 310 Wheeled child conveyances. PROSAFE is a non-profit organisation for European product safety for market surveillance authorities and in 2019 continued its coordination of a number of joint actions where products were purchased from retailers across Europe and tested to relevant safety standards. Through membership of the European Nursery Products Confederation (ENPC), Robert Anslow, managing director of the Association, attended stakeholder meetings.
Lobbying activity If you r company is a me mb er of the Bab y Pro duc ts Ass ocia tion and you are not cur rently receivin g me mb ers ’ e-bulletins wit h industry upd ates , but would like to, ple ase em ail juli e@ b-p -a. org wh o will add you to the databa se.
The Association continued with its lobbying for a change to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and Members of the Association met during Kind und Jugend in Cologne in 2019 to discuss the introduction of a united stand against these Regulations but with so much manufactured outside the UK, the risk to importers was considered too high. The office for Product Safety and Standards announced a new approach to the revision and a stakeholder event was planned for 2020. The Association also managed to open a channel of communication with consumer publication Which? and has been able to use this interaction in support of some members.
Events Activities for the year, included the Association’s continued partnership with Harrogate International Nursery Fair, which offers members a favourable rate to exhibit at the show and also provided the venue for the Concept & Innovation Awards. In 2019 three finalists were invited to exhibit their product ideas at the show and received a great reception from visitors and exhibitors alike. Julie mentioned that one important incentive for members to join the Association is the opportunity to participate in UK Pavilions at international trade shows including CBME Shanghai and Kind + Jugend in Germany. Both of the events are supported by the Department of International Trade (DIT) with the Association managing and allocating grants for UK companies exhibiting at the shows. In 2019, 10 companies joined the UK Pavilion in Shanghai – three more than the previous year; while there were slightly fewer participants in the UK Pavilion at Kind + Jugend at just 42. However, some of the companies exhibiting took larger stand spaces so the overall footprint of the UK Pavilion at this show remained the same. Noatum Logistics kindly sponsored the Association’s networking event, which as always attracted a large turnout.
Membership benefits The Association continues to seek new partners for the benefit of its members and offers a number of free and preferential services including insurance, legal services, accountancy and IT to name just a few. Greater use was also made of its Primary Authority Partnership with Nottinghamshire Trading Standards which provides members with assured advice.
Looking ahead Obviously, 2020 has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic causing the cancellation of important industry events worldwide. However, the Association will be following government guidance closely and will be working with event organisers going forward to support and help its members to participate and promote their businesses. The legal and HR 24 hour free helpline also remains a lifeline to any company needing advice on all aspects of business. This year we are also delighted to welcome two new members to the Baby Products Association Executive board. These are Mitch Levene of Artsana and Sonia Kelly of Mamas and Papas.