Hughes describes year as a challenge which has united industry.
The British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation (BJGF) has held its AGM, with head David Metcalfe explaining that the year had been a challenging but dynamic one.
Metcalfe said: “We have been able to expand the Federation by encouraging other trade associations such as BHETA, to join us. To this end we have changed the articles of association and we are also changing our name to the more neutral British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) to allow easier integration for other trade associations who wish to join us.”
Guest speaker Peter Marsh, the manufacturing editor of the Financial Times, told the audience of industry guests that despite the reported doom and gloom in manufacturing, Britain is faring well in the global economy. He pointed out that although Britain had slipped down the rankings to 9th in the world for manufacture, it was doing rather well to maintain this position in the face of developing countries such as Brazil redressing the manufacturing balance.
Marsh said: “There are new opportunities for manufacturing in the richer economies, but these will be through development-led manufacturing that offers shorter production runs, uses new technologies and provides added value.”
Three of the largest federated associations including the Gift Association, British Jewellers’ Association and Surface Engineering Association provided insight into their activity of the last twelve months.
Mike Hughes of the BJA said the industry has experienced a challenging and varied year fuelled by escalating gold prices, the economy and low cost finished jewellery imports. Hughes also reported that membership was more than a 1,000 and continues to grow. He said the past year had been a good year for collaboration and working together with key organisations in the jewellery industry.
Hughes said: “We have forged closer links with many relevant organisations such as the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) and the Responsible Jewellery Council have also incorporated the assets of the British Horological Federation. He added. “This is all part of our strategy to embrace the industry.”
Other developments include SaferGems from the NAG and jewellery insurer TH March, an initiative that will allow members to report crime and suspicious behaviour and help create one voice on ethical trading,” he added.
Mike Josypenko, manager of the British Jewellery and Giftware International (BJGI) described the new service offered by the BJGI which will enable members to do business in China. He said: “This new service is aimed at both companies who already operate in China and companies who would like to do. For a reasonable fee we can help take the hassle, headaches and problems out of doing business in China.”
Josypenko added: “Many of these can be a simple cultural misunderstanding and by working with us, you can be put on a strong platform from day one.”
Summing up the day new president Martin Olsen said: “Over the past year all of the associations in our federation have responded magnificently to the widely acknowledged challenges and are well placed to provide the very best service and support for their members.”