Australian furniture and joinery makers and designers are collaborating to build a globally-recognised ‘Aussie brand’ image. The catalyst is the current apartment and renovations boom and rising interest in bespoke design.
The Furniture Cabinets Joinery Alliance (FCJA) has gained new traction since it was established in 2011, developing a strategic plan supported by multiple industry sectors and recognised by government.
FCJA represents a $33 billion industry employing 130,000 people in the manufacture of furniture, in-built cabinets, kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors and shop and office fittings.
Founding members are the Furnishings Industry Association of Australia, the Cabinet Manufacturers and Designers Association, the Australian Window Association, the Australian Shop and Office Fitting Industry Association, and the Australian Woodworking Industry Suppliers Association.
FCJA chair Ron Scott (right) and policy adviser Peter Kreitals (centre) visited the Brisbane office and laboratory of the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia recently to update EWPAA CEO Dave Gover on the alliance’s progress as a strong self-advocacy group.
The strategic plan aims to ensure the future viability of locally manufactured products, embrace design and innovation as a core characteristic for future growth, maximise share of the domestic market, adopt latest technological developments and attract more highly skilled, highly trained workers.
Ron Scott said through a single, united voice, the FCJA has fostered strong engagement with federal and state governments, sturdily advocating its principles through a round of meetings with federal ministers, parliamentary secretaries, ministerial advisers and government officials.
“Collaboration across industries also simplifies the fit-out process for customers,” he said.
“In this sector of the market there is a lot of activity in home renovation, but less of a desire by consumers to have multiple individual sub-trades to manage.
“To meet the needs of an intelligent market place, our suppliers are better placed to service the clients if they collaborate with others using the combined and different skills to better meet a holistic need.”
Mr Scott said FCJA was also keen to contribute in a united way to standards and certification processes, drawing on the knowledge, experience and requirements of members.