Home CFA Comment Professor Noble Francis addresses Manufacturers’ Committee Meeting

Professor Noble Francis addresses Manufacturers’ Committee Meeting

THE June meeting of the CFA Manufacturers’ Committee, attended by around 40 members, heard an insightful presentation from Professor Noble Francis, Economics Director of the Construction Products Association. Professor Francis reviewed the current state of the economy, as well as the construction sector specifically, and also presented the latest CPA forecasts regarding the projected recovery from the pandemic.

He stated that the present situation was unique in his experience, due to the almost total focus on product supply issues. Whereas normally most attention would be on how to stimulate demand and drive up sales, currently most concerns centre around supply side issues – attempting to ensure sufficient quantities of product are reaching the market, as producers grapple with manufacturing backlogs caused by prolonged Covid shutdowns.

These issues are exacerbated by problems around Brexit and other factors in the supply chain.

Professor Francis presented an analysis of the current situation in the general economy and the construction sector specifically, outlining the nature of the current recovery, risk factors and opportunities for flooring contractors.

There are indeed both opportunities and challenges for the contract flooring sector in the current economic landscape – the rebalancing of supply and demand being chief amongst the challenges. The slides from Professor Noble Francis’ presentation and the recording of the webinar itself are available to CFA members in the Members’ Area of the CFA website.

The Manufacturers’ Committee also heard an interesting and topical presentation from Dave McGlynn and Jim Riley of Protec International Ltd, manufacturers of temporary protection materials.

Protec has developed a ‘closed loop’ system for their products which avoids the need for them to be incinerated or go into landfill post-use. All sites use these products (manufactured from polypropylene) to protect newly installed flooring, and 21 million square metres of it are produced each year, so Protec’s investment in a remanufacturing line, which enables recovery of the material for reuse is a big environmental gain.

Protec’s scheme is now national and it is significant because, as the use of Environmental Product Declarations becomes more widespread, it seems highly likely that such programmes will become mandatory in the industry at some point. Indeed the topic of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is one that we are certain to be hearing more about in the future.

The slides from the Protec presentation are available to CFA members in the Members’ Area of the CFA website.

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