Best Trade Association in the UK


The Trade Association Forum’s 2018 Best Practice Awards has named the British Coatings Federation (BCF) as the Trade Association of the Year. The British Coatings Federation represents over 140 members, 74 associate members and more than 95% of the coatings market, this includes decorative coatings, printing inks, powder coatings, industrial coatings and more.

According to BCF, the coatings industry contributes £2.8 billion to the UK economy and supports a wider £150 billion supply chain, including sectors such as aerospace, automotive and food packaging.

“My overall message is that we collaborate and I think that’s what makes us as a trade body successful, we are the glue that sticks a lot of things together,” said CEO of the federation, Tom Bowtell.

“Coatings touch in every part of manufacturing, when we are talking to the government, we explain that industry doesn’t work without coatings and printing inks. Many industries have a coating process at the end, whether it is inside the factory or it is in an automotive plant. Food packaging, when you buy a bag of oven chips, the ink on there has come from one of our members. Our products are everywhere, but we aren’t that visible as a sector because we are horizontal,” he added.

Three out of four cans of paint are currently made in the UK and Bowtell said it is “crucial” to keep a good manufacturing base of coatings in Britain for the wider supply chain. “20% of the UK’s GDP is dependent on our member’s products each day, we have estimated about 300,000 people work with inks and coatings everyday.”

At the awards last month, British Coatings Federation also picked up a win in the ‘Good Governance’ category and ‘Publication of the Year’ for their annual handbook.“What is important for us is our members, to support our customers needs, the people using paints and coatings everyday, making sure that we are giving them advice, but also bringing new innovations to them to make their products even better,” Bowtell concluded.

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