John Newcomb CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is set to be the next President of Ufemat, the European Association of National Builders Merchants Associations and Manufacturers. His candidature for the Presidency was unanimously accepted during the Ufemat committee meeting on 13 April, to be confirmed at the Ufemat AGM in Lisbon in October.
Ufemat was created to represent the interests of the building materials trade and supply industry throughout Europe, with a particular remit in regard to EU legislation and standards. The organisation also hosts an annual Conference, where members discuss issues affecting the industry throughout Europe, to promote co-operation and best practice.
The BMF is the only trade association representing and protecting the interests of builders’ merchants and suppliers to the merchanting industry in the UK and Ireland. John has headed the BMF since August 2012, during which time membership has almost doubled. Together, the BMF’s 640 members have combined sales of £28bn and employ 123,000 people. BMF’s 340 merchant members operate from over 5,000 branches across the UK and Ireland.
Newcomb said: “I am extremely honoured to be nominated for the position of President of Ufemat at this time. As the UK approaches Brexit, it is even more important for the BMF to strengthen its links with our European colleagues and trade bodies.
“The BMF understands how important it is to have a strong body speaking for the wider industry. With over 80% of the UK merchant industry in membership, BMF has become the trusted “go-to” organisation for national government seeking the industry’s view. Ufemat is similarly respected by European legislators for their representation of building materials supply throughout Europe.
“I would like to thank Antonio Ballester López, Ufemat’s outgoing President for his excellent stewardship of the organisation. He was instrumental in bringing the Iberian Peninsula back into the Ufemat family, supporting the development of the Polish Federation and opening the door to our friends from Ukraine, as well as successfully lobbying for subsidies to finance the Erasmus + project. I am looking forward to supporting and guiding Ufemat as we enter a further period of change and development.”
Congratulating Newcomb on his appointment, Antonio Ballester López said:
“During my four years as President of Ufemat I have gained a far greater understanding of the European building materials sector and the common challenges that face us in every country. Challenges such as the tech-revolution and e-commerce, well informed customers, and their desire for more environmentally sustainable products. The strength of Ufemat enables us to face these challenges together, to share our experiences and best practice and to work with regulatory institutions in accordance with the needs of this fast-moving world.
“I would like to congratulate John Newcomb and thank him for accepting this challenge. With his great background and knowledge of the sector, I know he will contribute to its continued success.”