John Falder, Managing Director of Manchester based HMG Paints, has been elected Chairman of the Vehicle Refinish Group of the British Coatings Federation, the trade association representing the £2.2 billion UK paint, powder coatings, all coverings and printing ink manufacturing industry.
In this capacity, John will act as the industry spokesperson for UK car and commercial vehicle paint companies, at a time when some of the most important EU environmental and product labelling legislation is being discussed and finalised. At the same time, HMG Paints was voted runner-up in the highly respected BCF Coatings Care Award scheme, which recognises conspicuous corporate performance in the fields of environmental protection, solvents reduction, waste disposal and product stewardship.
"The BCF speaks for around 130 British manufacturers, who together represent 90% of total output, promoting and protecting their interests and lobbying on their behalf at Government and European level," says Deputy Chief Executive, Tony Newbould. "We depend upon support and feedback from active companies like HMG and will value the technical expertise and market knowledge brought by John Falder. The fact that HMG has again performed well in the Coatings Care Award programme is another indication of his firm's commitment to key issues like the environment, health & safety and community relations."
A graduate in Chemistry & Marine Biology and a Licentiate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, John represents the third generation of his family to head the independent British paintmaking firm, succeeding his father Brian as MD, and he lives with his wife Jane in Knutsford, Cheshire. Their daughter Katherine is a barrister, while 18 year old Jonathan recently joined the family firm as a trainee laboratory technician, the same role that father John first undertook when he started in 1976.
HMG Paints this year celebrated it's 75th anniversary and has long been an active supporter of its sole trade body, the British Coatings Federation. It is estimated that half of Britain's workforce would be unable to function if paint, coatings and ink supplies were not available, so the federation has an important industry voice.
Apart from full-time officers who handle day-to-day affairs at its Surrey headquarters, representatives of BCF corporate members serve on a series of market sector committees, which provide forums for discussing noncommercial issues that affect their interests. John Falder is chairing the Vehicle Refinish Group, involving manufacturers that supply £250 million worth of automotive coatings annually, and will represent their views in industry-wide meetings and external lobbying.
"I'm delighted to have been elected by my fellow manufacturing colleagues, as something of an expert spokesman," says John Falder. "There's plenty of important legislation on the horizon that will impact substantially upon vehicle finishing and refinishing, so I plan to be closely involved, helping to establish better regulations, improve health & safety in the bodyshop environment and develop a practical approach to meeting key legislative requirements."
John Falder's industry credentials are underlined by HMG gaining runner-up spot in the current Coating Care programme, an award the firm first won in 2000. To evaluate which companies have made notable improvements against a series of environmental, operational, energy conservation and other criteria, a panel of external judges examines entries to this voluntary industry scheme and checks practices by making site visits to shortlisted companies.
"We take the Coatings Care programme very seriously, especially as it concerns reducing emissions, maximising plant safety and maintaining good relationships with our neighbours, the local community," adds John.
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