MAJOR STEPS FORWARD FOR THE AFI AND SME CONTRACTORS

The Association of Fencing industries is announcing two major steps to add to its benefits for small and medium sized fencing contractor businesses.

AGRICULTURAL contractors are to get their own voice on the industry’s trade organisation.

The AFI is adding a further ‘special interest group’ to those already part of the association.

The group will represent the interests of agricultural fencing contractors and has been formed in response to a number of requests from in – and outside of – the Association. ‘We were approached by a number of contractors involved in agricultural fencing and were very happy to agree to their request,’ said AFI CEO, Ian Ripley. ‘As they have for some time sort to find a platform for representation.’

Contractors who predominantly rely on the agricultural industry have been searching for a route to get their specific concerns raised with manufacturers, suppliers, specifying bodies and standard writers. The group will also be able to continue with their involvement in BS1722 Part 2 standard (Specification for strained wire and wire mesh netting fences), which started with the recent review, following the AFI’s suggestion to BSI.

There has previously been no route for agricultural contractors to be involved in discussions on standards or consultations on policy made by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. As single voices it has been difficult to get themselves heard, and a Facebook page was launched to provide a platform for their views. With an agricultural group now formed within the industry’s premier representative body we can now look at the particular areas of concern to the highest level. It is a major step forward for this particular sector of the industry.

Many involved in agriculture fear that as Government begins to unravel the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, cuts will be made to farming grants which would directly affect fencing. Ian Ripley told us ‘Like many in the agricultural industry they are concerned about the future and they want to ensure they get a say in how it is shaped. These guys work with these problems everyday so there is no one better placed to give an opinion.’

The AFI sub-contractor register for all fencing businesses

The AFI website now allows you to place your details on our sub-contractor register, which will then allow our members to search the register and choose a suitable sub-contractor when they have work which exceeds their in-house resources. This is the first time the industry has been able to record those wishing to expand their business by acting as a subcontractor or sub-contracting to other businesses. We have become aware that this is an ever-growing part of our industry these days and we are keen to assist the fencing industry to change and develop its routes to market. All fencing businesses can register their details, whether they are members of the AFI or not. However, for the moment at least, only AFI members will be able to view and search the list.

Any questions about the above or other fencing related issues give us a call – we’re always happy to hear the views of people involved in our industry.

AFI Email info@afiorg.uk Tel – 020 8253 4516

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