Our blog on the recent spring general meeting with the SIA
Recently, Chase Heating Director Dan Darby and I had the pleasure of attending the Stove Industry Association (SIA) General Meeting for Spring. Held at the Bicester Golf, Spa and Hotel in Oxfordshire, we were surrounded by approximately 70 experienced members of our industry. It was such a fantastic opportunity to meet and chat with them. This blog will be a brief round up of what happened, what was discussed, our thoughts and how the industry can move forward.
First on the agenda was the posting of SIA Membership Figures and its good news. There is strong and consistent growth within the SIA, and in our opinion, more members and unity amongst the members creates a stronger and more competitive industry.
Another point the SIA touched on was the increase in stove sales over the last 2 years, this coincides with a decrease in PM2.5 Emissions. Further evidence that PM2.5 emissions are caused by open fires, traffic, bonfires, and old, outdated, inefficient stoves. It is vital as an industry that we promote the use of cleaner, eco-design stoves to further reduce emissions. As an industry, we are on the side of cleaner and more breathable air, in addition to this, we feel we can promote this with eco-design stoves replacing older stoves and open fires.
This statistical data which came from the government has been put to the anti-woodburning groups. Their opposition to our industry is, and as it always was, misguided. An SIA member stated during the meeting was that we are actually on the same side as the Anti-Woodburning groups, and we should actually be working with them to inform the wider public about the poor emissions from old stoves and open fires and why they should be replaced by Eco-Design Stoves. Despite this well received notion, there is still a huge amount of misinformation within the industry perpetrated by the anti-woodburning groups. These groups like Mum’s for Lungs, London Woodburning Project and the Clean Air Campaign have all been pushing misinformation online, that we as an industry, have committed to combatting in good faith. There is unity within the industry over these such matters.
The SIA also informed us of their engagement with policy makers and stakeholders. This ranges from writing to local government and council figures to meeting with Members of Parliament at Stove manufacturing sites to inform them of the work and science behind an eco-design stove.
As stated, MP engagement is an area that the industry has decided to target, and we urge all fellow SIA members to write to their local MP and invite them to see our work, whether a manufacturer, retailer, or supplier. It is vital that the policy makers and leaders in our country realise what a strong and united industry we are. As a retailer, we have plans to write to our local MP of West Worcestershire to invite her to see our showroom and see how we improve peoples lives with the products we supply and install.
Towards the end of the meeting, we were joined by the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS), they were warmly welcomed and happily answered questions from members about a range of subjects. While this Q&A was mainly for manufacturers, we still took a lot of helpful information from the talk and have made changes to our own showroom to ensure we comply with the rules set out by OPSS and the government.
Thank you for reading this blog on the recent SIA General Meeting, we look forward to the next meeting in the Summer.