As a leading supplier in our sector, it’s important to us to act as champions for the funeral industry and the way it’s regulated. Adam Masters, our Managing Director, sits on the Executive Committee of the Funeral Suppliers’ Association, which works to represent all those who manufacture goods and provide services in the sector. Here we take a look at the organisation and its purpose.
The origins of the Funeral Suppliers’ Association (FSA) stretch back to 1939 when a trade body was established to support all those who were manufacturing funeral products, although the majority were coffin makers. Previously known as the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturer’s Association (FFMA) in 2018 the decision was made to extend the reach of the organisation, and the Funeral Suppliers’ Association was formed. The FSA now connects all those who manufacture, supply or support the funeral sector, aiming to safeguard and improve traditional high standards and ensure all members are well represented.
The FFMA has stayed in force too, operating as a separate group for those manufacturing coffins as well as running the Coffin Accreditation Programme, by which Tributes products are recognised by.
The FSA now represents all those connected to the funeral sector including coffin manufacturers, celebrants, professional counsellors, masons, mortuary equipment suppliers, vehicle specialists, insurance brokers, and crematorium groups. It works closely with a number of other funeral sector trade associations and plays a leading part in the Deceased Management Advisory Group (DMAG) and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Funerals and Bereavement.
As part of these groups, the FSA tackles issues on behalf of the sector, most recently to lobby for the reuse of graves as burial space continues to become more and more scarce. Although a controversial topic, the sector is keen to see a change in the law in this area to ensure that burial can still be an option for those families who want it. During the pandemic the FSA was a key point of contact for the Government, providing crucial insight into the challenges being faced in the sector as Covid affected funerals, supplies and the ways in which people could mourn. As part of this work, the FSA raised specific concerns including petitioning for the use of PPE by funeral directors and establishing reliable supplies for all who needed it. It has also picked up the mantle, given global shipping issues following the pandemic, representing members to contest rising charges for import containers.
Today the FSA, with its much wider purpose, offers all those in the sector strong representation at the highest levels, along with the opportunity to network with other professionals. At quarterly meets, each including a key speaker, members have the chance to connect and discuss the latest issues facing the sector. And in the coming months, there are plans for regional events and exhibitions and the introduction of a mental health program to support all members.
We’re very proud to promote the association and help it gain more traction in the wider industry.
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