AFI Operations Manager, Robert Osborne, reports on the creation of a new trade association managed by the ASL team. The Association of Fencing Industries (AFI) was formed by a merger between the Fencing Contractors Association and the European Fencing Industries Association. ASL managed the merger process which involved forming an entirely new company limited by guarantee, as it was important that neither of the previous associations took over the other one. Bringing together two very different subscription scales was just one of the challenges, in addition there were radically different cultures in how the organisations operated, the membership had become disengaged and sometimes taken for granted, whilst the website was out of date and difficult to use.
AFI has just had its first AGM in July 2018, which saw an excellent attendance with people offering to get involved and three new recruits to the Board. Membership is increasing and links are being developed with other industry associations who recognise that the fencing industry now has an effective trade association that represents and supports its members.