The National Bed Federation (NBF) is introducing an associate category to its membership, giving start-up bed manufacturers access to professional help and advice.

Until now, full membership of the trade association has only been open to those companies which have been trading in the UK and in the bed market for three years. However, the NBF is keen to support start-up companies and has launched a new category of membership open to manufacturers of beds, mattresses and related products with a UK/Republic of Ireland manufacturing facility.

Jessica Alexander, executive director of the NBF, says: “We want to encourage new companies (potentially the industry’s leading lights of the future) right from the start of their operations to do things correctly. Under the new scheme, start-ups will be able to get that support by joining as associates and then transitioning to full members when they reach their third anniversary in business.

“It gives them the opportunity to become part of one of the most respected trade associations in the furnishing sector.”

For start-up bed manufacturers, the benefits of joining the trade association means: the use of an NBF associate member logo; technical advice on product compliance, regulatory requirements and standards; access to NBF market intelligence surveys and reports; and the opportunity to exhibit at the Bed Show (only after an audit has taken place) and attend forums and the AGM (but without the power to vote).

Applicants must be planning to manufacture at least 70% of product sales in the UK or Ireland (assembling from flat-pack, finished, boxed products does not constitute manufacturing) and must be able to verify this.