More suppliers weigh in to BHETA merger row

More Than Group and Gilberts Food Equipment have joined the growing quarrel surrounding the forthcoming BHETA merger, expressing alarm about the repercussions for the housewares industry.
More Than Group sales director Patrick Winters told that he was “very unhappy about the BHETA merger” and said members had been “given very little information about the future plans” when the merger was proposed.

He said that redundancies at BHETA meant “we are losing a wealth of experience and knowledge…I am sure all these people will be replaced by the very best applicants available, but it’s unlikely they will know our industry’s rules, regulations, trade shows, publications, they will take years to learn what we are losing and they won’t know us, the members.”

You can read Winters’ full comment at

Like Winters, Gilberts Food Equipment managing director Richard Gilbert says he wished he had opposed BHETA’s imminent merger with the British Jewellery, Giftware & Finishing Federation earlier.

“Hindsight is a marvellous thing and like so many similar-minded souls, I should have made my opinion known at the time when the merger was first proposed,” he said.

“In an ideal world, the logical solution would be for a single housewares association with the sole aim of improving the industry for all who care about it – retailers, suppliers and manufacturers – one industry, one voice. Obviously this solution would also be highly politically charged.

“One thing is for certain,” he went on, “the merger with BJGF is becoming increasingly unpopular amongst BHETA members and if the unrest continues, could ultimately be very damaging to the housewares industry as a whole. The situation does need to be addressed urgently.”

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