Promoting the debate and thought about growth and dynamization strategies of Portugal’s wood and furniture sector, enabling it to prepare for the XXI century challenges – this was the main goal achieved in the 7th Wood and Furniture Industry Congress “Os Dias da Madeira”, congress organized by AIMMP – Association of the Wood and Furniture Industries of Portugal, which took place in Braga, on the 14th and 15th of July. Prospects for Economic Growth in Portugal, Marketing, Financing and Financial Literacy, Talent Attraction and Retention, Forest Protection and Resource Scarcity Management, these were some of the main conversation topics in the set of panels of the program of the Congress, that included several speakers and the intervention of players of the sector, as well as with the participation of more than a hundred entrepreneurs.
The congress was opened by the Mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio, who highlighted the "Intermunicipal Plan for the valorization of the Sacro Montes", developed in conjunction with the Municipality of Guimarães. This was a decisive step in territorial development because it allowed the two municipalities to work together with the owners, in order to "to safeguard the patrimonial component and to create mechanisms of economic recovery for the owners of these forest areas", as mencioned by Ricardo Rio.
CCDR-Norte’s President, António Cunha, held the opening conference under the theme "Growth Prospects and Support for Portugal" ensuring that it is clear "a very large growth trend in the Wood and Furniture Industry. It is a very relevant sector for several municipalities in the country". During the conference, some challenges of the sector were presented, stating this "is a crucial industry to meet environmental goals, is important for territorial and strategic cohesion for the economy, mainly because it is one of the few sectors where we have a complete value chain."
Under the topic of Forest Management, the former Secretary of State for Forests and Rural Development, Miguel Freitas, who also participated in the event, warned that in the last 10 years, the Secretary of State with the responsibility of forests has changed ownership every 2 years. "This is the most rotating branch of government", so it becomes very difficult to create a line of work.
Throughout the congresso, several themes were brought to discussion, such as: Industry 4.0 and its development; Financing to companies in the sector and the development of financial literacy; Marketing at the service of new market trends; Talent management and attractiveness of the sector; The Florest’s Development and Protection and nagating the shortage of raw material. The closing of this 7th Congress was in charge of the Regional Director of the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF), Sandra Sarmento, who concluded that "forests must be more attractive and should be a mission for all".
The program of July 14 ended with a dinner held in the Colunata Room, in the beautiful Forest Park of Bom Jesus, which is a World Heritage Site. Here, a ceremony of attribution of "Distinctions" to some associates took place, seeking to value paths within the sector that can be aspirational for other companies and entrepreneurs. The awards had some associated sponsors: AD Quadratum, Crédito Agrícola, Essência Completa and PlacaNobre.
List of Distinctions awarded to associates, according to the 5 divisions and brands managed by AIMMP:
- Resilience hability:
- Energetic Efficiency and Social Responsibility:
Associate: TEC PELLETS
- Taking action on Urns Design and Innovation:
Associate: GLOBALE RC
- Exposure of Young Talent for Innovation, Technology and Design:
Associate: MAINGUILTY (QUIMNETO)
- Differentiation and certification of products with new applications:
Associate: MADEIRAS AFONSO
- Decorative Panels Sustainability:
- Leadership and business development:
Associate: GRUPO CARMO WOOD
- Investment in automation and Industry 4.0 application:
Associate: MBN MÓVEIS BARBOSA NETO
- Adaptability and flexibility in response to the COVID19 crisis contingencies:
- Management oriented towards future sustainability:
Associate: CARPINTARIA IRMÃOS PINTO E SILVA
The Congress ended on July 15 with a visit to the off-site construction project of the Casais Group, that brought together more than 70 participants.
Vitor Poças, AIMMP’s President proved to be very satisfied at the end of the congress, and assertive in the bet he has been making in the expansion across borders, namely in the Middle East market. "We are aware of the moment and the difficulties in which we operate and the costs currently existing, but we do not give up, we do not throw in the towel and we do not lose the focus of the mission and the values defined for AIMMP".
THE FIGURES ARE CLEAR, FROM 2010 TO 2019 EXPORTS GREW ONE BILLION EUROS. FROM APRIL 2021 TO APRIL 2022 EXPORTS ROSE AGAIN AND NOW REPRESENT AN 11% GROWTH IN THE WOOD AND FURNITURE INDUSTRY SECTOR.