The attention of the whole world focusing on Ukraine now. Ukraine has become a brand associated with courage, resilience in the struggle for freedom and democratic values. It has become an honour to be a Ukrainian, and it is glorious to support Ukraine. We have received this recognition for the high price, the blood of our defenders, the innocent victims of our people, the tears of mothers, and the destroyed cities.
Now we must keep this attention and use it to build international relations in which our country will be perceived as an equal and reliable partner not only in politics but also in business.
We are the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers (UAFM), for 21 years we have been helping furniture manufacturers from all over Ukraine to develop their business, establish new relationships with international and domestic partners and increase the export of furniture products. All these years we have been doing this in independent Ukraine! At the beginning of the war, our unity helped us to react quickly to the situation, help the Armed Forces of Ukraine, organize mutual assistance between companies, dialogue with the authorities and partners, establish a new material and technical base and, of course, volunteer. Many UAFM member companies continue to operate in relatively “safe” regions of Ukraine and produce quality furniture, export and support our country’s economy, provide jobs for Ukrainians, fill the budget, and finance the army. Each of us works for the victory of Ukraine.
UAFM is a member of the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance (UCA), which improves dialogue in the framework of planned C2C (inter-cluster) meetings and the promotion of the Industry4Ukraine Ambassadors network.
Today, UAFM members jointly represent more than 70% of the furniture market in Ukraine. More than 100,000 Ukrainians work in the country’s woodworking and furniture industries at thousands of enterprises. In 2021 alone, Ukrainian furniture exports amounted to 1.05 billion USD. Ukrainian furniture makers still supply products to world leaders in furniture retail such as JYSK, XXLUTZ, HOMECENTER and others. Ukrainian furniture is sold online on all continents.
As the voice of the furniture business, we understand the importance of proper communication with foreign partners, organizations and authorities, both in real life and in the information space. Personal meetings and negotiations that UAFM organizes for its participants at international exhibitions are the most effective for building business partnerships and establishing exports. Joint stands FURNITURE OF UKRAINE demonstrate to the world the ability of Ukrainian manufacturers even now, in wartime, to create and export quality furniture.
Since the beginning of the war, UAFM has taken part in three international exhibitions and we are not going to stop.
National stand of Furniture of Ukraine at the exhibition Meble Polska 2022
From May 16 to 19, 2022, the national stand of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers was presented to the visitors of the international exhibition Meble Polska in Poznan.
During the four days of the exhibition, more than 500 meetings were held with professional furniture buyers from countries such as Poland, Germany, France, Romania, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Mongolia and other countries. What was especially significant and pleasant was the fact that many guests came to the exhibition just to meet with Ukrainian producers.
Among the visitors were representatives of large and medium-sized chains of furniture stores such as Agatha, Bega-Gruppe, Danube Home, Mio, EpicentK, TJX, and Xl-company. There was also great interest in the Furniture of Ukraine stand from representatives of furniture e-commerce (Wayfair, Oskar Kinderland, Furniture One and others).
Participants of the national stand
The exposition of 400 sq.m. consisted of samples of serial furniture from 25 Ukrainian manufacturers.
It is worth noting that the stand presented serial furniture of different price segments, both economy and medium-plus in the form of solid oak or veneered panels. Special attention was paid to five chair manufacturers, presenting samples with good design and high quality.
The collective stand Furniture of Ukraine – one of several in the exhibition of 5 pavilions, received the honorary award Acanthus Aureus. This award is given to exhibitors who best understand how modern exhibition marketing shapes the company’s image and its value to the business. An extremely important advantage of the award is that it is awarded by a jury consisting of outstanding specialists in the field of design, marketing and exhibitions and fairs.
International support for the national stand FURNITURE OF UKRAINE
The preparation of this stand was made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Competitive Economy of Ukraine Program, as well as the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, Rivne Regional State Administration, including RODA Chairman Vitaliy Koval and his Deputy Serhiy Hemberg, The Embassy of Ukraine in Poland, the Consulate General of Ukraine in Wroclaw, the CCI of Ukraine, Kronospan Ukraine and directly the organizers of the event – Grupa MTP.
The Furniture of Ukraine Business Expo team initiated and organised the stand, a project created by the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers to promote the Furniture of Ukraine brand in Ukraine and abroad.
The design of the joint exposition was developed by Dmitry Novikov. The stand was built by the Azzare furniture factory. Making clothes for volunteers and the national flag – master Maryna Radigina. Legal support – Honcharuk and Partners law firm. Solving complex logistical problems of delivery of common cargo of 25 factories – the company Rio-Trans.
FURNITURE OF UKRAINE at the Dubai 2022 Index
With the support of the organizers of INDEX and a member of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers Roman Drevich and Importa, the Furniture of Ukraine stand was presented at the largest exhibition of interior design solutions in the Persian Gulf Index Dubai 2022.
This year’s exhibition in Dubai was twice as big as the previous one, which took place for the first time since the quarantine. The management of the exhibition is a team from Europe that sincerely supports Ukraine, despite the UAE’s neutrality before the war in Ukraine. Confirmation of this: a free stand and refusal to participate in all companies from Russia and Belarus.
“Dubai is a truly global trading hub for the whole world. At the exhibition, we met with Italy, the USA, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India, Thailand, Tanzania, Germany, the United Kingdom and, of course, businesses in the UAE and other countries.
Dubai impresses with the creativity and modernity of Ukrainians. Do you think I saw something cosmic there? Something extraordinary? Something trendy? No, there was an interior that I see in Ukraine every day in the portfolio of furniture makers working with designers. At the competition “FURNITURE OF THE YEAR” UAFM every interior was like that. Do you hear Ukrainian designers, you are talented! They want you in the world! We have to go next year. It is worthy to represent Ukraine. Powerful entry into the Gulf market. ”, Shared her impressions and plans Oksana Donska, member of the Board of UAFM and head of FURNITURE OF UKRAINE BUSINESS EXPO, which together with the team represents a common brand of Ukrainian furniture at international exhibitions.
FURNITURE OF UKRAINE at Salone del Mobile.Milano 2022
This year at the most famous European exhibition of furniture and interior design Salone del Mobile Milano majors Ukrainian flag, the song “Oh, red viburnum in the meadow” was heard, and dozens of Ukrainian designers and furniture makers made a flash mob – embroidered shirts, yellow and blue colours and flags. Unbreakable Spirit, national pride, ability and willingness to work were presented at the furniture stand under the Furniture of Ukraine brand and the exhibition of Ukrainian designers.
“Furniture of Ukraine’s participation in ISalone 2022 has ended. Behind thousands of steps, hundreds of hugs, a good replenishment of the base of buyers with contacts and a huge suitcase of experience. I will single out 2 fat fish in the face of good businessmen from Denmark and the Netherlands who want to invest in the furniture business in Ukraine.
The 60th-anniversary exhibition of Salone del Mobile. Milano took place for the first time with the collective stand #FurnitureofUkraine. Yes, it is only 12 meters on the territory of a huge exhibition of 22 pavilions. But this is a place with the flag of Ukraine, to which people flocked with the greeting “Good evening, we are from Ukraine.” Many Ukrainian designers were opened to opportunities in Ukraine, and several dealers of Italian furniture in Ukraine began to return to the faith in Ukrainian, met already proven partners and, hopefully, new ones. Our 12-meter information stand is a tiny step towards a huge future. “, – sums up Oksana Donska.
Preparation of this stand became possible thanks to the support of the Embassy of Ukraine in Italy, the Council of Exporters and Investors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Made in Ukraine for Italy, Rivne Regional State Administration and, in particular, Vitaly Koval.
Ms Oksana shared her plans to participate in future exhibitions and called on furniture manufacturers to start training now, as the number of seats is limited and the benefits of such participation are undeniable.
Upcoming exhibitions in which UAFM will participate with joint stands FURNITURE OF UKRAINE
September 2022 MOW in Bad Salzuflen – focus on standard cabinet furniture, upholstered furniture, and wood furniture.
October 2022 Home & contract in Warsaw – focus on custom furniture, standard cabinet furniture, upholstered furniture, and wood furniture.
December 2022 Big5 in Dubai – focus on custom furniture, doors, and standard furniture.
January 2023 Coloni in Cologne – focus on serial cabinet furniture, upholstered furniture, and wood furniture.
February 2023 Meble Polska in Poznań – focus on serial cabinet furniture, upholstered furniture, and wood furniture.
April 2023 ISaloni in Milan – focus on custom furniture.
Participation in the national stands of Furniture of Ukraine at Meble Polska 2022, Index Dubai 2022, Salone del Mobile. Milano 2022, organized by UAFM under the leadership of Oksana Donska is a clear and consistent implementation of the strategy of the export breakthrough of Ukrainian furniture to international markets. Timely and powerful, united under a single brand, Ukrainian business has proven to the world community Ukrainian strength and resilience not only on the battlefield, but also in production, negotiation, logistics, and more. We have received respect and build trust, which already opens up great prospects for us. Now we can change the perception of Ukrainian products as a cheap segment and we are doing it! In Poland, the Ukrainian exposition united 25 furniture factories and won the award for the best exposition! We held more than 500 talks; we impressed the largest exhibition of interior solutions in Dubai with the modernity and creativity of Ukrainian design, held meetings with businesses in the UAE and other countries; in Italy, we added contacts to the base of buyers and interested businessmen from Denmark and the Netherlands who want to invest in the furniture business in Ukraine. With our unity and purposefulness, we demonstrate to the world our capabilities and the world is now ready to meet us, so we do not stop. Our actions are now important not only for the development of the furniture business and industry and for stimulating Ukraine’s economy but also for maintaining the interest of the world community in Ukraine as a whole, which can and should influence political decisions and relations that can help our victory. Glory to Unity! Glory to Ukraine!
The publication was prepared with the support of the European Union in the framework of the EU project “Internationalization of the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance: Improving direct dialogue between European and Ukrainian professional communities during the war.” The presented material reflects the positions of the Ukrainian Association of Furniture Manufacturers and the Ukrainian Cluster Alliance and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.