Although its name has changed the BIAFD has represented the interests of British fastener distributors for nearly seventy years.
Formed originally in the early 1940s as a national association of bolt and nut stockists, its early aims were to balance the post-war domination of British fastener manufacturers.
As the landscape of British fastener manufacturing and distribution evolved, at some points radically, the Association adapted and developed its role. Renamed for several years the National Association of Fastener Stockists, we became the British Association of Fastener Distributors in the late 1990s.
In the early 2000s, faced with critically low membership numbers and a lack of clear direction, we carefully reviewed our role and restructured our activities. We focused on bringing our membership relevant and timely information and support in a fast-changing global fastener market, and adopted a lean business model that ensured excellent value for members.
In July 2009 the Association became a non-profit making company limited by guarantee.
In 2014, at the request of several major fastener distributors in Ireland, the Association extended its membership and became the British & Irish Association of Fastener Distributors. Today around ten percent of our members trade in the Republic and/or Northern Ireland.
In 2000 BIAFD was one of the founder members of the European Fastener Distributor Association, established to present a counterweight to the lobbying influence of European fastener manufacturers.
BIAFD officers and directors played significant roles in EFDA’s campaign, during 2008-9, against the first EU introduction of antidumping duties on fasteners originating from China. BIAFD similarly played a very active role from 2020 when EFDA, with a far more proactive and coordinated approach, worked intensively to resist the reintroduction of antidumping measures.
While the UK has now left the EU, BIAFD’s membership of EFDA remains crucially important to our Irish members, particularly as Northern Ireland continues to be subject to EU regulations under the provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
For all our members, EFDA is also a vitally important connection to counterparts throughout Europe and way beyond, as the European Association has extensive and effective networks with fastener industry bodies in North America and Asia.
BIAFD officers and directors continue to contribute actively to EFDA as it continues to broaden its horizons to offer enhanced value to European fastener distributors and a stronger insight into the critical role the sector plays in supporting every industry throughout the continent.
BIAFD now has a wide and varied membership of more than one hundred companies, ranging from the largest fastener wholesalers and importers in the UK through to smaller family-owned local businesses. That membership has grown steadily year on year since the turn of the century. Our members continue to be our best ambassadors – commending BIAFD’s value to participants at all points of the British and Irish fastener supply chain.
Over the last twenty years, BIAFD has honed its abilities to ensure its membership is Better Informed and to ensure market stakeholders and government organisations understand the key role UK fastener distributors play in supporting a huge range of important industries.
Our members serve virtually every kind of fastener consumption in the automotive, manufacturing, assembly, maintenance, construction and building sectors – whether in a small local area or throughout the world.
We pride ourselves on being a lean and highly effective organisation, absolutely committed to the interests of fastener distribution businesses, which delivers extraordinary value to its members for a modest, by any trade body standard, annual subscription.