Can two trade associations representing companies on different sides of the fence, really operate as one?
Reflecting on the news that the manufacturers trade association AEA (Agricultural Engineers Association) have bought BAGMA (British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association) representing sales and service dealers, I talk to former BAGMA Director General Jonathan Swift who was also responsible for bringing BAGMA into the British Hardware Federation (now BIRA) when he was BHF DG.
There has long been talk of a joint body, even back more than 40 years when Jonathan was running BAGMA at the time that his father Dean Swift was Director General of the AEA. Many of these early discussions took place over Sunday lunch!
Jonathan reflects on some of the issues faced by BAGMA including improved warranty arrangements, dealer contracts, code of practice, all of which provoked lively discussion.
He says "I have a concern that one association should own the other when it would be better that it becomes something of an industry G7 with absolute parity between both parties"