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8 Giftware Review July/August 2014 *

GRNEWS. Beauty and the bee By Charlotte Cowell

This Summer it’s worth considering the humble honey bee and the amazing work it does to keep this planet alive. Around one third of the food we eat

relies on bees for pollination and they also help with pollination of non-food crops including cotton and flax. Bees supply honey, pollen, propolis

and beeswax that is used in any number of home, health and beauty products from vitamin supplements and natural sweeteners to skin moisturiser and candles. Yet bees are suffering a dramatic

decline in hives, with most wild honey bee colonies now extinct. Alarmed at the decline, the British Beekeepers Association has produced ‘Bees in the Curriculum’

beefayre reed diffuser

school packs to educate new generations on the importance of saving bees. Retailers can help by stocking up on ‘bee friendly’ products that support hives while making the most of their wonderful natural and organic by-products. Beefayre is a company

directly inspired by the plight of the honey bee, making use of only natural ingredients

...made in England using

sustainable ingredients...

A helping hand could be extended to people who have worked - or may still be working - in the gift and home industry and have fallen on hard times. GA chief executive Isabel Martinson

(below) says deserving cases could receive help from the British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation Benevolent Society, the registered charity of the British Allied Trades Federation (BATF). The Society is funded

entirely by donations from companies within the BATF – of which The GA is a part – and from the proceeds of the annual Benevolent Society Ball. As a result it is able to provide modest financial help to assist beneficiaries in the purchase of essential household items such as cookers, washing machines and fridges, as well as providing grants for medical requirements such as mobility scooters and wheelchairs. The Society will also help suitable

candidates, who can demonstrate their financial distress, to meet utility bills and

bad debts. In some cases regular financial support is provided, as are interest-free loans. Isabel said: “They say charity begins at

home, but in this case it begins at work. The Benevolent Society does absolutely terrific work and is a lifeline to its beneficiaries. However, not all our members know about what we can offer, so please spread the word and if you know of someone in need then please point them in this direction. “Many GA members

already support the charity with a voluntary donation as part of their membership fee, and it’s very grateful for this support. However, in order to continue its excellent work, it needs all the

donations it can get, so do please also consider backing this very worthwhile cause as part of your company’s charitable giving.” Another feature of the Society’s work is

an annual outing and lunch for its regular beneficiaries. “For many participants this provides their only ‘holiday’ of the year and is very much appreciated,” Isabel said.

Ken Johnson, managing director of Enesco UK, has been awarded The Giftware Association-sponsored Honorary Achievement Award at The Greats Retailer Awards. Presenting the award at London’s

Savoy Hotel, GA chairman Andrew Illingworth described him as “someone who continues to lead and influence giftware; someone who has spent a lifetime in the industry and remains as ambitious as ever for his sector of the market.” Ken earned three shillings and

sixpence when he first entered the trade back in the Sixties. He began his career as a sales trainee with a china company and worked on the factory floor for six months. But it was in the world of collectables

that Ken really made his mark and he has been “a constant champion and driving force” behind great British made collectables such as Lilliput Lane and, the brand where he once worked – and which is celebrating its 40th anniversary - Border Fine Arts Andrew Illingworth said: “The

collectables market has had its ups and downs over the years, but these brands –

and is donating three per cent of all profits to bee conservation. Beefayre products are made in England using sustainably sourced ingredients with no

added petroleum ingredients, parabens, sulphates, artificial colours or foaming agents and recycled glass for containers. Filberts Bees has been working with

bees since 2008 when it introduced recycled wax into home and skincare products helping to make beekeeping sustainable during difficult years with hard winters. The company recently invested in a wooden-framed bee breeding house to protect new hives from harsh weather. The beekeeper, Mark Rogers has

developed a wonderful range of handmade, natural beauty and home

The Bee: A Natural History Noah Wilson-Rich Available: September 2014 ISBN: 978-1-78240-107-0 RRP: £19.99

products without using artificial preservatives, synthetics perfumes or mineral oils. Tapping into the trend for crafting are the Make it at Home Kits which make a great display alongside classic, rolled beeswax, honey-scented candles and gift tins. Want to know more? Visit the Bee

Keepers Association –

Charitable support for gift industry Top award for Enesco’s Ken Johnson

and many others, such as Willow Tree – remain among the best known, in no small part due to our winner’s determined drive and enthusiasm to keep them on top. They have gone on to become iconic collectors’ pieces the world over, avidly acquired in their millions.” Ken, who also worked at Spode, Arthur

Wood and Carltonware, joined Enesco as sales director 25 years ago and became managing director in 2008, since when he had, said Andrew, “adapted and strengthened the business to meet the ever- changing and challenging demands of collectors and those retailers who service the market.”

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