KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
15th April 2011
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The EU-27 and 19 other European countries are preparing to launch intergovernmental talks that are expected to result in a legally-binding agreement on sustainable use of forests in 2013. In parallel, the European Commission is kicking off talks to revamp its forest policy. An agreement to open negotiations is expected to be reached by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, which will take place in Oslo, Norway, from 14th - 16th June.
Welcome to the
We had some good news in the UK this week when official labour market figures released by the Office for National Statistics, revealed that fewer people are out of work. The experts are telling us not to get too excited though, warning that unemployment is likely to rise again later in the year.
The British retail consortium is concerned that consumer spending is down too. While this is not good for those needing us to spend our money, it has helped bring down inflation and thus reduced the likelihood that interest rates will soon start to rise, as some had feared. I am so glad that we are still able to set our own interest rates here and were not forced to increase them recently alongside our European partners who belong to the Eurozone.
I feel very badly for those over in Ireland who were already suffering badly, having received special help from the EU and now needing to pay it back with the economy in the state that it is - and with 1,031 jobs lost, on average, each week in 2011.
I do hope that the Irish Small Firms Association managed to persuade the Irish Government in Wednesday's meeting, not to add to the country's woes by ignoring what I feel is an excellent argument for retaining the national minimum wage rate at €7.65 per hour in an attempt to regain competitiveness.
The fact that current employees are protected on the old rate of €8.65 under contract law, so no existing employee would experience a 'cut' in pay, is important, as is the SFA's argument that the new lower rate would only affect new employees, who can decide for themselves whether they want to work for this rate, rather than have the State block them from working in order to retain "an absurd notion" of what a job is worth.
More of this story in this week's news...
This Week's News
An Irish Small Firms Association delegation met Minister Richard Bruton, TD, yesterday, to discuss its jobs and small business proposals. It was an important meeting as the small business sector currently employs half the private sector workforce, some 700,000 people.
SFA Chairman, Ian Martin, leading the delegation of small business owner-managers, has said that "Government job promises can only be delivered through successful small businesses.
Conveniently compact, the Max is stylish, versatile and a powerful performer. Its cleverly designed 'round back' means it slips neatly into any corner, saving worktop space. However, it is far from being a mere showpiece! The Max microwave has a generous 28cm turntable and a cavity space equivalent to a 23-litre model, 750 Watts of microwave power and Whirlpool's renowned Jet Defrost feature. This provides exceptionally fast and even defrosting, thanks to the company's revolutionary 3D system, which ensures uniform circulation with its three-dimensional microwave distribution system.
Circle Living, part of Circle, one of the UK's largest providers of affordable housing, has won a First Time Buyer Award
Outlook Place in Watford, won Most Eco-Aware Project at the First Time Buyer Readers' Awards in London on Friday, and was also runner up in the Best Small Development category.
AEG has launched the MaxiKlasse 493321-MN with MaxiSense induction hob, which has flexible zones that allow maximum space and choice of position for any size or shape of pans... even a fish kettle can comfortably be placed across two zones for perfect heat distribution.
The Stop and Go feature allows instant control at the touch of a button. The main oven has eight functions including ultra fan, top heat and bottom heat, which can combine to achieve optimum results and is large enough to accommodate a large turkey. The oven doors are triple glazed for safety and better insulation and the CataLuxe liners in both ovens means you don't have to spend hours cleaning the cooker.
Franke, said to be the world's largest manufacturer of kitchen sinks, is 100 years old - and, with a reputation for being at the forefront of research and development in the kitchen industry, the company is celebrating with the new state-of-the art Centinox sink, along with two stunning taps and innovative accessories.
The Centinox sink encompasses all the elegance, style and precision engineering expected from Franke, such as the new 'Slim-Top' inset sink edge which gives the appearance of a fashionable undermount sink. Its profiled edge incorporates a lip into which practical, innovative tiered accessories fit and slide... designed to slide within the sink are the stylish Rollamat, stainless steel strainer bowl and two-sided stainless steel/synthetic chopping board. A mobile drainer is a
AKW topped off a very successful show at Naidex 2011, the UK's largest disability, rehabilitation and healthcare exhibition, by taking home the Best in Show award with a five star rating by Able Magazine.
A UK leader in showering, daily living and kitchen solutions for the elderly, disabled and less able people, AKW was given the award for the development of one of its most innovative products, Luda, what is said to be an industry-first electric care shower. This is the first main award that the pioneering Luda shower has received since its launch last year.
US consumer electronics industry leaders have this week launched what is believed to be the first-ever industry-wide electronics recycling initiative to recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016, which would be a more than threefold increase over 2010.
The eCycling Leadership Initiative seeks to improve consumer awareness of the more than 5,000 collection sites currently sponsored by industry; increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly; increase the number of collection opportunities available; and provide transparent metrics on eCycling efforts. One billion pounds of electronics, if not properly recycled, would fill about 88.9 million cubic feet, equivalent to an entire 71,000-seat NFL stadium.
Popular UK kitchen furniture manufacturer Mereway Kitchens, has launched new products for its Italian inspired Cucina Colore collection. This Spring brings a brand new brochure hosting a wealth of stunning, inspirational photography that's guaranteed to impress.
The new book is every bit as special as Mereway's furniture. The brochure comprises an impressive 42 pages packed with sumptuous kitchen photography and an easy to use guide to help with product selection. Cucina Colore prides itself on the flexibility to mix and match finishes, styles and shapes, and this brochure presents the tools do build a special designer-feel kitchen.
Apart from the obvious aspects like contemporary decor, light and airy room space and good bed...it's the details that impress the regular hotel stayer.
Following the successful launch of its new modular furniture collection last year - and in response to customer demand, Shades Bathrooms has extended the range to include Aspen, featuring the very latest in contemporary styling in crisp white with a quality high gloss finish.
With its clean lines and minimal styling, Aspen from Shades is extremely versatile, offering endless design possibilities that enable various furniture pieces to be combined to suit the space available and create a truly individual and contemporary look.
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The Low Pay Commission has welcomed the Government's confirmation yesterday that from October 2011 the National Minimum Wage will increase in line with its recommendations.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association was inundated with enquiries at the Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2011, making it the busiest ever for its resident expert Alan Stanford.
20 pioneering kitchen, bathroom and bedroom product concepts have been shortlisted for the kbb London Innovation Awards. The Awards recognise kbb design excellence and original thought and shortlisted products range from technologically advanced appliances and interactive storage solutions to space-saving concepts and architectural spaces, representing the whole scope of the industry's recent developments.
The companies shortlisted for the awards and whose products will be showcased in the Innovations Centre at the kbb London exhibition are:
The Thermostatic Mixing Valve Manufacturers' Association has successfully secured the inclusion of 'Severe Scalding of Patients' in the expanded list of 'Never Events' (increasing from 8 to 25) recently published by the Department of Health. The list is prefaced by: "The expanded never events list is, in the view of the Department of Health, a reasonable list of events that are unacceptable and eminently preventable in the National Health Service. It is the list that all organisations providing NHS care should work from."