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You are here:News»Second edition of Flanders Flooring Days kicks off today
Monday, 22 May 2023 17:16

Second edition of Flanders Flooring Days kicks off today

(from left to right) Erik Deporte - CEO | Associated Weavers, Wim Coppens - VP Flooring | Beaulieu International Group, Peter Desmet - CEO | Mc Three, James Neuling - Executive Director | Belysse, Ruben Desmet - President Flooring Unilin, Jan Dossche - President | COREtec Floors International, Luc Claeys – CEO |OSTA, Vincent Vermoere – Directeur Vebe Floorcoverings (Condor Group) , Joe Lano - CEO | Lano Carpets (from left to right) Erik Deporte - CEO | Associated Weavers, Wim Coppens - VP Flooring | Beaulieu International Group, Peter Desmet - CEO | Mc Three, James Neuling - Executive Director | Belysse, Ruben Desmet - President Flooring Unilin, Jan Dossche - President | COREtec Floors International, Luc Claeys – CEO |OSTA, Vincent Vermoere – Directeur Vebe Floorcoverings (Condor Group) , Joe Lano - CEO | Lano Carpets

10 key players in carpet and flooring industry give an insider's view of the future of their sector

Today marks the start of the second edition of Flanders Flooring Days (FFD). During this four-day event, 10 leading companies from the carpet and flooring industry will give everybody a unique opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes. From 22 to 25 May, visitors will be able to learn all about the manufacturing process, innovations and future plans of some of the industry's world leaders in our area, within a radius of barely 25 kilometres.

The first edition of Flanders Flooring Days in 2022 was a big hit, attracting hundreds of industry players. Visitors were able to discover tons of new products in just a short amount of time. This very successful experience makes this second edition a matter of course.

Alive and kicking

FFD is about more than just showcasing products and innovative ideas. The event is also a great opportunity for visitors to witness the drive and ambition behind this sector.

Together, the companies behind FFD provide a total of 17.000 jobs worldwide, have 300 vacancies and plan to invest more than 300 million euros in their businesses over the next two years.

These investments focus on aspects such as energy saving, renewable resources and training.

  • - This year, for instance, Unilin will be investing 20 million euros in increased production capacity for Luxury Vinyl Tiles. Among other projects, the company will launch a brand new production line that will use much less energy.
  • - Condor Group, one of FFD's new partners, uses recycled plastics from the ocean, just as Associated Weavers does. "In addition to the direct benefit of CO2 reduction, this also helps local communities see the social impact of beach clean-ups", says Jan Hoekman jr., board member at Condor Group.
  • - The companies also pay close attention to training and employee development. Peter Desmet (CEO of Mc Three): "We invest in our people and give them specific training. This also provides them with the opportunity to get better at what they do."

Traditions come together

Flanders Flooring Days is where two local traditions merge: the deep-rooted expertise and passion for the carpet and flooring industry and Flemish hospitality. Ruben Desmet, cofounder of the event and President of Unilin, perfectly sums up the concept: "The atmosphere of this event is highly convivial: it is almost as if you were inviting someone into your home instead of to a restaurant."

So, FFD is a one-of-a-kind trade fair, in the sense that it is held within the participating companies. Because what better place to explore everything than in their flagship showrooms? And where can you find professionals with such great expertise within a stone's throw of each other? There is no better place than Flanders to do so!

Find out how enthusiastic the companies behind FFD are about their sector in some of the attached testimonials.

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The attached photo shows the hosts welcoming you to their 'homes' for the second edition of Flanders Flooring Days.

B.I.G. keeps growing rapidly in the resilient and hard flooring market, where the Beauflor brand holds a strong position thanks to continuous improvements in both quality and design. For example, we recently increased our production capacity for digitally printed cushion vinyl, allowing us to offer more than 2,000 different designs to our customers worldwide. We also have plans for BerryAlloc: in Norway, production capacity for our High-Pressure Flooring (HPF), a premium laminate providing a non-slip, high wear resistant and shock absorbing surface, will increase from 5 to 9 million m² between now and 2024. B.I.G. also remains firmly committed to combining innovation & sustainability. One concrete example is our 100% recyclable event carpet Rewind, which has already received several notable awards, including the 2022 UFI Industry Partners Award.

In addition to achieving organic growth, we continue to put our efforts into new acquisitions and partnerships. In April, for instance, we acquired Signature Floors to further strengthen our position in markets such as Australia and New Zealand. We also have great ambitions to grow globally within the sports segment in our synthetic turf division. After acquiring the US-based leading synthetic turf manufacturer ActGlobal at the end of last year, we recently announced a unique partnership with Arenal, one of Belgium's leading padel court operators.

Ruben De Reu, Product & Marketing Director Belysse:

“Belysse is looking forward to participating in the Flanders Flooring Days for the second time. Last year, during the first edition, still as ‘We are carpets’ and now as Belysse.

Belysse, active in Flanders for 58 years, strongly believes in the Flanders region and embraces the boundless possibilities of tomorrow, our organization is committed to driving innovation through ambitious projects that push the boundaries of technology. By fostering a culture of creativity, collaboration, and continuous learning, we strive to create solutions that address complex challenges and unlock new opportunities, ultimately shaping a more sustainable world.

Flanders stands as a vibrant hub, seamlessly uniting a diverse range of competences necessary for success. With its rich pool of talent, expertise, and resources, it provides an ecosystem where innovation thrives. By harnessing the collective power of exceptional individuals, cutting-edge research institutions, forward-thinking businesses, and collaborative networks, Flanders cultivates an environment where the full spectrum of skills and knowledge converges, propelling us towards our position as leaders in sustainable flooring solutions.

With its dynamic ecosystem, thriving marketplace, and unparalleled resources, Belysse is confident that Flanders offers the perfect foundation for our growth and success.”

In 2018, Betap introduced its NextGen carpet, which is made of one uniform raw material. This makes the recycling process easier and improves the efficiency of reusing the raw material at end of life. This year, we made further progress in that area, which we will be happy to showcase during the FFD.

Jan Hoekman jr, one of Condor Group's family members on the new partnership with #tide:

"We are now also using #tide ocean material®. This has the direct benefit of reducing CO2 emissions. But projects such as beach clean-ups also have a positive ecological and social impact on local communities. That too is a very important part of this collaboration. Giving local communities new opportunities and enabling them to restore nature."

Jan Dossche – President

"As a co-founder of the FFD, it is a real pleasure to see that the turnout for this second edition proves that the concept of this event was not a bad idea at all. The reputation of our region, Flanders, and by extension that of Belgium, as a hospitable area located right in the heart of Europe, is a major asset when it comes to organising this type of international event. Our region is truly unique: its accessibility, stunning cities, widely acclaimed quality of life and first-class hospitality infrastructure are simply second to none. The fact that the majority of the flooring industry is based in Flanders/Belgium also confirms and substantiates the relevance of this wonderful endeavour. Everyone is always welcome!"

Our company has been around for almost 100 years. So, to say we are passionate about carpet is clearly an understatement. Carpet literally and figuratively brings warmth to a room and improves air quality and acoustics. The fact that it also has a positive impact on your energy bills is yet another bonus. We provide high-quality products that will last for years. Nevertheless, one day will come when your carpet will have to be replaced. What then?
That is why our focus in R&D is on developing quality products that are both sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Peter Desmet – CEO Mc Three:

"The decision of the founder’s daughter, Sophia Vanwynsberghe, to keep the company in family hands is a very strong signal to the outside world: we are here, and we are here to stay; and we have a vision of the future that we are busy shaping ourselves.
Sophia Vanwynsberghe's confidence in us and the security she gives us is reflected in our loyalty, motivation and tremendous passion for the product. We have the expertise and the skills to compete confidently in the market. And our owner gives us the opportunity to invest.

We invest in our people. We offer training and open up career opportunities for junior staff. We think longer-term, and are guided by a five-year plan. We also want to push automation forward in carpet production. New looms are on the wish list. In the areas of finishing and logistics in particular, the physically heavy work is to be taken over by robots to relieve the employees. Last but not least, we are investing in product development, such as new yarns with which creative designs can be realised.
Sustainability is an immanently important and extremely complex issue for us, which we view holistically. Not only do we use more recycled materials, such as rPET, we also focus on redesigning our products to make them more sustainable."

OSTA has been a renowned manufacturer of authentic rugs made from pure wool or high-quality synthetic materials since 1934. For almost 90 years, OSTA has been standing for excellence in craftsmanship and experience in the weaving industry.
We weave to order but keep a significant part of our collection in stock to ensure quick delivery of urgent orders. Our highly skilled design team is committed to optimising existing designs and translating new trends into tomorrow's creations. As for our sales team, they give their best every day to meet the needs of our customers. In other words, the entire OSTA team is dedicated to providing the best quality and service to our partners worldwide.

Knowledge and innovation.

Our weaving mill is based in Avelgem, near Oudenaarde, which is Flanders' historical tapestry weaving centre. We are proud to continue the fine art of weaving, thereby keeping this remarkable legacy alive. Our team strives to offer the widest possible range of high-end techniques and textures. Our range includes sophisticated jacquard, high-en wilton weave, luxurious high pile, elegant 'Brussels Weave' and super premium indoor/outdoor rugs for high-traffic areas. We always select the finest materials to weave these products, ranging from natural fibres such as pure wool or cotton to recycled polyester. OSTA highly values its in-house knowledge. The design team joins forces with our skilled master weavers to continue to innovate and create the unexpected.

Ruben Desmet –
 President Unilin Flooring
"In 2023, Unilin will invest 20 million euros. On the one hand, this will allow us to significantly increase the production of LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) in our facility in Avelgem and, on the other hand, to build a new, state-of-the-art production line for LVT in Wielsbeke. The aim of these investments is to take the LVT category to a new level, focusing on an unprecedented look & feel and recycling. This investment is part of Unilin Group's broader investment plan that will see the company invest 155 million euros in innovation and increased production capacity in 2023."