Industry - Competitiveness factors

The EU furniture industry is one of the major representative of the manufacturing and creative industries in Europe: an existing pride and a future chance for growth of Europe.

The EU furniture sector grants a substantial contribution to EU economy and to the development of its society.

Among its main competitiveness factors, we may count:

  • Traditional Europe's artistic and cultural patrimony: we represent an EU manufacturing sector that incorporates major values other than price. European furniture products are appreciated and recognized worldwide because of their cultural heritage, quality and the excellence of the artisanal skills used to create them.
  • Significant contribution to the European economy: we provide 1.1 million jobs, in close to 130,000 enterprises - mainly micro and small sized - generating an annual turnover of around EUR 96 billion. In most EU countries, the furniture sector represents between 2 and 4% of the production value of the overall manufacturing sector and the possibilities for further development of our industrial capacity are still significant.
  • Labour intensive sector: We produce goods that require a large workforce with a wide range of professional backgrounds: from industrial workers to manufacturers, designers, suppliers and entrepreneurs. Moreover, our industries are often situated in smaller cities and rural areas, promoting employment in areas where a job may typically not be easy to find.
  • Education and training: we duly promote the training of workers and the exchange of best practices, in the framework of a mutual collaboration with Social Partners in order to achieve the best results for our industries and workers.
  • Promotion of SMEs: Our sector is mainly composed of SMEs, or even micro companies, so we are constantly engaged in developing strategies and promoting policies aimed at supporting EU small and medium sized manufacturers and facilitating their growth, innovation and internationalization.
  • Solid presence in EU internal market: the furniture industry is very active in intra-EU exchange and EU citizens are major consumers. This provides positive support to other sectors of the furniture production value chain that are present within the EU.
  • Strong impact on EU external market: the EU accounts for about 40-50% of world furniture imports, 30-35% of exports and 45% of total world trade. EU furniture products remain at the top-level in terms of exports to other countries thanks to the quality of our products.
  • Fostering Creativity, Innovation and Technology: EU furniture production technology is advanced and companies operating in the woodworking machinery industry are global leaders. Furthermore, all leading design and research centres are located in the EU and EU furniture manufacturers are global trendsetters.
  • Respect for high Health and environmental standards: the EU furniture industry has always embraced high ecological standards and furniture products manufactured in the EU are top performers in terms of environmental and social sustainability. Furniture itself makes great use of sustainable materials, such as wood, with a strong positive influence on climate change.
  • Direct Contribution to the society: last but not least, one major aim of the furniture sector is to create better lives for people: as a furniture industry we offer a great added value and contribution to society by improving the quality of everyday life for everyone; creating more ergonomic products; more efficient spaces; better organized offices and more secure hospitals.