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The CFA’s golden milestone

It’s the CFA’s 50th birthday! Richard Catt takes you through a quickfire tour
of half-a-century’s achievements.

In the bell-bottomed era of 1974, something remarkable was happening in the flooring industry. The Contract Flooring Association (CFA) was born, emerging from the amalgamation of three smaller flooring associations: The Floor Covering Contractors Association, The Association of Flooring Contractors, and the Carpet Planners Association. As we fast forward to the present day, marking our 50th Anniversary, it’s not just a celebration of time passed but a testament to the CFA’s enduring commitment to fostering excellence in the commercial flooring sector.

Our mission, crafted in those early years, still resonates today: ‘The CFA aims to support its members in developing sustainable, highly productive businesses that supply and install commercial floor coverings.’ We are the voice of the industry, promoting standards, professionalism, quality, safety, and training. The journey from 1974 to 2024 has seen incredible growth and evolution, and our mission remains steadfast.

Over the decades, the CFA has been a driving force behind numerous publications, from the annual Sustainability Guide to the Members’ Handbook and the Training Guide. Notably, every five years, we release the Guide to Contract Flooring, a comprehensive resource shaping industry practices. With a strong manufacturers committee actively contributing to standards and Guidance Notes, we ensure the industry stays abreast of the latest advancements and we help shape good practice and innovation.

Networking, a cornerstone since our inception, continues to be vital. Annual events like the glamorous Annual Ball, Golf and Horse Racing Days provide a platform for members to connect. In an age where digital interactions are prevalent, we value the human touch and camaraderie these events foster.

Some of the heart of our influence lies in our training arm, FITA, operating from Loughborough and Kirkcaldy. It’s here that we offer unparalleled training opportunities with experienced Training Consultants. Our commitment to apprenticeships is exemplified by FITA, now a gold standard for apprenticeship delivery. The Flooring Apprentice of the Year Competition, a jewel in our crown, celebrates the industry’s rising stars, generously supported by sponsors.

From a humble start of 175 members in 1974, the CFA’s family has grown to over 420, predominantly comprising of Flooring Contractors, with robust representation from manufacturers and distributors. Our impressive annual retention rate of 94% underscores the quality of our vetted members, reflecting a cohesive and reputable supply chain.

As we stand on the cusp of our 50th year (we were incorporated on the 28 March 1974), the CFA remains a forward-thinking organisation. Our celebration year will peak in October at the Crown Plaza in Chester, with a party promising a night of revelry, a tribute band, and disco. Embracing the spirit of the times, we’ve opted for smart casual attire, making this event accessible to all. Save the date, Saturday, October 12, 2024 – a night where memories will be made.

A nod to our predecessors, especially Brian Grey and Steven Kitteridge, our first Secretary and President, respectively, a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to the CFA’s success. Whether on the Council, committees, or supporting events and initiatives, your dedication has shaped the CFA into what it is today. For those seeking a trip down memory lane, a list of all Presidents since 1974 accompanies this article.

As we embark on the journey to our 50th anniversary, we celebrate not just the years gone by but the enduring legacy of the CFA. Here’s to the next 50 years of excellence, innovation, and camaraderie in the world of contract flooring. Cheers to the CFA!

The CFA is a leading trade association representing the Flooring Industry. If you would like an application pack or further information on the benefits of membership, please contact the CFA offices on 0115 941 1126, email or apply online at
0115 9411126

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