FIMMAThis is Globe Trotter Bernie Checking in from Bento Goncalves, Brazil. I am here on assignment to cover FIMMA Brazil, the International Fair of Machines, Raw Materials, and Accessories under way March 16 - 20. Bento Goncalves is situated in the area of Brazil that is home to a large portion of Brazilian furniture makers.

First of all, I would think it only natural that FIMMA is by Brazilians for Brazilians. Secondly, it is by Brazilians for Brazilians who want to promote and export their furniture-related products. With that in mind, the international woodworking press has been invited here to shed light on this industry, the world’s sixth largest furniture industry, and to cover this show. I am fortunate enough to represent Woodworkingnetwork.com in that regard.

FIMMA calls the international woodworking press to Brazil for this event through their Image Project. In conjunction with support from the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX Brazil) via MOVERGS and the Orchestra Brazil Project, FIMMA hopes to increase worldwide awareness of this event and bring worldwide focus to the Brazilian furniture industry.

We were able to spend time on Tuesday in the APEX Brazil Buyer’s Project area. Designed to create an atmosphere for efficient business generation, pre-scheduled meetings between invited importers and Brazilian companies exhibiting at the show occured during thirty minute face to face business meetings. Partnerships were formed, contracts signed, and products ordered. This was an exciting time and we were able to witness time and again new business deals being made across tables and across borders throughout the continent and beyond.

This year’s show contains the sixth edition of the Image Project. We were welcomed very graciously and treated well by the FIMMA people involved who made certain that we had access to the people and events that we needed to see and to hear for ourselves what Brazil has to offer the rest of the world in regards to their furniture industry.

Likewise, the Orchestra Brazil project exists to promote the growth (internationalization) of Brazilian companies that supply the furniture industry. Orchestra Brazil’s six goals are all about promoting exports. In particular, they wish to help Brazilian companies by helping “to provide the first export experience for companies that are not exporters yet” as well as to strengthen and enlarge existing exports. So if you are a distributor reading this and you are looking for new and trendy products on the world market to offer your clients, I would suggest that you start by looking at www.orchestrabrazil.com.br. That website may start you toward finding companies that create products that you have not yet seen.

I think it only fair to mention that Carol and I would not have been able to make this trip had it not been for the hard work on our behalf by the FIMMA staff. Traveling to third-world countries on short notice is not easy. My deepest thanks to Debora and Diego Valerio for helping us to obtain our Brazilian travel visas and airline tickets.

Our media schedule involved local factory tours of companies exhibiting at the show as well as interviews with people involved with Brazilian trade. We had access to the 58,000 square meter show floor that featured 600+ exhibiting brands from more than 40 participating countries. The fair started on Monday and wraps up Friday afternoon. There are plenty of opportunities here this week for us to see what’s new and of interest to the Brazilian furniture industry.

Our first day of activities began Tuesday morning after an arrival late the evening before. We toured the factory of Multimoveis, makers of furniture under the brand names Multimoveis Baby, Multimoveis Décor, Multimoveis Export as well as more custom interior furniture under the EKO Ambientes and Multipla brand names. Each brand is aimed at a specific demographic and sold both in and outside of Brazil.

The factory was the largest euro-style factory that I have visited. Their raw material end is serviced by four very large beam saws backed up by four CNC routers and four double-sided edge banders. All product is moved throughout the production area on moveable roller carts that run on rails down through the production line. Fork lifts load the beam saws at the raw material end as well as service the finished product end where pallets of packaged RTA products are moved to warehouse shelves to be staged for shipping.

Of great interest to me, I was able to see their large roll coating line in operation. In my 10+ years in the coatings industry, I have seen plenty of these machines at trade shows but I had never seen one in operation. Multimoveis uses their line to apply paints to their flat panels. They also have a local contractor who has the technology to role coat panel edges. This entire operation was very impressive.

We went on to visit their EKO Ambientes and Multipla design studio in downtown Bento Goncalves where these two lines are custom tailored to the client’s individual needs and spaces. Additional design studios are located in other markets.

On Wednesday morning, we toured the factory of, a maker of wire and metal convenience products for the home. Lead by designer Juliana Desconsi, of Interventodesign, Masutti Copat strives to bring Italian design influences to their thoroughly modern offerings with further native Brazilian influences. The creations they are bringing to market are aimed at all things storage throughout the house.

The use of wire and wood to make storage baskets that run the gamut from stylish fruit bowls in the kitchen to decorative display in the living room are inspired by native hand-made baskets with a modern, trendy look that will appeal to young adults. The practicality of their kitchen collection, again made largely of wire, appeals through its sensible use of space. Beyond the kitchen, there are lots of storage options for the clothes closet. In addition they have a line of kitchen cabinets and storage/display cabinets for throughout the house that again feature the inspiration of Juliana Desconsi. Masutti Copat products are sold through distribution in Brazil.

The next edition of the FIMMA Brazil Show is scheduled to take place in March of 2017 from Tuesday, the 28th to Friday, the 31st. More information can be found directly at their website at www.fimma.com.br .

 

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