A new trade body has been established to represent the interests of all Irish-based solid fuel retailers. Solid Fuel Merchants Ireland (SFMI), was recently established by Kilkenny-based, Colin Ahern, who is the owner of Marble City Fuels in the city.
Solid Fuel Merchants Ireland (SFMI) aims to become the country’s largest representative body for businesses and retailers selling solid fuels. The organisation will act as a proactive partner to Government, and relevant stakeholders helping to inform and guide on best practice in the industry.
SFMI advocates for a proportional policy and legislative approach which recognises the necessity of solid fuels as a source of energy. Its objectives are to provide representation for the industry with all high-level stakeholders during a time of profound change for the sector. The association will provide cutting-edge insights, advocacy, policy development and advice to all businesses involved in the selling or promotion of solid fuel.
Key among its policy objectives are;
- The introduction of a sunset clause in any legislation that presents an existential crisis for the sector
- Full enforcement of legislation, particularly pertaining to smuggling and the evasion of carbon taxation
- Support for the development of low carbon alternatives
- The introduction of an EPA registration requirement for all fuel merchants trading
Its membership already comprises of 50 businesses, which are based across Ireland.
Chairperson of SFMI, Colin Ahern said “Despite the rapid changes engulfing the sector, as a consequence of a move to carbon emission reduction policies, there has been a lack of focused representation of solid fuel merchants interests.
“Our function is to ensure our membership is empowered to protect the existence of their businesses, amid the evolution of the sector, but crucially to assist them in reaching a fair compromise in any legislation that threatens their existence. Everything we will do will have this principle at its core”.
SFMI will focus on a commonality of sectoral interests ranging from increasing enforcement resources to protect legitimate businesses to promoting industry standards. We endeavor to make a meaningful impact and deliver real benefits to our members who have a broad geographical reach throughout every town in the country,” added Ahern.
Members of the Executive Council of the Association include;
- Peter Madden of Maddens Fuels, Co Galway
- Nessa Duffy of Harbour Trading Co., Co Wicklow
- Damian Molloy of Molloy’s Fuels, Co Laois