Brick Development Association rebuts brick shortage accusations

The Brick Development Association (BDA) has responded to what it sees as “highly misleading and unhelpful” comment from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

Market research data released on 2 February indicated several areas of concern for the construction sector, amongst which was a lengthening of delivery times for building materials.

The BDA has made this statement in order to “make it completely clear that brick production has risen significantly over the last two years.” Department for Business, Innovation and Skills figures, also released yesterday, point to brick production in December 2015 being 16% higher than in December 2014.

The BDA challenged CIPS on its comment citing brick shortages as a particular issue, asking to see statistical evidence to support the claim. In response, the BDA was told: “We used the term bricks as generally representative of building materials as a sector. We see a shortage of various building materials and picked on bricks as a readily understandable terminology.”

Michael Ankers, chairman of the BDA, commented: “This is sloppy narrative that is very damaging to our industry. The BDA represents 99% of the brick manufacturers in the UK.  We can report with absolute authority that there has been a significant increase in brick production over the last twelve months and this is confirmed by the latest ONS statistics.

“If there are delivery issues further down the supply chain it would be very helpful to understand the cause. Unfortunately, CIPS was unable to provide information on the number or organisation type of respondents finding bricks hard to obtain. Without that evidence, I find it astonishing that the CIPS felt authorised to comment on the availability of bricks.”