Latviski English По-русски
Tuesday 25.10.2016 | Name days: Beāte, Beatrise

Maffam Freeform: people do not trust the unknown

(No Ratings Yet)

Many customers who order our garden furniture made from basalt rock fibres usually seek something out of the ordinary. At the same time, there are many people who do not trust new and unknown things. This forces us to work patiently and explain, said Maffam Freeform project lead Gatis Silenieks in an interview to BNN.

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUMaffam Freeform has been active since the end of 2010. The company offers clients in neighbouring countries, USA, Russia, Australia and a number of European countries garden furniture made from basalt rock fibres and decorative interior elements. Considering how unique this product is and that everything is hand-made, the average price is approximately EUR 800. Production process is carried out the following way: basalt fibres are mixed with eco-friendly resinous substance. Then everything is coated with a polyurethane coating. This helps protect furniture from natural elements and sun rays. Basalt absorbs UV rays, radioactive and electro-magnetic radiation, as well as X-rays.

What are some of the most notable recent events in your sector?

Maffam Freeform exclusive garden furniture niche is narrow but stable. We haven’t seen any grandiose events so far. We just try to achieve our goals.

Can you say economic conditions are improving and there is a lot of potential for economic growth in the market?

Throughout the years we have concentrated on exports. Domestic market is of little interest to us. However, I have to admit that we have received a record-large number of orders from clients in Latvia throughout this season. This happened in spite of the fact that Latvia’s market is too small to sustain our company. Maffam Freeform was first founded during the economic crisis. Since then, the company’s turnover has only grown year after year. Although we cannot say this happens because of economic growth. We have invested a lot of work in realization of our products. I believe it is no small thanks to improved economic conditions in the country.

How would you describe the government’s economy policy aimed at improving the economic situation in the country?

We actively use government programmes. I have to admit – it helps us a lot. We have used benefits provided by the ‘Conquering external markets – external market’ programme of Latvian Investments and Development Agency. It has helped us attend multiple international exhibitions in recent years. We gained a lot of experience in attending national stands organized by LIAA in previous years. Creative Andrejsala incubator helped us make our first steps.

How is the industry affected by Latvia’s policy? What changes to legislation would you like to see? What helps? What makes things more complicated?

Because we are rather passive in the domestic market, Latvia’s policy has a very little impact on our company. Of course, a stable and predictable tax policy is vital for any company, us as well.

How would you describe the industry’s position in the Baltics? What about competition with Estonia and Lithuania?

Maffam Freeform manufactures exclusive products. We don’t have any direct competitors anywhere in the world. Although Latvians like local products very much and are big patriots, our neighbours make more orders annually than local customers do. Why is it so? We don’t know either.

What can you can call your ‘trump card’? What is your ‘Achilles’ heel’?

As I’ve said, Maffam Freeform manufactures exclusive products. It is both our trump card and Achiles’ heel. Many of our customers search for things that are out of the ordinary. They can definitely find it in Maffam Freeform. At the same time, we have to invest a lot of work to tell and show people what materials are used and what they can expect. People don’t trust new and unknown things. So we have to be patient to show and explain everything.

What do you predict for the next five years? Will the situation in the industry improve, worsen or remain the same?

We will continue actively developing markets in which we have gained recognition. We will also make efforts to explore new markets and come up with new furniture collections.


Leave a reply

This week to be rich with precipitation and cold in Latvia

The anti-cyclone that dictated weather in Latvia over most of October is gradually moving east. It will be replaced by a small and active cyclone. With that, meteorologists expect often precipitation in Latvia this week.

Experts: Russian warships on their way to Baltic Sea

Movements of warships in the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea, as well as internet comments show that two Russian nuclear-equipped corvettes are currently on their way to the Baltic Sea, even though official reports suggest the opposite, as concluded by experts of Atlantic Council think tank.

Police launches disciplinary cases in relation to supply of inappropriate vehicles

Multiple disciplinary cases have been launched in relation to the supply of vehicles non-compliant with requirements of State Police. In addition, Internal Security Office has been asked to assess the responsibility of officials responsible for the procurement.

Latvia begins ratifying Paris agreement on climate change mitigation

On Tuesday, 25 October, Latvian Cabinet of Ministers plans to review the legal draft ‘On United National Organization’s Framework Convention on Climate Change’ prepared by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

Belgian Wallonia rejects EU ultimatum over EU-Canada free trade deal

The Belgian region of Wallonia has on October 23 rejected an ultimatum from the EU to quit objecting to the EU-Canada free trade deal in 24 hours.

Estonia increases tax revenue by 6.8%

Estonia’s tax collector has in the first nine months of 2016 received 6,8% more revenue that in the same period in 2015.

Latvia’s population declined by 4,636 this year

In the first nine months of 2016, Latvia’s population decreased by 4,636 persons. This is because the number of deaths exceeded the number of births. In the corresponding period of 2015, population decline constituted 4,751 persons.

PUC: Latvijas Gāze remains obligated to provide third parties with access to gas infrastructure

Considering that the Administrative Regional Court has declined LG’s request for temporary solution, the company remains obligated to provide third parties with access to natural gas transmission infrastructure.

Estonia to combat large-scale imports of alcohol from Latvia

Estonia’s Tax and Customs Department plans to equip all border control checkpoints with surveillance cameras to record car registration numbers to thereby better combat large-scale imports of alcohol from Latvia.

Latvians the most satisfied with wages in Baltic States

Compared with other Baltic States, Latvia has the largest number of employed people who believe they receive adequate pay for their work. 39% of employed people in Latvia believe they are paid adequate wages, as well as 34% in Estonia and 19% in Lithuania.

Farmers-greens announce victory in Lithuanian Seimas election

The Union of Peasants and Greens claimed victory in the Lithuanian Seimas election after the second round of the vote was held on October 23.

Finance minister blocked SRS candidate Nikitins' approval to FCMC

Although the personnel selection process for the approval of the new head of the State Revenue Service has defined a possible candidate, specifically high-rank official of the Bank of Latvia Andris Nikitins, his chances to win are reduced by the decision made by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola to pick the best candidate among the other candidates.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania unveils new tourism brand

Lithuania will until 2020 use a new tourism brand to market itself to foreign tourists. The new brand, unveiled by the State Tourism Department on October 19, features the words «Lithuania. Real is beautiful» printed on a pastel mint postage stamp

Economic Diary of Latvia. The richer the people, the better the security

A very interesting matter was voiced in Latvia this week. The matter addresses the link between the overall level of welfare of the country’s residents and the country’s national security.

Four teachers in Latvia are paid wages that exceed EUR 2,000

In September 2016, the biggest teacher’s salary paid in Latvia with bonuses was EUR 2,260.27, as LETA was informed by Education and Science Ministry.

Producer price level down 1.6% in Latvia’s industry

Compared to August, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 0.3% in September 2016.

SRS Tax Debt Enforcement Office director Cerneckis steps down

On Friday, 21 October, director of Latvian State Revenue Service’s Tax Debt Enforcement Office Kaspars Cerneckis submitted his resignation.

Bookmakers predict Sadurskis’ remainder in his post for the rest of the year

Latvian Education Minister Karlis Sadurskis has been forced to distance himself from political opponents and teacher trade unions because of criticisms regarding reduced wages caused by the teachers’ pay reform. Nevertheless, political support will keep the minister in his post, bookmakers believe.

Lithuanian military discussing deployment of long-range missiles

A senior Lithuanian military officer has on October 20 stated that Lithuania is considering the deployment of long-range missiles in the country in the framework of hosting a multinational NATO battalion in 2017.

Ukraine in joint declaration with Lithuania, Poland condemns WWII aggressors

The Vekhovna Rada of Ukraine has this week adopted a joint declaration with Lithuania and Poland attaching responsibility for World War II to Germany, the USSR and the international community’s «appeasement policy».

Saeima Budget Committee conceptually approves 2017 budget project

On Thursday, 20 October, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee supported the state budget project for 2017, the medium-term budget contents for 2017, 2018 and 2019 and 57 legal drafts associated with the project.

Facebook sorry for removing breast cancer informative video

Facbook has expressed apologies for the removal of a breast cancer informative video shared on the social network by a Swedish foundation.

Two of the last twenty three first refugees have left Latvia

The last two of the first twenty three refugees resettled in Latvia have left for Germany, as reported by LTV.

Pregnant woman in Italy dies after doctor allegedly refused to perform abortion

Police in predominantly Catholic Italy is investigating a case of a woman pregnant with twins dying after miscarriage.

Russia applies discount on transit from Belarus

Russian Railways has applied a 25% discount on petrol, diesel fuel and crude cargo transports from oil processing plants in Belarus to Russia’s north-west ports. With that, Russia has basically provided Belarus with tariffs equal to tariffs in Baltics.

Newest comments