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Brick Development Association (BDA) Launched Brickmakers Quality Charter (BQC)

The Brick Development Association (BDA) launched in March 2021 a new Brickmakers Quality Charter (BQC) to provide the whole British supply chain from client to end user with assurances as to the product, manufacturing and ethical standards of BQC holders. Supported in Great Britain by the Builders’ Merchants Federation, the Association of Brickwork Contractors and others, any clay brick manufacturer, irrespective of where they operate, can apply for the BQC. To be approved and accepted, companies must demonstrate their compliance to a range of existing internationally recognized protocols and standards like ISO 9001, BES 6001, ISO 14001 or ISO 50001.

The view of the BDA is that some suppliers are simply re-branding poor quality bricks with heartwarming British-sounding names, in order to associate themselves with the good reputation of British clay brick and the potentially lucrative British clay brick market. The cost of transporting these bricks, often halfway around the world, is offset by the use of cheap and often unpaid bonded labour. And of course, transporting bricks halfway around the world also has a significant negative impact on use of carbon which is ultimately affecting climate change.

Purchasers of clay brick can be assured that if a brickmaker is using the BQC logo on its branding and products, then they will have met a basic set of criteria, meaning it manufactures clay bricks and pavers to a set of internationally recognized product labour, quality, energy and environmental standards. A simple secondary check can also be made through the BQC’s office. Application to the scheme is not mandatory in any way, it merely provides a check to help identify those firms that have reached an acceptable level of best practice in business and manufacturing ethics and that they have attained the credentials expected of a responsible brickmaker.

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