History of Möbelfakta 1951-2020
Möbelfakta has its roots all the way back to the 1950s through Varudeklarationsnämnden (the Trade Declaration Board), VDN. This was a Swedish organization for consumer information active 1951-1973.
VDN started in 1951 as a non-profit association financed by the state and the business community jointly and offered comparative consumer information based on standardized testing methods. The result was stated on the products in the form of so-called VDN marking.
Möbelfakta was introduced as a reference and labeling system for the Swedish furniture industry at the Furniture Institute in 1972. The focus was on testing furniture and was an attempt to create a declaration system for properties such as strength, surface durability and material quality and accuracy in execution. The requirements for the functional dimensions of the furniture were based, among other things, on ergonometric studies, but were gradually expanded to areas such as safety.
Möbelfakta's first version contained the following layout:
● Requirements specification / declaration instructions
○ technical basis for tests
● Test report
○ provided detailed information about the different delegations of a piece of furniture.
● - Möbelfakta declaration - information about the quality of the furniture with grading of usability, durability and well-being in three levels.
○ information about the quality of the furniture with grading of usability, durability and well-being in three levels.
● Reference mark
○ showed that the furniture was tested and met the basic requirements. The seller could prove it with the test report
Småland's Gemla was the first to join Möbelfakta, but in 1973 another 52 companies followed - including IKEA.
During 1972-73, both KF and IKEA began using Möbelfakta for consumer information and built their own testing laboratories according to Möbelfakta's specifications. The Möbelfakta system became an important instrument for companies' orders and control of delivered products, as well as in handling complaints. Möbelfakta helped KF and IKEA to show that even low-price furniture could maintain a reasonable level of quality.
The number was then gradually increased and at most just over 300 companies were allowed to use the Möbelfakta system. Something that contributed to the number of declarations increased was The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV). They put requirements on Möbelfakta marking in the framework agreements for furniture and interior design.
Möbelfakta also gained momentum when it came to test reports. Already one year after the start, there were 600 test reports / year, and the number then varied between 400 and 900 pieces / year with a temporary peak of 1,400 tests in the early 1980s. The test assignments were often preceded by a review of the client's entire range. Consultations were also held on possible product improvements.
Möbelfakta was launched in 1972
Label for tested furniture
IKEA Cataloque 1978
The Swedish Furniture Industry Association (now Trä- och Möbelföretagen) bought the old Möbelfakta system in 1995 and began development work, together with an industry working group and the Swedish Testing and Research Institute in Borås.
In February 1997, the new version of Möbelfakta (version two) was launched, which has been adapted to new EU standards and testing methods. The focus was still on a furniture's technical requirements (such as safety and strength), but one of the most important elements of Möbelfakta in 1997 was that it was supplemented with an environmental declaration, where companies were given the opportunity and support with the development of environmentally friendly products.
Möbelfakta was broadened with environmental requirements in 1998 (Source: Svenska Dagbladet, July 8, 1998))
In 2010, a new start was made with the aim of simplifying public procurement. The purpose of the label is to simplify how to check compliance with requirements, both for sellers and buyers. The labeling system was broadened from only quality labeling to also include new environmental requirements and social sustainability.
Central to the development was the proximity to the furniture industry's expertise through Trä- och Möbelföretagen (TMF).
Furniture facts have played an important role in the success of the furniture industry. The Möbelfakta brand stands for quality, environmental awareness and social responsibility, ie values that are central to the future.
In 2020, a new organization was created that took over the operation of Möbelfakta.
Möbelfakta Sverige AB is owned by IVL Swedish Environmental Institute and TMF. IVL is the majority owner and guarantees Möbelfakta's independence as a labeling system.
Today, Möbelfakta has almost 60 active companies with over 1000 declared furniture or furniture series.