The fragmentation of funeral director associations and their inability to talk with one voice was “a tragedy for independent funeral directors”, according to Australia’s largest independent funeral planning platform, eziFunerals.
Peter Erceg, Founder of eziFunerals said “even though independent funeral directors control about 60% of the market, they have been ineffective in presenting a united front relating to ongoing community concerns about rising costs, misleading practices and a growing concentration of market share by two publicly listed companies, being InvoCare and Propel Funeral Partners.
“Independent funeral directors have not been able to articulate themselves as a powerful voice and I think that’s largely a consequence of the fragmentation across multiple associations,” Erceg said.
“There are too many vested interests, and that’s a real tragedy as we don’t have one spokesperson, we have many, and that’s where the message gets [confused],” he said, pointing to this particularly being an issue where government regulators, consumer groups and the media were involved.
Invariably, the CEO of Australia’s largest public listed funeral company, InvoCare, which owns well known brands such as White Lady Funerals, Simplicity Funerals and Value Funerals, is often referred to by the media as the spokesperson for the industry. “InvoCare, is not a member of any funeral industry association, and does not represent the interests of consumers and family owned and independent funeral homes”, says Erceg.
“This frustration could lead to a movement by independent funeral directors to band together and create their own funeral cooperative because, really, with all the noise that’s going on, who at the moment is talking on our behalf?”
Erceg said he believed a cooperative could speak with a very powerful voice and economies of scale in the current environment, but his preference was still for the existing funeral associations to merge.
Funeral Industry Associations in Australia
The funeral industry in Australia is generally self‐regulated by multiple associations which exist at national and state levels. Membership to one or more of these bodies is voluntary. However, not all funeral directors and/or industry participants are members and subject to a professional code of conduct or sanctions for non‐compliance of industry‐based standards.
The fragmented associations for the funeral industry in Australia are:
- Australian Funeral Directors Association
- Independent Funeral Directors Association Australia
- National Funeral Directors Association of Australia
- Association of Independent Funeral Professionals
- Family Owned Funeral Directors Association
- New South Wales Funeral Directors Association
- Queensland Funeral Directors Association
eziFunerals is a free consumer advocacy and funeral planning platform that supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. Helping the communities of Australia who are looking for a funeral home in Perth, cremation in Melbourne or any other location of funeral service across the country. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company, and are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company. Founded by consumers frustrated by how difficult it was to get independent information, eziFunerals supports consumers plan a funeral, compare prices and select the right funeral director anywhere, anytime.