BPIF labels is the special interest group of the British Printing Industries Federation. This special interest group serves the needs of the self adhesive label printing sector.

FINAT - National Association's Meeting in Paris

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26 November 2015

I attended another meeting of the National Associations committee of FINAT: It was attended by: representatives from FINAT, UNFEA (France), VskE (Germany), SLA (Sweden), ESD (Turkey) as well BPIF Labels (UK). The meeting was also attended by the President of FINAT Thomas Hagmaier

 

1. The former President of UNFEA Dominque Durant des Aulnois opened the meeting and gave a short presentation on the state of the French label industry. The salient points are as follows:

a. There are approximately 300 self-adhesive label printer/converters, across 400 sites, in France of which 95 are in membership of UNFEA. In total the industry employs 7,000. The majority of companies: 85% have turnovers below 5milllion with only 5% have turnovers in excess of €10 million. Many companies are owner occupied although this is starting to change. With more and more owners reaching retirement age, and, with no family succession, companies are being sold and consolidation in the industry is starting to take place. Membership of UNFEA is increasing at the rate of 5 new companies a year with UNFEA members now representing 35% of the total market. In addition to this there are 65 supplier members in membership. The board comprises of 15 members and meet 10 times a year. The annual congress takes place in June with over 150 attendees taking part.

b. Trends from 2009. The market grew slightly between 2010 and 2011, shrank between 2012-2013 and has been flat ever since. Self-adhesive laminate statistics (returns from companies who have 85% of the market) showed a -6.18%. from 2008-2013 but a 3% growth since 2013.

c. The new REACH regulations have given a boost in sales to those companies involved in chemical labelling. Statistics from member companies (returns from 60 companies) highlight: 53% showing growth, 9% are stable with 32% showing a decline. 33 companies record an interesting statistic, the price per sq.m sold (i.e. cost of laminate plus manufacturing costs and sales mark-up). The range is €1.2 to €1.5 per sq. m. This gives an interesting bench mark which can enable companies to compare on an annual basis.

d. There were some question put to Dominique. From Orhan Tuncay of Turkey. Has UNFEA a legal status, or regarded as a technical expert in resolving disputes? Answer no. Apparently the Turkish federation does, approx. 9 times per year are they called upon to try and settle disputes between customers, printers and suppliers.

e. Discussion then centred on the role of the federation in trying to get young managers more involved and active within the federation. It would appear that this is a problem that all National Associations are suffering. However, Klemens Ehrlitzer (KE) said that they had good attendances from young and old at their bi-annual congresses. Over 300 attending their November Congress. Suppliers are key in driving young converter members to attend, by telling them, "if you are not there you will not learn and be able to network."

 

2. Minutes of the previous teleconference meeting on 24th April were approved.

 

3. Follow up actions and updates from the last meeting

a. Kaj Flick from SLA confirmed that the following federations were involved in the AWA cost index project: Danish, German, Italian, Swedish and UK. Reports were good and it was decided to stay with it for another year. (KE) from Germany said that they had expanded the cost index to give an idea of how this can be expanded to give a cost per label.

b. Harmonized food safety guidelines. Following on from the BPIF and German documents it was agreed that the German document be translated into English and with help from BPIF labels, this has now been done. A printed copy was available for all to take away.. PDF files would be send so that information could be shown on the relevant federation web sites. (KE) reported that their site had reported 2,000 downloads of the document which highlighted its need.

c. Status of member states legislation in respect of liner waste. No change although the Netherlands are expected to announce a change and it will be regarded as packaging waste in their country.

d. Mark Macaré of FINAT gave a brief report on the status of the Lifetime Cycle Analysis project. This is a pan Europe-USA project. An information brochure has been printed and a pdf version is available for downloading. A survey of 98 companies (suppliers and printers) with 86% saying that they are not using this information at present but that 62% plan to use it. It is aimed at marketing of the self-adhesive label showing greater transparency. It is to be instrumental in providing information on future product development. The goal is to provide hotspots, i.e. LCA differences between paper and PP highlighting raw material, printing and manufacturing differences in recycling. Apparently, this information is being requested by leading brand owners.

e. ISO work on technical specifications for labels. Jules le Jeune (JlJ) and (KE) reported that nothing has happened to this project since the last meeting. John Bambery (JB) said how frustrating it was that, due to BSI bureaucracy, BPIF labels couldn't be involved in this, despite the fact that we were the first federation to say how important this was.

f. (JlJ) confirmed that the reduced first year FINAT membership offer was still available for National Associations to pass on to their members.
g. The LabelExpo advisory board (comprising 6 manufacturers, FINAT and VsKe) had met with Tarsus with an update on the last show. While there were improvements, more is expected next time in 2017. It is obvious that since establishing this board that relations with Tarsus have improved. This has benefitted all concerned. Comment was made with regard to the FINAT stand. Could there be a bigger National Federation presence? (JlJ) said he would investigate.

 

4. A whole session was devoted to the topic of education and training within the European label industry. It didn't take long to establish that we are all in the same boat, i.e. the poor quality of recruits available, colleges and establishments of higher education no longer have the required E & T facilities and an ageing workforce. Good youngsters, not going into higher education, are lured by the bigger employers who are able to offer more. (KE) cited Stuttgart as an example where Mercedes Benz and local engineering factories were creaming off the good talent.

a) Most federations have some form of apprenticeship scheme in place and work place training was being offered. However, accreditation was a problem.

b) The Label Academy self-learning series of modules was welcomed, however, the problem was that it was in English. While some areas: Austria, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia and Switzerland may not experience this problem due to a high take up of dual language personnel, there would be problems in the other regions. (JlJ) said he would take up the question of translation with Tarsus.

c) All felt that a brochure, CD, facebook page or You Tube media could be used to promote the European label industry as a growing and well paid industry which has plenty to offer new entrants. (JlJ) said that he would send out a questionnaire so that we could refine what was required and the he could then talk to organisation on how this could be delivered.

d) (JlJ) said that FINAT are often asked to recommend consultants on a variety of issues affecting the label industry, also including training issues. He would send out a form to all National Associations asking them to suggest consultants, with their area of expertise, in their respective countries.

 

5. National Association 2016 events. (JlJ) requested information so that he could send these dates with the minutes.

 

6. FINAT programme for 2016

a. The Technical seminar will take place in Barcelona between the 16-18th March.

b. The annual FINAT congress will take place in Amsterdam between the 16th-18th June. Again all Chairman/Presidents of the National Associations will be given a free place.

c. There is to be an enhanced label recycling initiative with improvements to be made to the recycling award competition.

d. The Young Managers' meeting will take place in Bucharest later in the year. The reason why this event is being held in Eastern Europe is because, to quote from (JlJ) "Attendance at these meetings is dominated by attendees from these countries who have younger workforces, are better educated, have a greater knowledge and fluency in English and also have a greater understanding of International matters".

 

7. Other matters. 2016 dates of the exhibitions where label companies have a chance to exhibit are:

UK Packaging Innovations - Birmingham 24th - 25th February
D FachPack - Nuremberg 27th - 29th September
F Emballage - Paris 14th - 17th November

 

8. It was agreed that there will be one or two teleconference meetings during 2016. The first date is 14th April at 14.00 (CET) and that the annual meeting be held in Stuttgart on 7th October which will be preceded by a dinner on 6th. There being no further business the meeting closed.

 

John A. Bambery
25th November 2015

For further information please contact:
Liz Whyte
Liz Whyte
01924 203 338
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Download 20151124 NAB presentation - 1.7Mb
Download 20151124 Minutes European National Associations Board - 685Kb

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