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The visual communication value chain transfers its demands to the Ministry of Industry to support the sector

Representatives of the visual communication value chain have presented the sector, its work and its weight in Spanish industry to Juan Ignacio Díaz Bidart, director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, in a meeting held on November 18 by videoconference. At the meeting, representatives of the associations FESPA Spain, business association of visual communication; the Graphispack Association; AFYDAD, the Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors of Sporting Goods; AIMFAP, the Association of Importers, Wholesalers, Manufacturers of Promotional Items; ASERLUZ, the Spanish Association of Businessmen of Luminous Signs and Related Industries; Asociación de Creatividad Transformadora, the Association of Spanish creative agencies and companies; FEPFI, the Professional Federation of Photography and Image; AEVEA, Associated Spanish Event Agencies; FYVAR, the Association of Manufacturers and Sellers of Promotional and Advertising Articles; FEDE, the Federation of Advertising and Communication Companies and Functional Print Cluster, Innovative Business Group in Functional Printing, have transmitted the needs of the sector to the Ministry and have asked it to take into account the associations to facilitate the arrival of Plan aid European to companies in the sector, most of them SMEs.

"We are a transversal industry, that we support the rest of the industry", explained Gabriel Virto, president of FESPA Spain. "We define ourselves as an industry for industries because we support all companies that need to communicate in some way," added Pablo Serrano, Secretary General of the Association, who pointed out that the visual communication chain has had great importance in the process of de-escalation "through signage and visual communication to mark the movement and separation of people, the new arrangement of shelves in shops and large surfaces, protection elements in restaurants and hotels, banking and commerce and industry in general , as well as the adaptation and signaling of the capacity of events, fairs and sporting events”.

The visual communication sector has been severely punished by the economic crisis derived from the health situation caused by the expansion of covid-19 and estimates that its turnover will fall by 50 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. The main needs of the chain values ​​that have been transmitted to the Ministry of Industry are focused on expanding ERTE for as long as possible; defer or postpone the payment of taxes; extend the grace period for the return of ICO credits; as well as taking into account the value chain of visual communication at intersectoral tables, as it is a cross-cutting industry.


Two CEP innovation projects will receive public funding

The collaborative innovation projects DIGI-REC 4.0 and PolySensor 4.0, promoted by the Spanish Center for Plastics (CEP) in collaboration with several partners of the cluster, have been selected to receive the subsidies for the support of Innovative Business Groups for 2020 from the Ministry of Industry.

The objective of these grants is to improve the situation and competitiveness of SMEs.

The DIGI-REC 4.0 project, in which CEP, ITAINNOVA, Zatec and CITSALP participate, has the main objective of increasing the use of recycled materials by injectors, guaranteeing the same quality requirements of the client, with the use of technical that allow knowing the maximum allowable amount of recycled material that the product and the process are capable of accepting from the moment a product is designed. The budget for this project is € 180,793.

The PolySensor 4.0 project, in which GAIKER, Analysis and Simulation, Larrañaga Plásticos and CEP participate, aims to develop an advanced sensor material that provides functionalization to products, investigating their integration and application in specific market environments (automotive , transport, industry, sport, textile). The budget for this project is € 205,722.

All CEP partners are eligible for these grants, so those companies that have an innovation project in mind only have to contact the CEP to help them develop it.


Industrial Business Community Introduces Positive Industry Movement

amec yesterday presented the Positive Industry movement, during the celebration of the amec 2020 Forum, which brought together more than 400 executives from the internationalized industry to address the topic 'Company and purpose'.

In a statement, the managers of industrial companies claim the industry as one of the agents with the most power for social and economic transformation and consider that its action should be for the benefit of all stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers and the community). Also, in addition to thinking globally, you must also act with a local sense.

In the presentation, the president of amec, Pere Relats, explained that “the perception of companies will change” and “the old structures will melt and give way to the new, much better ones”. In the new paradigm “we will abandon the competitive self and we will learn to use the collaborative we. The short term will be lengthened in favor of a satisfactory path, we will stop talking only about products and we will talk much more about people. We will forget the control structures to manage trust ”.

The general director, Joan Tristany, declared that the objective is that "the declaration gains life and becomes a protest movement, exciting and that adds value to us as an industrial collective". In this sense, amec invites other companies, entities or institutions to support the declaration, so that many more share its purpose and objectives in order to raise awareness about the path towards the new competitiveness. "Supporting the positive industry should be an action of many, and from plural interests," said the CEO of amec.

amec has long been focused on its new purpose. For this reason, it is a partner and promoter of BforPlanet together with Fira de Barcelona.

For amec, having purpose is a fundamental factor in the new competitiveness, and therefore, companies have to prepare to be valued with new parameters. In this sense, "companies that seek for their workers have a higher return on investment (ROE) than those that do not," said BLab founder Jay Coen, who indicated that in some cases this return is up to 40% higher, based on the Just Capital ranking, which measures the behavior of the world's most employing companies. This better performance has also been observed even in the first four-month period of the year, in which the pandemic has affected to a lesser extent the companies at the top of the ranking, as explained by Coen.

Companies share their experiences on the ground

The professor and consultant of Sustainability and Innovation Strategy, Josep Maria Coll, considered that the purpose "is a source of cooperative advantage because it harmonizes the interests of the organization to collaborate together, it is a shot of organizational energy". This was confirmed by Teo Conejero, CEO of KLK: “making the shareholders win does not motivate the workers. Instead, thanks to motivation, we have increased on-time delivery from 70% to 95% ”.

In addition to having a purpose, "you have to be consistent and act in harmony," said Danone's director of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Laia Mas, a BCorp company since 2015. The purpose is very important for the entire organization, among other things because “it is important to have a reason to get up and go to work”, according to the general director of BASF in Spain, Carles Navarro, who explained how the company works with the area of Inditex's sustainability to improve processes and minimize the environmental impact of textile production and how it has devised the first biodegradable and compostable capsules in Spain together with Cafès Novell.

The CEO of EPPI Industries, Mireia Cammany, is immersed in implementing the purpose in her organization. In her experience, “all companies, also SMEs with their limited resources”, can implement their own purpose. Eugenia Godes, ADRASA's Deputy for Management and Control, stated that the company “is changing the idea of ​​chemistry, which until now has been related to spills. We do the opposite: our R&D team focuses on working so that through chemistry we can eliminate any residue or damage to the environment ”.

From the packaging sector, Guillem Clofent, general director of Mespack, explained the challenge faced by the sector in the transition towards more sustainable materials: “biodegradable, compostable plastics are more fragile. The replacement has been a technological challenge to which we are responding, modifying our machines to work with more sustainable materials. We are taking steps in the right direction ”.

Rosa Vañó, founding partner of Castillo de Canena, related how her organization has focused on the production of organic and local products with respect for the producers.

Finally, the president of Comexi and former president of amec, Manel Xifra, highlighted how "given the dysfunctions of the current system, the concept of purpose helps to propose a society with a sustainable future and social equality," for which "it is important create a collective conscience".


VII Congress of FESPA Spain

The search for new market niches and innovation, added to the trends of sustainability and digital transformation are the levers for companies to overcome this crisis, as concluded at the VII Congress of FESPA Spain, held on 29 and October 30 in virtual format. Under the title Together on the road to reactivating the sector, the event focused on presenting the situation of the industry and analyzing recovery options based on success stories from associated companies and on the different help lines that they can avail of.

“At the beginning of the state of alarm in March, the sector was practically in a situation of partial unemployment. In June 2020 the sector had an estimated activity of 40 percent, in summer it increased to 80 percent and as of today, after the evolution of September and October, it is estimated that we are at 70 percent ”, explained Pablo Serrano, Secretary General of FESPA Spain.

"Internally - added Serrano - the work of FESPA Spain focused on continuous information, training and constant monitoring of the sector".

In addition, a process of strong collaboration and joint work began with the rest of the associations in the visual communication value chain that has crystallized at the debate table of the VII Congress.

At the international level, FESPA Global has focused its work on supporting the national associations that make up the federation and their associated companies. It was explained by Emma Green, Manager of Associations of FESPA, who made a tour of the situation of the sector in the different countries of the world in which FESPA is represented: “Of the 37 countries where we have associations, only in two there was no financial support from governments to companies, Mexico and Hungary ”.

Sustainability and digital transformation are the two current trends that the market demands and that facilitate the survival of companies. To talk about sustainability, the VII Congress of FESPA Spain had the participation of Lorena Feria, founder and head of R&D of BGSS, and Carlos Reinoso, General Director of Aspapel, the Spanish association of pulp, paper and cardboard manufacturers.

Pedro Fernández, CEPYME Secretary General, spoke about these financing possibilities and the aid that is being agreed at the negotiating tables between the Government, the unions and the employers.

The situation of visual communication companies is not the same in all cases. Some have found niche markets to focus on right now that are helping them to hold onto until the economy and demand stabilize. This is the case of Moldiber or Iruña Custom Print. The proper functioning of visual communication companies depends largely on the suppliers of raw materials and services, who participated in a debate table at the FESPA Spain congress.

The last thematic block of the VII Congress of FESPA Spain focused on digital transformation, a process that is being carried out by a large number of companies and that in many cases need external support.

These tools, as Gabriel Virto, President of FESPA Spain commented at the conclusion of the meeting, help to overcome complex situations like the one we are going through now. This is precisely why it is important to know how to adapt to the environment and take advantage, now more than ever, of the opportunities offered by associations.


VPK Group NV and Encase Ltd reach acquisition agreement

VPK Group came to an agreement with COPI Holding to buy Encase Ltd, manufacturer and designer of corrugated cardboard packaging. Encase Ltd operates two integrated corrugated packaging plants in England and one sheet plant in Scotland. It is VPK’s intention to merge Encase with its UK corrugated operations, formerly known as Rigid.

VPK’s corrugated operations in UK and Ireland, formerly known as Rigid Containers and recently rebranded as VPK Packaging, experienced impressive and consistent yearly growth since it entered the VPK Group in 2000. Under its ownership, VPK invested more than £100 million into the division. Desborough was transformed into the UK flagship site, whereas greenfield sites in Wellington and Selby gradually increased capacity to fully mirror operations on all three sites.

As part of its long-term strategy, it is now VPK’s intention to fully merge Encase with the existing VPK UK corrugated operations. The combined businesses are expected to achieve yearly sales of more than 200 million GBP in corrugated packaging and sheets. All six corrugators combine a yearly containerboard consumption of 300.000 Tons, which represents a major part of the non-integrated recycled containerboard consumption in UK. 


Sustainability is essential for the future of the packaging industry

The packaging industry must bet on sustainability in the new context caused by Covid-19. This is the main conclusion of the virtual conference with experts from the world of packaging and the challenges of the sector in the current context organized by IQS Executive Education, the IQS division dedicated to the specialized training of professionals; and Packaging Cluster, an entity created in 2012 that brings together more than 100 companies, knowledge centers and entities from the sector in Catalonia.

The meeting helped to share how sustainability has affected the main companies in the sector, as well as highlighting that the environmental axis will continue to be one of the main aspects to be dealt with within companies, despite the fact that the axes social and economic will also gain importance. The packaging strategy has become very important, especially in what refers to having rigorous information to be able to transfer it to the consumer.

The latest Aecoc Shopperview study shows that 78% of consumers consider sustainability an important aspect. In this sense, the concern for sustainability has gained space with the pandemic. 23% of consumers give more importance to buying brands and products that are sustainable and socially responsible, while 70% give it the same importance as before. In the same way, 82% of consumers ask for more responsibility with the environment, reducing the packaging of products, and 80% ask for more sustainable actions.

Sustainability is also an opportunity for companies. From the shopping experience in recent months, it was found that 37% of consumers want to buy a packaged product because they believe that it protects food better: “With the new normal there will be a dichotomy between package and counter, 27% will buy more fruits and packaged vegetables and not in bulk, and in meat and fish, 21% will buy more packaged products and not at the assisted sales counter”, explained Cinta Bosch, Aecoc responsible for Sustainability.

The new edition of the IQS Executive Education Master in Packaging Management, in collaboration with the Packaging Cluster, was also presented at the event. The university center also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Packaging Management, as well as Postgraduates in Design and Development and in Packaging Industrialization, designed for people who already work in the sector. These courses work on essential cross-cutting areas for professionals in the sector, ranging from business organization to finance or communication skills with internal and external teams.

Montse Castillo, director of the Master in Packaging Management at IQS, highlighted the high specialization of the program, a key aspect in the new normal: “Our professors are not only teachers, but they are also professionally dedicated to each area of the program they teach. This allows us to anticipate what is to come and allows us to be more flexible and adapt to situations like the current one”, she assured.

“This training is fundamental and extremely important. It is a sector that has very good growth prospects in the coming years”, added Àlex Brossa, Cluster Manager of the Packaging Cluster.


 

 

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