The 2011 FINAT Congress proved a major success, with the appointment of a new President, a raft of awards handed out to top-performing label companies, and the hot topics of the label industry debated at a roundtable. The event was staged on June 8-10 in Giardini Naxos, Italy, and attracted around 380 delegates from 150 companies.
Rewarding success in the label industry
Delegates enjoyed the presentations made to the winners of the FINAT Label Awards and the Congress Logo Design Competition.
FINAT General Assembly
Retiring President, Andrea Vimercati, highlighted the organization’s main achievements over the past 12 months, such as the new committee structure, the continuous success of FINAT’s Young Managers Club (now in its third year); the updated Educational Handbook, to be ready in digital format for Labelexpo in September; the new FINAT Yearbook and, of course, the new 2.0 website and community – plus the upcoming ‘online association portal’ agreed with the European board of national label associations as well as the nine leading global label associations. He noted FINAT’s reinforced engagement in public affairs that had made a significant contribution to lobbying on the classification of release liner in the context of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. At the same time, FINAT’s continuous efforts to stimulate the recycling of release liners, with the recent re-establishment of the Recycling Committee, should not be forgotten.
Welcoming a new FINAT President
Current Vice President Kurt Walker, Tesa Bandfix (CH) was elected President, and Thomas Hagmaier, Hagmaier Etiketten (D) was appointed Vice President.
Hot topics debated at industry roundtable
A number of eminent players in the packaging and label industry participated in a roundtable, where they discussed all the pressing issues facing the sector. The participants were Geoff Martin, CCL Label; Rik Olthof, from Cartils Brand Consultancy; Arno Melchior, from Reckitt Benckiser; and Christian Plenge, from retail group, Metro Systems GmbH.
Geoff Martin explained how the digital revolution and emerging markets have had a positive impact on CCL Label. He agreed with Arno Melchior, who emphasised the fact that ‘you need to have local employees when going into business in the new economies – and you must respect local customs.’ The key to success, it was argued, is to create a global master design, but adapt it for local needs.
The issue of sustainability in the label and packaging market was also discussed. Rik Olthof commented, ‘Good looks come first, but people want to be green’, while Arno Melchior said that Reckitt Benckiser is committed to responsible manufacturing but noted, ‘People say they buy ‘green’ products – but do they really?’.
Regarding innovation, Arno Melchior proposed that packaging buyers and their suppliers need to collaborate early in their processes so they can innovate successfully. This approach was supported by Christian Plenge, who said that the Metro Group has innovation partners in its suppliers and the universities. Rik Olthof agreed that “Designers need to keep up with technology, and work together with the supply chain.”
Creative thinking delivers business results
Alessandro Garofalo and Leonardo Benuzzi from Idee Associate, ran a workshop entitled to Creative thinking for future business success. The interactive session encouraged participants to release their creative potential and develop new business ideas.