La international federation of label manufacturers FINAT celebrated the European Label Forum In Berlin. During the conference, Thomas Hagmaier, Managing Director of Hagmaier Etiketten, handed over the baton from the FINAT presidency to Chris Ellison of OPM Labels.
The European Label Forum, now in its third edition, replaced the annual FINAT congress with the aim of responding to the new needs of the labeling and packaging sector. "With the new forum, we want to encourage professionals and opinion leaders to discuss relevant issues for the long-term future of our industry," says Jules Lejeune, CEO of FINAT.
The main theme of this edition was change, and more specifically, what is known as the fourth industrial revolution and its consequences for the label industry. The keynote presentation was delivered by Michael Jackson, consultant, change specialist and international speaker.
Jan Denys, a specialist in the labor market at the multinational recruitment company Randstad Group, analyzed what companies should do to attract talent. Later, with a presentation by Stephan Lechel, partner at Porsche Consulting and head of the company's Competence Center, it became clear that digital technology must be an essential part of our business.
Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder and chief marketing officer of the smart products platform EVRYTHNG, discussed the concept of the internet of things. Hobsbawm encouraged the labeling industry to “stop thinking in just physical terms. Labels and packaging are the digital bridge that links the physical product and the universe of real-time data and software hosted in the cloud, that is, a 'springboard' for supply chain services to merchants, consumers and beyond. Those companies in the sector that do not respond to this challenge and transform their labels into digital and “smart” assets will be surpassed by those that do make this leap. »
Marc Büttgenbach moderated a panel discussion in which Andy Hobsbawm, Stephan Lechel and Jan Denys discussed the future of the sector with delegates.
On the second day, Corey Reardon, president and CEO of the market research company AWA (Alexander Watson Associates), presented a new trend in the segment of product identification: direct digital printing on packaging.
Jules Lejeune presented the results of the latest RADAR, the market survey that FINAT conducts every six months, together with the federation's statistics on label consumption in Europe. The demand for labels has grown by 25% between 2010 and 2016 as a result of the increase in the volume of consumer packaged goods, especially food, the greater demand for quality branding and variable data printing for electronic commerce, process automation and consumer protection.
Jennifer Dochstader and David Walsh from market research company LPC analyzed the present and future of digital technology in the European narrow web printing industry using data from their 2017 FINAT Digital Label Survey.
After a debate on the state of the sector, the closing conference was given by Joschka Fischer, co-chair of the Board of Directors of the European Council on Foreign Relations and leads a business consultancy in Berlin. Chris Ellison officially closed the conference.