The 2021 online European Label Forum convened by Finat has hosted 750 attendees from label printing companies, suppliers and organizations from across Europe, providing a platform to analyze the industry over the last year and the opportunities for the future.
On the first day of the forum, after Chris Ellison (OPM Labels & Packaging, UK) opened proceedings, attendees heard from Finat’s managing director Jules Lejeune and LPC’s Jennifer Dochstader, who analyzed some of the emerging trends and developments in the label industry after a tumultuous year.
Day two was focused on business strategy and began with a talk from Prof Andrea Boltho, an Italian economist who lectures at Oxford University. He offered a zoomed-out view of the present dynamics of the European economy by looking at the post-Covid recovery and the forces shaping the global economy. Nick Mockett from Moorgate Capital and Norman Bremer from IK Investment Partners also looked at the challenges and opportunities facing the label industry through the lenses of M&A and private equity.
Sustainability, one of Finat’s six strategic pillars, dominated the third day of the event to discuss how the label industry can serve its customers while limiting its environmental impact. Maja Desgrées-Du Loȗ told the forum about her work as an EU policy officer revising the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. She explained her views on the future of packaging and its role in the circular economy and the EU’s Green Deal.
After that, Ophelie Gourdou presented an update on CELAB-Europe and how this initiative envisions a circular economy for label materials, followed by An Vossen, who presented the digital watermarks project HolyGrail 2.0. The day finished with a brand owner panel with packaging experts discussing sustainability.
The fourth day was focused on the future of work and the workforce. Special guest Markus Wörner of the einhorn company in Germany explained his business concept of ‘fairstainability’, an approach to business that combines fair trade and sustainability. The day was closed with a special workshop hosted by Mind Gym, which looked at the cornerstones of inclusive company culture, and the power of inclusiveness to create real-world business success.
‘Diversity pays’ was the message from the keynote speaker Pellegrino Riccardi on the forum's final day. He explained the value of having colleagues from different countries with different life experiences and cultural backgrounds and how to unlock their often-untapped value in making organizations and businesses stronger.
The program then continued with Philippe Voet’s speech, followed by the ceremony of the Finat awards, where 16 companies were recognized for excellence in 25 different categories.
‘Though we were physically apart, it was great to see each other virtually to celebrate the best our industry has to offer. We’re already excited about getting back together in person next year,’ commented Niklas Olsson, ELF Program chair.
‘Our tagline has always been that we are “linking the label community” and that is especially true now. Doing things virtually this year was a little unusual for us, but it was a brilliant opportunity to learn about big industry trends, build relationships, and catch up with old friends,’ commented Philippe Voet, president of Finat and CEO of Etivoet, Belgium.