The European Federation of Wooden Pallet & Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) has called for European governments to recognize the wooden pallet and packaging industry as essential to supply chains of vital goods both during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The organization, which represents the sector across Europe, has lobbied for ‘essential’ status for wooden pallets and packaging throughout the crisis. This was officially given by authorities in countries including Belgium, Italy, the UK and in some German regions; and in other countries the industry has been allowed to work – all with additional health and safety measure in place – in order to keep products such as food and medicines flowing into the market.
FEFPEB is now asking for officially recognized ‘essential status’ across Europe and on an ongoing basis, to give governments understanding of the sector’s vital role in supply chains and clarity about the necessity to keep supplies of pallets and packaging moving at all times – during a crisis and in general.
FEFPEB secretary-general Fons Ceelaert said: “Wooden pallets and packaging play a key part in keeping supply chains for vital goods including foods and medicines moving – this has been proved during the different coronavirus lockdown measures across Europe. If manufacturers and repairers cannot operate, these supply chains will break down.
“We are therefore calling for the EC and governments of all European countries to designate this industry as essential. This will ensure continuity of supply during any subsequent pandemics or other crises, but also help guarantee they will continue to function on a day-to-day basis and throughout critical periods such as the Brexit transition phase.”
FEFPEB is continuing to communicate the central part wooden pallets and packaging have to play in the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan, which aims to make sustainable products the norm in the EU, ensure less waste and lead global efforts on the circular economy.
“Wooden pallets and packaging are the epitomai of sustainable products,” said Ceelaert. “They are made from a continually renewable resource and are repaired and reused until they are recycled into products or fuel at the end of their useful life. As a key facilitator for the movement of goods, they sit at the heart of the vision of a circular economy.”