2020 has been a year of ups and downs, writes Adrian Fleming, Regional Managing Director – LPR North:
It would be remiss of me to begin writing about 2020 without acknowledging the hardship and loss of so many, both in the UK and across the world, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are hopeful that the new vaccines will go some way to offering some semblance of a more ‘normal’ 2021.
At LPR, the pandemic has forced us to adapt and change quickly – the same for many businesses working in the FMCG sector, and I send heartfelt thanks to my colleagues who have been flexible and amenable to the changes that have been thrust upon them. I’m incredibly proud of their hard work and resilience as they’ve played their part in keeping people fed.
We’ve been very fortunate to have seen our business continue to grow, despite all of the challenges, and double-digit growth has again been achieved, including the introduction of 40 new customers to the LPR business.
We’ve also seen some significant changes within our operational workings, including the addition of two new depots in Essex and Coventry. These two new depots will provide for an additional 8 million pallets to be processed. Further investment in 2020 has included the purchase and installation of three heat treatment kilns, which has put us in the best possible position to be prepared for that other 2020 headliner – Brexit.
As I’m sure you will know by now, the likelihood of a deal with the EU is becoming increasingly unlikely, regardless of this the UK will be considered to be a ‘third country’. The impact of this will mean that wooden packaging, including pallets, will need to be heat-treated and processed in line with the requirements of ISPM15 (International Standard Phytosanitary Measure – 15). Our new kilns are allowing us to ensure that we are able to offer existing and new customers the peace of mind of knowing that their export goods will not see unnecessary delays at border crossings.
As 2020 draws to a close, all that remains is for me to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for their hard work and resilience, our customers for continuing to trust us with their business and to wish all a healthy, safe, and enjoyable Christmas break.