Labelling Solutions Coronavirus and the label industry Suppliers and converters are working

hard to ensure that the supply of their products and services to customers remain constant and secure while they manage through the global Covid-19 coronavirus situation. Transport is one important consideration. The European Commission (EC) works

closely with other inter-country organisations such as the European Parliament and business organisations in areas such as border management, in order to keep freight moving across the EU during the current pandemic. The EC has provided practical guidance to ensure the continuous flow of goods across Europe via green lanes, which includes an overview of national measures taken by individual countries. Stakeholders on all communication

While the continuously-evolving Covid-19 situation has presented new and unprecedented challenges, labels will continue to play a significant role in the whole global manufacturing, supply and usage chain


abels are part of the supply chains of basic necessities and provide a vital tool to convey information. Size or

weight, ingredients, traceability or general instructions – the label is crucial. Governments across Europe have been

taking measures to limit the human and economic impact of the pandemic and, in many cases, have released lists of critical professions and sectors that need exemption or relaxations in the laws from the crisis measures in the context of Covid- 19. It is clear that the labels and packaging sectors are an essential part of the supply chain of two of the most critical sectors: healthcare and the food supply chains. Keeping the logistical and supply chains

moving during the pandemic is an issue for all manufacturing and wider business. Labels is definitely one sector that is playing a critical role in ensuring the safe supplies of food and pharmaceuticals and more that are vital for Europe. However, Mike Fairley, founder of The

Label Academy and Labels and Labeling Magazine, maintains in an article on suggested guidelines on coronavirus that

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the wider label industry has been largely overlooked in its key role of supporting and supplying all those necessary label products and components in so many different areas. The essential role of labels, and the materials, technology and print solutions to produce them, needs to be fully recognised as essential supplies and/or suppliers if it is for feeding, treating and supporting frontline medical, care and health employees. Partnerships and sharing collective

knowledge within the label industry on what measures businesses are taking to help stop the spread of coronavirus and keeping workers safe is a theme close to the heart of FINAT, the European association for the self- adhesive label industry. It has also highlighted the role of self-adhesive labels and narrow-web packaging as an essential component of the critical infrastructure for the food and medical sectors. As FINAT stresses in the Covid-19 Shared

Best Practices and Experiences, some members are taking more far-reaching measures than those recommended or enforced by local governments and public health institutes.

platforms are also using these unprecedented times to provide knowledge on the impact of coronavirus for the label sector. An example can be found in Labels & Labeling where companies provide updates on the supply of their products and services to customers through the global coronavirus. One source for regularly updated pandemic figures is in the Financial Times as well as the vastly quoted Johns Hopkins University data. AIFEC, the Iberian Association of

Continuous Label Manufacturers, says the sector will bounce back stronger from the coronavirus pandemic. Its president José Ramón Benitothis argues that the

crisis can serve to strengthen labels as essential products as they bring value to brands, give information to consumers and allow traceability of products. Konica Minolta have introduced its own

information to control the impact of coronavirus and are constantly monitoring the situation and are focusing on providing continuing support to colleagues and customers. The company has found that despite all the bad news in the market over coronavirus, it has seen some positives from our label customer base of more than 500 AccurioPress installations worldwide, of which 200 are based in Europe. Some customers have registered an increase in demand across Europe – including Italy, Norway, Ukraine and the UK – as well as further afield. Benefits of digital production are well documented and have made seismic changes in the label industry. Shorter runs, just-in-time production and customisation where label printers and converters need the highest quality and super-fast turnarounds will become ever-more important in the years to come.

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