Strong 2021 results but is cautious for 2022
EPF, the European Wood-based Panels Federation, proudly welcomed more than 150 participants to its AGM 2022 on 29 June-1 July in Ghent Belgium. The gathering was wonderfully hosted by EPF National Association member Fedustria, the Belgian federation of the textile, wood and furniture industries and its member companies Unilin and Norbord West Fraser Belgium.
EPF was delighted to announce strong results from 2021, with an overall production increase of 9.8%. All product types recorded increases from the previous year, and each exceeded pre-pandemic levels, showing the resilience of the sector and the growing interest of the public in nature-based materials such as panels. However, it was noted that these results should be treated with caution in terms of how 2022 might develop.
Martin Brettenthaler, EPF Chairman, commented: “Like the city of Ghent, our sector has always been innovative, dynamic and sustainable. I am confident that this will help us to find opportunity in today’s turmoil, but this is no longer business as usual. That is why we need our politicians to help secure the energy we need, and the wood we require, but not by burning the latter to supply the former. That is not the solution either in the long, medium or short-term.”
5 Strategic Directions: Martin Brettenthaler launched EPF’s 5 new Strategic Directions: Role Model Industry, Climate, Wood Availability, Harmonisation and Regulation. These were accompanied by a short video and a fact sheet and may now be found on EPF’s website: www.europanels.org. The 5 Strategic Directions are the focus areas of EPF’s work in the coming years.
Elections: EPF’s General Assembly accepted the resignation of Bernard Thiers, CEO of Unilin as Vice-Chairman and Managing Board Member, thanking him warmly for his many valuable years of service and support. Replacing Thiers, Pablo Figueroa López, Executive Committee member of Finsa, was chosen as the new Vice-Chairman and Veronique Hoflack, President of Unilin Panels, was elected to the Managing Board.
Era of sustainability: Despite the turbulent times bringing a multitude of challenges, EPF looks forward to playing its role as a role model industry in the economy, in the environment and in society during the coming years. This was symbolised by the ringing of the wood-based panels bell by Martin Brettenthaler and Veronique Hoflack. With this, EPF hopes to usher in a new era of sustainability in construction, furniture, packaging and other markets served by innovative, climate-smart wood-based panels.