EPAL Board Meeting on September 23, 2022 in Lisbon

EPAL Board Meeting on September 23, 2022 in Lisbon
On September 23, 2022, the Board of the European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) met in Lisbon for its third meeting in 2022. The board meeting has been chaired for the first time by the newly elected EPAL presidents in June 2022, Dirk Hoferer and Jarek Maciążek.

After the election of EPAL Board members by the General Assembly in June 2022, the Board in its new constellation met in Lisbon on 23.09.2022 for the third Board meeting in this year. The board meeting was chaired for the first time by the presidents Jarek Maciążek and Dirk Hoferer, who were also recently elected at the general assembly. The election of the Board is always followed by the election of the vice-presidents among the members of the Board. Jean-Philippe Gaussorgues, representative of EPAL France on the EPAL board was re-elected as vice-president. The new vice presidents are Tatyana Sargsyan, representative of EPAL Baltic States, and Davide Dellavalle, representative of EPAL Italia. The Presidents and Vice-Presidents form the EPAL Presidium and during their three-year term of office, together with the EPAL Board, will ensure the continuation of the good development of the EPAL European Pallet Pool.

Dirk Hoferer and Jarek Maciążek, Presidents of EPAL:
"We are looking forward to working with the newly elected vice presidents, Jean-Philippe Gaussorgues, Tatyana Sargsyan and Davide Dellavalle. With representatives from almost all European regions, it is possible to assess the numerous current challenges from different perspectives within the EPAL Presidium. This is important when it comes to making the right decisions for the EPAL Euro pallet pool, the EPAL licensees and the numerous users of EPAL Euro pallets".

The main topic of the board meeting was the raw material and energy crisis and its impact on the EPAL euro-pallet pool.

Bernd Dörre, CEO of EPAL:
"The war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia and Belarus did not have a negative impact on the EPAL Euro pallet pool during the first half-year of 2022. Unlike the closed pallet pools, EPAL's exchange pool did not experience any disruptions in the supply of Euro pallets to users after the start of the war in Ukraine. Despite war and sanctions, EPAL's licensees increased production of EPAL Euro pallets by 6.25 million pallets in the first half of 2022 compared to the previous year (+ 12.5 %) and were thus able to meet the significantly increased demand from industry and trade at all times. The EPAL Euro-Pallet Pool has thus made an important contribution to the resilience of the industry and trade supply chains".

However, the economic development in the coming months remains uncertain. Even during the disruption of the supply chains in 2021, it became clear that, in contrast to previous years, the demand for EPAL Euro-pallets does not develop in a linear and similar way in all countries, but that repeated and short-term as well as regionally varying peaks in demand must be expected. The EPAL Board expects this to be the case in the coming months. The decisive question will be whether the bottlenecks in energy supply, the continuous rise of energy prices and the decreasing consumption will lead to restrictions in the industrial production.

Pascal Holliger, EPAL board member and president of EPAL Switzerland:
" With more than 1,500 licensed production and repair companies as well as numerous service providers and other providers of EPAL Euro pallets, the users of EPAL Euro pallets can always be sure that they will always receive a sufficient number of EPAL Euro pallets, even if demand is high at short notice, whether new or used and in different quality classes. Contrary to closed pools, the users of EPAL Euro pallets in the open EPAL exchange pool do not have just one supplier of exchangeable pallets, but instead thousands. This guarantees unlimited resilience of the pallet supply and also offers price advantages due to the high level of competition."

The day before the Board meeting, the EPAL Board members were welcomed by the president of the AIMMP association, Vítor Poças, who showed them around Lisbon. AIMMP is the Portuguese association of wood and furniture industry and, with more than 700 members, one of the most influential business associations in Portugal. EPAL Portugal is also part of AIMMP:

Paulo Verdasca, EPAL board member and president of the sawmills and wood packaging sector within AIMMP:
"We are delighted to have hosted the EPAL board in Lisbon. EPAL Portugal is not only an important part of EPAL, but also of our association AIMMP. Vítor Poças is a good, long-time friend of my EPAL board colleagues, so it was only natural that he personally showed the board meeting attendees the beautiful city of Lisbon as part of a city tour."