Industry experts join us for our October open day

Industry experts join us for our October open day

We were delighted to host representatives from leading universities and Ceflex, as well as two industry experts at our recent open day

With the many challenges in the marketplace currently, it felt like the right time to provide our customers with a deeper insight into what we do and what is happening in the market so that they can better plan for the future.

The Open Day, held at our headquarters at Aire Valley House, offered visitors a chance to see the facility in operation, to meet colleagues and gain insights on some of the key issues and challenges affecting packaging in today’s volatile environment.

Sheffield Hallam offers the only undergraduate degree in England dedicated to packaging. Course Leader Peter Macqueen welcomed the opportunity to speak directly to manufacturers on the future of packaging education and the issues around providing the sector with a skilled workforce.

He explained that although sustainability is now top of the agenda for the packaging industry, the sector is facing more than one crisis.  A skills shortage, ageing workforce and limited educational pathways are the main drivers for establishing the Sheffield Hallam Packaging degree course.  According to Macqueen, packaging production represents almost 4% of all UK Manufacturing, directly employing 85,000 and over 500,000 indirectly.

Lancaster University also has a packaging focus and Dr Savita Verma and Professor Linda Hendry, part of the ‘Plastic Packaging in People’s Lives’ project, highlighted the environmental impacts of plastic products and the challenges and opportunities with regards to recycling and composting.

CEFLEX, of which Roberts Mart is a member, is a collaborative initiative covering the entire value chain of flexible packaging, and Liz Morrish was on hand to talk about their key role in creating a circular economy for this type of packaging.

Other presentations included a discussion on polymers from Mike Boswell of leading plastic raw materials distributor, Plastribution, and Dr Peter Coleman from Simon-Kutcher Partners who covered product pricing strategies.

It was a great day all round, highlighting challenges but also the positive initiatives that will take our industry forward.  Our thanks to all the presenters and to those who came to share the day with us. We now plan to hold similar events on a bi-annual basis.

Ester Bettinson from Taylors had this to say about the day: “Thanks for a great day–very effective, worthwhile and a really good spectrum of presentations. Certainly not just a run of the mill sales pitch!”