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TIMCON reports on positive approach to industry challenges

10 Jul 2013

Though the economy continues to present difficulties to the industry, The Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation (TIMCON) found some gloom among the doom at their recent AGM.

Far from ignoring the obvious facts – that prices have had to drop in line with falling demand – the confederation are using them as an incentive to force change. Indeed, instead of simply waiting for the financial market to improve, they are actively seeking new opportunities to counteract against this decreasing demand.

One initiative has focused on building relationships with other industries reliant on timber as a source material. Having undertaken detailed research about costs, supply and demand the hope is that sharing information and resources will improve operations and streamline productivity. For example, a specific strand of research focusing on how pallets are formed and created could potentially reduce overheads in this area. In addition to a continuing partnership with their European counterparts, TIMCON hope to see results from their collaborative efforts sooner rather than later.

A difficulty for all in the industry and one that could not be avoided during the AGM is the conflict between increased production and environmental protection. With rising concerns about the spread of contamination through timber based products, how can pallets be moved and used for profit? TIMCON delegates were assured that the organisation will work hard to promote a positive message of low risk to the wider logistics industry.

In terms of working in an ecologically sensitive manner, the industry is seemingly well aware of its responsibility. Even more than that, it is keen to lead the way in striking a balance between environmental awareness and financial opportunity. For example, their association with the Food and Environment Research Agency in creating the award-winning ‘Stop the Spread’ garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The much-lauded garden highlighted the safe containment of pests and diseases proving that the industry is well aware of their responsibilities both domestically and worldwide.

This notion of TIMCON’s concerns in a wider market is a key one. The industry is well aware that to offset the economic downturn, cementing their position as an indispensable cog in the machine is essential. As such, much was made of European trends and markets, in addition to legislative changes so that all feel prepared and armed with the knowledge to deal with business on a broader scale.

So those connected to the industry can rest assured that there is much to be positive about. Indeed, by avoiding the temptation to simply ignore issues and work with them instead, the future for timber packaging and pallets seems to be improving all the time.

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