94th SPA Conference Review - 2nd October 2017

16th November 2017

The 94th SPA Conference played to a packed audience.  Full delegate places sold out weeks before the event which left only room for a small number of Day Delegates.  The agenda focussed mainly on the crisis facing members around the supply of Kraft paper, a theme which will be carried over to the next conference on 29th January 2018.  All presentations from the 94th conference are available for members to view here:  https://www.sheetplantassociation.com/latest-presentation

R&D Tax Credits Update, Kene Partners, Adam Kene
Adam opened the meeting with a summary overview regarding R&D Tax Credit Claims and a reminder that the average claim for SME R&D Tax Credits is £61,514, a total of £2.9 billion has been claimed to date.  R&D tax credits can apply to product improvement, new products, failed projects, direct & indirect staff times, raw materials, costs to support labour: expenses, car allowance, bonus, overtime, subcontractors, management fees.

Supplier Spotlight, Siegwerk / Hi Tech, Paul Pain
Siegwerk are specialists in tailored ink technology and service.  They have been in business for over 100 years, have net sales of 1.1 billion euros and employ 5000 people.

Paper vs Plastic, CPI, Andy Barnetson
Talking today about image and environment.  There is a perception that paper is good and plastic is bad with calls from the public for "plastic free aisle" in supermarkets.  But the CPI chooses not to campaign against plastic and continually use images of litter, as the litter generally contains paper, board and glass as well, and after all it is the consumer that dumps their litter, not the manufacturers. The effect that recycling plants  have on the environment is being taken into account in promoting paper based packaging.  The CPI has noted increased calls for plain packaging: tobacco, alcohol next and then sugary snacks? We need to campaign as the packaging industry as a whole, not just paper based packaging.  A new PR agency for the CPI should be in place by the end of 2017.

Supplier Spotlight, Fujifilm, Andy Kent
Fujifilm’s solution is in the digital inkjet space, with a collaboration with inca dating back to 2000.  Other technologies go faster & do longer runs.  Fujifilm aim to produce the highest quality possible, high quality, short runs, Print and go: Scalable architecture, UV inks which dry instantly

Employment Law Update, Menzies Law, Luke Menzies
Luke’s update included a social media (and devices) policy ... coming soon in the form of a handbook for SPA members.

U.K. Sheetfeeding & Paper, Mike Fadden, Smurfit Kappa
Mike’s presentation is summarised below:
•    Perspective on kraft and clay coat paper market
•    Recovered paper market update - Europe and the Americas
•    European ccm outlook
•    European integrated paper supply chain stats.
•    Overview of Smurfit’s paper machines in UK and sheet feeders
•    U.K. Sheetfeeding overview - Board 24, DS Smith, Prowell, Corrboard and imports
•    Digiflute overview

U.K. Sheetfeeding & Paper, DS Smith, Scott Fallan
Scott reviewed the European paper market from DS Smith perspective:
•    Supply of recycled corrugated case materials (rccm) is up.
•    Demand from mid-year has overtaken supply. 
•    European paper market predictions.
•    New capacity barely keeping up with demand and 2018 will remain       difficult as well.
•    £50M invested in last 3 years by DS Smith sheetfeeding.
•    Value proposition outlined. Overview of the business.

Macro View on Paper Supply Chain, Paper Trading, Poul Eric Nielsen
Poul represents the paper trader, part of Central National.  Paper mills can run 24/7 but once the mill is full, that is it, there is no more capacity! Paper in Europe is (reportedly) too cheap. 

Macro View on Paper Supply Chain, MM Karton, Graham Wallder
Full presentation available on SPA website.

Corrugated Industry update - Implications for corrugated, NOA, Neil Osment
Full presentation available on SPA website.

Amazon Business - new route to market, Francois Fringant & Prajakta Maydeo
New business to business arm of Amazon set up in 2017.  Focus on business buyers and business sellers. Vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online. Selection, price and convenience.  2016 $136 billion net sales. Amazon CAGR of 26% between 2010 and 2016.  Significant opportunity to grow your business, another channel and opportunity to export, building in Amazon’s ecommerce capabilities. New B2B specific features to meet business customer needs. Already seen great results in US for customers and sellers. Little competition currently so great time to capture some of market share.
The SPA will run a more in depth session for members at the next meeting if there is demand for this.