4 May 2022 – The Ipack-Ima shows and programs that began Tuesday the 3rd of May are resuming the growth and innovation of the food, pharma, print, and packaging industries on the scale of specialized global shows. Reflecting the decline of the pandemic and widespread vaccination availability in much of the developed world, it is a resilient step after 25 months of the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted most industries and postponed and canceled most major industry in-person shows.
However new disruptions and challenges have emerged, this time entirely man-made, which many of the more than 1,100 exhibitors are and their customers are still contending with. The shortages of raw materials and chips have affected most machine and technology manufacturers and the logistics crisis and the shortage of containers and ships (many still stuck in Shanghai harbor) have driven up prices and extended lead times with an added dose of uncertainty.
Exhibitors of packaging printing and converting equipment say that although they have tried to absorb some of the costs, the prices to consumers have gone up by as much as 15 to 20%. They do not seem to expect a huge number of customers to digest these increases easily and if they do to tolerate uncertain deliveries of as long as eight months.
The show began with the usual inaugural events including the press conference of the World Packaging Conference which used it not only to talk about its World Packaging Awards Gala Ceremony on the 4th evening but also the release of its Packaging Design for Recycling Guide that has been released in more than 20 languages. To be made accessible across the world with plans to eventually document its implementation in each country, it is a breakthrough for an industry in which recycling is too often an afterthought, and designers are seldom informed or educated at the beginning of the process.
Valerio Soli, president of Ipack-Ima spoke about the importance of the World Packaging Awards being presented during the show by the World Packaging Organization as a welcome collaboration that combines the strengths of the two platforms in joint purpose. Pierre Piennar, the president of the WPO spoke of the organization’s mission of a “better quality of life, and the urgency of its environment and sustainability mission and commitment to these through engineering, technology, material science, and education.” The head of the still growing organization with members from 60 countries said that his focus is to “support local industry, especially in the developing world. To enable them to compete with the developing world is my focus.”