Created at the end of 2005, the French Packaging & Processing Machinery Association joined the National Council for Packaging (CNE) last April. Jean-Marc Doré, President of the GEPPIA, talked about the goals and missions of the association that gathers more than 90% of the manufacturers of French packaging machinery and equipment. He also explained why the GEPPIA joined the CNE.
How was the GEPPIA created and which are its main missions?
The GEPPIA was founded at the end of December 2005, based on a simple principle: unity makes strength. By gathering the main manufacturers of French packaging and processing machinery and equipment (most of them being SMEs-SMIs of about 50 people), its aims at increasing their power and developing their synergies to compete at the international level. Today, the GEPPIA accounts for a combined turnover of more than 1 billion euros and has more than 4,000 employees.
The second principle on which the GEPPIA was based is the fact that most of these companies, nowadays still mostly from the packaging industry, work with common suppliers but also, for 80/90% of them, with common targeted customers. Therefore, there were many different upstream and downstream synergies to be developed.
The GEPPIA’s actions are focused on three major perspectives:
- implementing partnerships related to purchases and outsourcing,
- raising funds for innovation, research and development and exportation,
- developing marketing and communication means, and sharing knowledge.
A proper pool of expert resources and tools aimed at encouraging the development and survival of companies of our industry. Furthermore, our solid and common participation in all trade fairs is a guarantee of visibility, acknowledgment and fame for our members.
What led the GEPPIA to join the CNE?
The CNE, by definition, deals with many topics related to packaging. However, most of the materials, like paper, plastic, cardboard, metal or glass, that compose packaging are produced by machines. That is why it seemed relevant to the CNE and us to meet. We share the same goal: exchanging. We want to help equipment manufacturers to know better and to be kept informed about new trends in terms of materials, but also to make sure that the materials are always compatible with their machines, and thus to share their vision with those manufacturers.
How do you consider your role at the CNE and the GEPPIA?
Just like in the GEPPIA, where we encourage sharing and exchanging technical, regulatory or commercial information, as well as exchanging between the many communities of professionals, my role within the CNE will be to help our members have access to all information that could be relevant for them and vice-versa.
Can the GEPPIA, as a representative of equipment manufacturers, contribute to packaging optimization, especially by preventing through source reduction?
We are already working on it. Packaging reduction so far has been made possible only by the mechanical improvement and innovations brought to the machines that make packaging. Let us take plastic, for example: in addition to the improvement of the material quality, the technologies developed on the machines have allowed a 20 to 40% reduction of the weight of consumer sales unit packaging; just like beer cans and glass bottles. It is the same for cardboard, for which we managed to strengthen their resistance at the same time. I should also remind you that we are recycling our machines and their components as well.