Euroblock-Forum 2023

Industry meeting with vision

From the 4th to the 5th of May more than 200 leading minds from the packaging industry met each other in Garching near Munich. By invitation of the market leader Euroblock, the current challenges of the industry were highlighted at top-class lectures and market discussions. In addition to the difficult economic development, the 12th edition of the forum was also devoted to topics such as EU legislation, sustainability and innovation.

Fully represented at the Euroblock Forum: the Management of the Pfeifer Group consisting of Michael Pfeifer (CEO), Clemens Pfeifer (CTO), Ewald Franzoi (CFO) and Alexander Kainer (COO)

The Euroblock Forum is one of the largest industry meetings of the pallet industry in Europe. Every three years, Euroblock-Verpackungsholz GmbH, the market leader for press blocks, invites to this two-day event. In total 220 participants from 16 nations in Europe, Asia and the USA, followed the call to the new location at the Courtyard by Marriott in Munich-Garching. The hosts Michael Pfeifer (Managing Director Pfeifer Holding GmbH) and Leonhard Scherer (Managing Director Euroblock) were pleased about the lively interest:

”After three turbulent years, personal exchange has become even more important. At the forum, we can deal intensively with the needs of the market and important trends, detached from the demanding daily business.“

In addition to the lectures, the social part traditionally also plays an important role at the forum. v.l. Leonhard Scherer (Managing Director of Euroblock Verpackungsholz GmbH), Christophe Rogovitz, Marcin Sculz, Markus Kugler, (all three Area Sales Managers) Markus Kreutmayr (Euroblock Sales Manager)

Impulses from business, society and politics

The meeting was particularly relevant in view of the slowed down economic development and clouded mood in various sectors as a result of the Russian war on Ukraine. The packaging industry has also recently recorded a decline in demand of up to 20 percent. The customers and business partners of Euroblock as well as representatives of the associations followed the statements of the invited experts the more eagerly. The thematic range was wide and up-to-date. Some key messages: Marcel Fratzscher, scientist, author and president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) warned against oversleeping ecological and digital transformation and losing global competitiveness. The former German ambassador in Moscow and Russia expert Rüdiger von Fritsch also found clear words about the world in the geopolitical upheaval: ”While Russia is doing well economically despite sanctions and continues to undermine the leading currency status of the US dollar with the other BRICS countries, Germany is one of the losers.“

Moderator Saskia Naumann led through the two-day program.

Wood market and sustainability

Matthias Dieter, Head of the Institute for International Forestry and Forest Economics at the Thünen Institute, addressed the lack of availability of wood as one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Increased exports from Germany, forest damage, bans on use and war-related supply failures are responsible for the crisis mood. By showing options for action for politicians and companies as well as estimating the effects of relocation, Dieter was able to provide valuable food for thought. Appropriately, Silvia Melegari, Secretary General of the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois), spoke about the EU Timber Trade Regulation, Biodiversity Strategy and the Forest Protection Act. Stefan Merl from Deloitte Austria explained the requirements resulting from the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the Taxonomy Regulation for all large corporations in the EU area. In addition, he gave an overview of the current status of the European supply chain act as well as recommendations for action for the companies concerned. Why we have hardly been acting in a sustainable manner for decades, discussed Christian Berg in his lecture ”Is sustainability utopian?“ The physicist, philosopher, theologian and engineer outlined which barriers we encounter on the way to sustainability and how these can be overcome.

The presentation on the EU Timber Trade Regulation was eagerly awaited by Silvia Melegari, Secretary General of the European Confederation of Woodworking Industries (CEI-Bois).

Digitalization and Innovation

”Is this the future or can it go away?“, asked the entrepreneur, scientist and speaker Maximilian Lude. He took a look on the exponential development of technologies in the last ten years and presented trends such as NFTs, metaversum, robotics, AI competently and contextually. His thesis: Companies must constantly adapt themselves and their business model to change and pursue innovation through tradition and customer orientation.

The new location in Munich-Garching provided the ideal ambience for knowledge exchange and networking.

A plea for a successful error culture

In his keynote, the entrepreneur and speed mountaineer Benedikt Böhm spoke about the courage to explore new paths in economic activity. What role do speed, but also patience and flexibility play in minimizing risk? How do we behave in absolutely exceptional situations? From the point of view of an extreme mountaineer and managing director, Böhm was able to show the audience the necessary reduction to the essentials.

About Euroblock

Euroblock-Verpackungsholz GmbH is a sales association for packaging wood. Its shareholders are Pfeifer Holding GmbH with headquarters in Imst / Austria and the Dutch Presswood International B.V. from Ermelo. Both companies each hold a 50% stake in Euroblock. With four production sites in Germany and the Netherlands and seven sales offices, Euroblock covers a market share of over 40% in pallet blocks. Due to the large production capacities and the direct access to raw materials, the company offers the highest degree of delivery security and is considered a reliable partner in the production of pallets in Europe.