Caption: We love competition, so long as it’s worthy competition! That’s why we always welcome interaction with Martin Wells, publisher and editor of that excellent trade magazine, SA Plastics. Martin (centre) visited us on our Propak stand to share intelligence and is snapped here with Peter van Belle, a good friend from Innovia Films in Belgium, Susi, Emma and yours truly.
Well, the colleagues part is easy … Susi, Emma, Karen, Brenda, Glywnnis and I make up close-knit team with a common passion that we believe is unbeatable in today’s trade publishing arena. But what about our industry friends? What makes them so special?
Some 3 000 feet above the Karoo, Emma put a finger on the answer when she commented that the people we interact with in the packaging and printing industry have innovation at the core of their beings, a comment that led me to quiz the team further on this topic. Here’s what they have to say:
‘Propak was the ideal place to see innovation at work,’ says Emma. ‘The halls were buzzing with the unmistakable energy created by our industry friends doing what they do best – creating, selling, innovating, sharing knowledge and ideas – and, most of all, working together, continuously developing something better. And, while they’re doing what they do best, the PPM team is doing what it does best. Reporting! It would be an injustice to such a magnificent industry not to reflect its activities with the same degree of vigour, innovation and creativity,’ Emma adds.
‘We watch industry players puzzling over better, cheaper, faster, lighter, more environmentally sustainable ways to create their masterpieces. For us to do what we do best, we watch, listen and report. It’s from our ringside seats that we’re blessed to watch with pleasure as our industry friends work hard, with passion and flexibility to keep creating and innovating. It’s a magical show to watch!’
Brenda comments that she likes dealing with packaging people because, without probably fully recognising it, they work in ‘one of the sexiest industries’.
‘This is especially true in my area of interest, the food and beverage world,’ Brenda adds, who, as publisher of www.foodstuffsa.co.za, knows that food and drink innovation mostly rests on packaging.
‘It takes more than a good product to guarantee a winner on the shelves, and most manufacturers know that the right product in the wrong package will fall short. As competition continues to intensify, the importance of dressing products for success is paramount,’ Brenda continues. ‘And packaging isn’t only sexy, it’s intellectually, commercially and ethically fascinating. It’s about preservation and protection, cutting-edge design, aesthetics and functionality; it’s about the right material selection and optimisation of transport and logistics; it’s about labelling and codes of practice/regulations; and, increasingly, it’s about lightweighting and environmental sustainability. It’s an endless mind fest. Who wouldn’t love this industry?!’ she asks happily.
Having recently returned to the industry after a seven-year break, Glywnnis was especially pleased to visit Propak. ‘At Propak everybody made me feel as though I had never been away,’ she says. ‘Innovative, honest, friendly and dynamic defines my experience of these special packaging people.’
And our newest recruit, Karen, has this to say: ‘I think the common denominator is the passion of the people in the packaging and print industry. Over the last four months, I have had an opportunity to meet many new people – from industry leaders to those running smaller, family businesses – and their core values are the same. It’s inspiring to listen to people who want to share their achievements and aspirations!’
And last word goes to my co-publisher, Susi. ‘They’re passionate about packaging and all share a common goal – to produce the best they can,’ she confirms.
That’s something the PPM team shares with the packaging fraternity – a passion to produce the best we can, even if it means working long and irregular hours!
Now – having rather cleverly got the rest of the team to contribute a large part of my column this month – I’ll simply take this opportunity to wish our readers and advertisers the very best of festive cheer.
See you next year!