EPAL Board Meeting on 10.03.2022 in Berlin
The Board of the European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) met in Berlin on 10 March 2022. The discussions focused on the war in Ukraine and its effects. The EPAL Board also made an important decision regarding the repair of EPAL Euro pallets.
Only a few days after the start of the war in Ukraine, the EPAL Board met in Berlin on 10.03.2022 and discussed the consequences of the war in Ukraine in detail. The EPAL Board reaffirmed its solidarity with the 35 EPAL licensees in Ukraine and condemns Russia's attack on the body and soul of the people of Ukraine as well as their freedom, and the attack on the state and territory of Ukraine.
Representatives of EPAL Polska on the EPAL Board initially reported on the relief measures already started by EPAL Polska. Roman Malicki, President of EPAL Polska:
"EPAL Polska is delivering aid directly from Poland to Ukraine in accordance with the specific needs previously communicated by the recipients of the aid. EPAL Polska will also support other National Committees and interested EPAL licensees with similar aid."
Representing all EPAL National Committees, the members of the Board have agreed to actively participate in helping people who have fled Ukraine. Relatives and friends of EPAL's licensees and staff in Ukraine who have fled to an EU country can contact EPAL International or the National Committees for assistance. EPAL will work with local licensees to try to meet specific aid requirements Many EPAL licensees in Poland and other countries have already been very active in hosting and supporting refugees.
The EPAL Board discussed at length the impact of war and sanctions on the EPAL European Pallet Pool. The news that individual EPAL licensees in Ukraine can continue to produce EPAL Euro pallets was initially encouraging. However, the prognosis is that a substantial part of the production volume in Ukraine will be lost in 2022. It is currently still unclear whether EPAL's other licensees will be able to compensate for this or whether there is also a threat of a decrease in production in other countries.
Robert Holliger, President of EPAL:
"The war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia and Belarus have had a significant impact on the wood and nail supply chains that are key to the production of EPAL Euro pallets. Many companies have also been affected by the significant increase in energy costs. This also applies to the restrictions in the transport sector due to the lack of drivers from Ukraine and the drastic increases in the price of diesel for HGVs. EPAL supports the EU sanctions without any reservation but expects concrete actions from governments and politicians that take into account the fact that pallet logistics and the EPAL exchange pool are absolutely essential for the supply of goods to companies and consumers."
All participants of the Board meeting expect further increases in the price of EPAL Euro pallets but at the same time are confident that the supply of EPAL Euro pallets to industrial and retail users can be guaranteed. A decision by EPAL concerning the repair of used EPAL Euro pallets should also help.
Since the end of 2021, the EPAL Board has been planning approval of using reclaimed components to repair class C EPAL Euro pallets. Originally, the sole aim of this was to further improve the sustainability of the EPAL Euro pallet pool. In the context of the acute shortage of wood, however, permission to repair class C pallets with high-quality reclaimed components also ensures continuity of supply to users of this segment of the EPAL Euro pallet pool. The permission to repair with reclaimed components will come into force on 01/04/2022 and will initially be valid until 31.12.2022. EPAL will provide detailed information on this subject in good time before its introduction.