“I Hope That the Discussion on Packaging Will Be Objectified”

Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the Food and Packaging Machinery and Process Engineering Machinery and Apparatus Associations at the VDMA on the effects of the crisis, the expansion of digitalisation and the perception of packaging after Corona.

In which areas do you see the greatest impact of the Corona pandemic on the industry?

Many member companies are currently reporting adverse effects and production losses. These are very often the result of disruptions in the supply chains. In this context, we can clearly see how important it is to have a smooth flow of goods. We are far too interconnected in Europe for us to simply interrupt the logistics chains and cross-border traffic of commuters. We need the logistics chains!

Many schools have now gone digital in a short space of time. Could digitalisation also be intensified in the packaging machinery industry as a result of the crisis?

Virtual reality and augmented reality have been discussed for a long time. Now, these technologies could become generally accepted. After two weeks, telephone conferences are quite normal, only four weeks ago, you could hear, oh, can’ t we rather meet face to face? I think digitalization is gaining new momentum.

Can the perception of packaging change as a result of the crisis?

All in all, I hope that the discussion about packaging will become more objective in light of current experiences. I believe that packaging will be seen in a different light and that the appreciation for packaging will increase again. The importance of packaging will gain greater awareness. To a certain extent, this is already shown by hamster purchases – without packaging there is no stockpiling.

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