Guido Aufdemkamp from Flexible Packaging Europe on the background to the Inno-Meeting Europe

An interview with Guido Aufdemkamp by Karsten Schröder

… „the real goal is the fight against climate change“…

Guido, we have been discussing for years why the Inno-Meeting in Osnabrück only exists in German. It has established itself in the German-speaking region as a real industry meeting. In the meantime, Innoform has even added some offshoots to the Inno-Meeting brand and even uses its own website for this . Now the first English-language Inno-Meeting Europe takes place in Berlin. What is the intention of the European Flexpack Association with this cooperation with Innoform?

A European and open industry meeting is a great addition to our numerous members-only association forums. As the focus of our activities is in Europe, we are cooperating with Innoform to soon premiere the first European industry meeting of the entire flexible packaging sector including suppliers and customers of the actual manufacturers.

The Inno-Meetings in German are characterised by technical topics and focuses. Examples are stand-up pouches, printing as well as barrier conferences and many more. Where is the conceptional focus of the European view of the industry at Inno-Meeting Europe?

First and foremost, it is about the holistic view of the value chain around flexible packaging. Therefore, we are very pleased that the numerous speakers really represent the diversity of the industry. We are convinced that we will provide a great platform for both knowledge transfer and active discussions between the players.

The target group of the European Inno-Meeting differs not only regionally from that of the German-speaking conferences. Who are you specifically addressing?

As already said, one major difference is the Europeanisation of the Inno-Meeting approach, which incidentally corresponds to the status of the industry, which has been actively living the European single market for many years. The other one is the non-focus on sub-sectors, but the holistic view of the value chain of flexible packaging, raw material and machine manufacturers, converters, fillers, retailers and recyclers. This overall view of the industry with its many players will make Inno-Meeting Europe a unique branch meeting.

Inno-Talk Europe – the online format of the Innoform industry meeting every 4 weeks – will take place for the third time on 16 September 2022

What role do Inno-Talks Europe play in this overall offer with Innoform and FPE? The similarity in names cannot be a coincidence.

Inno-Talk Europe as a digital platform is the logical counterpart to the face-to-face event Inno-Meeting Europe. What is meant here is not a contrast, but a complement. Due to the limited possibilities of face-to-face events during the pandemic, Inno-Talk Europe already had the opportunity to establish itself within the industry. This is exactly what we would like to achieve with the Inno-Meeting Europe.

What will be the main focus of the first Inno-Meeting Europe? Flexpack & Climate Change is the title – but what does it really mean?

Recycling or circular economy may be the important issues of our time, but the real goal is fighting climate change. Almost everything else is merely ways and means to stop climate change. Unfortunately, when the big picture is disregarded, it is all too often associated with undesirable side effects. Flexible packaging is by far the most resource-efficient way to protect food in particular – thus an essential component against climate change. But there is still some homework to be done to further improve flexible packaging. Apart from material optimisation, this concerns above all the recycling of the materials used, for which some promising technologies already exist and are being further developed. All this and much more will be presented and hopefully controversially discussed at the Inno-Meeting Europe.

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