In praise of the label industry essential workers

Posted by Roy Harris on

October 14, 2020.

Since the lockdown was implemented in North America in March, a ‘clap for carers’ has seen people step into gardens and onto balconies in their droves to applaud Health care staff and other key workers every Thursday night at 7pm. Millions are reported to have taken part.

The phenomenon of people cheering in the evenings began in mid-January in the shut-down Chinese city of Wuhan. It took off in Canada and Italy, with people emerging to bang on pots and pans and play accordions. Similar initiatives – including standing ovations and singing – have become commonplace around the world: Paris, Madrid, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Vancouver and many more.

In this article it, allows us to pay tribute to those in our industry who have continued to work in such difficult conditions – a written ‘clap for all the label converters’, so to speak.

The label industry has been largely overlooked in its key role of supplying all those necessary label products and components that enable manufacturing, distribution, tracking and tracing of essential medical or hospital goods, food and household products.

The global supply chain relies on labels of many different kinds to convey all sorts of information, as well as protect against counterfeiting. In collaboration with Finat – which, alongside other associations around the world, has worked diligently to support label converters and lobby on behalf of the industry – that outlines which labels should be classified as essential supplies for manufacturing and distribution.

In the United States Canada and South Africa, we report on industry suppliers’ and label converters’ struggle to keep production going, as well
as highlighting some of the numerous cases of companies retooling production lines to support healthcare, first responders and other front-line workers with critical personal protection equipment (PPE).

We consider what impact the corona virus- induced boom in e-commerce might have on the label and packaging sector, while we look at how all surviving converters have adapted to the situation, and which of these new measures might become commonplace even after the pandemic subsides.

The label and printing industry has shown tremendous resilience in responding to these challenging conditions. Its response has been highly impressive and deserves much praise.

Roy Harris

Label Engineer.

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