Newly-appointed MD to address industry challenges at ECMA Annual Congress 2019

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Hans van Schaik, former MD, ECMA, at the association’s annual congress in Riga, Lativa (September 20-21). Photo: Pro Carton.
Hans van Schaik, former MD, ECMA, at the association’s annual congress in Riga, Lativa (September 20-21). Photo: Pro Carton.

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Brexit, the Circular Economy, sustainability challenges, national converter developments and the future of purchasing are just of the topics to be discussed at this year’s ECMA (European Carton Makers Association) Annual Congress in Malta (September 19-20).

This year's theme is 'Driving the Change - Cartons Make the Difference', and the association has strengthened its core leadership team appointing Mike Turner as managing director. 

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Turner has 15 years’ experience with International Paper and has been involved in the management of other industry associations, including Pack2Go Europe. 

Other highlights of the two-day event include topics on; Retailer Perspective, Cyber Security, Intelligent Packaging, Economical Developments and Trends.

Jean-François Roche, president, ECMA, will open the congress with an update about the association and the implementation of plans for the future and on guests will be invited to a ​presentation of the European Carton Prospects Report 2019. 

This year, CEPI, the European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry, announced Jori Ringman has been appointed as successor to Sylvain Lhôte at the helm of the Brussels-based organization. 

Ringman, an expert in sustainability, environment, circular economy and consumer protection, will be taking to the stage to talk about the challenges of a low-carbon circular bioeconomy after the European elections in 2019, where the European Union plans to pursue a more sustainable way of living, consuming and producing.

Prior to CEPI where Ringman was deputy director general since 2016, and recycling director from 2005, he worked for the European Commission as a civil servant and the European Parliament Environment Committee as a political advisor (1999–2004).

The growing demand for sustainable, recyclable products is increasing the importance of fibre-based products in a range of sectors. The European paper industry will enable the EU economy to transform itself and become a more sustainable and resilient society​,” said Ringman. 

I am proud to take on this challenge and look forward to helping advance sustainability, innovation and opportunities for pulp and paper sector companies and workers across Europe​.” 


Kalle Sundström, chairman, CEPI and CEO, Stora Enso added, “In this challenging time, with the sudden and unexpected death of Sylvain Lhôte, I am glad to be able to count on the experience and competence of Jori Ringman to efficiently deliver on what has been prepared by the CEPI team over the last months, and continue to shape the strategic presence of our industry at EU level​.” 

Other speakers at the event will include Franco Portelli, head of international business, Gutenberg Press, Malta, who will talk about the challenges of being a producer and exporter from not only the smallest European state but an island.


Koos Wurzer, global employer branding and candidate experience manager, Danone, Paris, will be addressing guests about setting up and executing a recruitment strategy.

The event will close with The European Carton Excellence Awards in association with Pro Carton at the ECMA Congress Award Gala on September 19.

Winners will include: Carton of the Year from four categories; Food & Drink Packaging, Recycled Fibre; Food & Drink Packaging, Virgin Fibre; General Packaging, Recycled Fibre and General Packaging, Virgin Fibre.

And three special awards for Saving the Planet; Innovation and a Public Award decided by online public voting plus up to 20 winners of the Platinum and Gold Awards and Professional Young Designer of the Year. 

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