Measures – Coronavirus
29.06.2020 - Company / Mills
The following statement is to inform you that: All Mayr-Melnhof Karton mills are running, ensuring full security of supply.
COVID-19 – Challenge and Opportunity
In recent months, nearly all European countries have imposed wide-ranging official measures restricting public life and almost bringing it to a complete standstill. For manufacturing companies, the Covid-19 situation imposes immense challenges in terms of production, procurement and logistics. At the same time, however, the crisis presents opportunities – for the entire packaging sector, the collaboration among supply chain partners, and for the environment.
Challenge: Production under strictest safety precautions
As a producer of packaging material, Mayr-Melnhof Karton is an essential part of the supply chain. Over the past weeks, we were able to maintain production at a stable level, make use of available capacities, and thereby ensure the continued supply of packaging materials – despite the tense situation along the supply and transportation chains. All the while we implemented all necessary safety measures to give our employees the best possible protection.
“Extraordinary times bring out the strengths of a company. Our customers can completely rely on MM Karton in this extremely challenging time. As a partner of the food and pharmaceuticals industries we share the responsibility of ensuring that the population is continuously supplied with the items they need. This is why we do our utmost to support our customers and guarantee unbroken supply. The challenges and consequences of Covid-19 can only be overcome if we all work together.” Clemens Stockinger, MMK Managing Director Sales and Marketing.
Opportunity: Increased appreciation of packaging
A final assessment of the pandemic’s impact on the packaging industry is not yet possible. But we can already say with certainty: The importance of packaging with its indispensable protective, hygiene and transit functions has increased. Whether foods, medications, hygiene products or any other consumer goods of daily use – the continued supply of the population depends on the availability of appropriate packaging.
The German Federal Ministry for Nutrition and Agriculture (BMEL) has confirmed that packaging is system-relevant. On 27 March 2020, the BMEL, in coordination with the federal states and departments of economics, health and traffic, issued a “Guideline – Companies of Critical Food Infrastructure (nutrition companies)” stating that “companies producing packaging and packaging materials for products (…)” and “suppliers and logistics providers of such companies” are to be considered part of “critical infrastructure for food”.
Opportunity: Digitalisation – distance becomes irrelevant
Personal contact and local presence on location will continue to play a crucial part in business relationships. Recent months have clearly shown, however, to what extent digitalisation can complement our communications channels for meetings, phone calls and e-mails with a new way of collaborating and doing business. The corona crisis became a catalyst for the digital transformation in companies. The question is no longer if, but how.
In the cartonboard industry, Mayr-Melnhof Karton is playing a pioneering role in digitalisation with MMK digital. Customers can conduct all of their business transaction with Mayr-Melnhof Karton in seconds, online and in real time, around the clock, seven days a week.
Opportunity: Sustainable business
People are slowing down, the planet is taking a breather: Apart from its many dramatic negative effects, the crisis is – at least in the short term – leaving positive traces in nature, air and water quality have improved. The corona crisis shows merely a snapshot of the present, but it can teach us how to treat nature with more respect in the future. And it has become apparent that countries who reacted to the pandemic early and proactively are coping with the crisis best. The same goes for the environmental crisis. We cannot afford to wait, but need to act now. The EU has made a start with new directives. The most important ones for the packaging industry are the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD). Both will have substantial impact on the choice of packaging materials, and cartonboard as the most environmentally-friendly packaging will gain greater importance.
The corona crisis has shown that cartonboard is system-relevant.
Cartonboard is sustainable in terms of demand, but even more importantly: It is sustainable in terms of the environment.
Cartonboard and folding carton industry confirmed as systematically relevant
MM Karton's products and services are considered essential to maintain the supply chain of food, pharmaceuticals and other daily consumer goods. This has now been officially confirmed by the German BMEL.
The supply of the population with food, medications or medical products as well as other goods for daily needs would be impossible without packaging.
On 23.03.2020, the German Federal Cabinet resolved that the entire agricultural and food industry is recognised as a ‘systemically relevant infrastructure’. On 27.03.2020, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL, Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft), in coordination with the federal states and the federal government's departments of economics, health and transport, stated in its "Leitlinie – Unternehmen der KRITIS Ernährung (Ernährungsunternehmen)" (engl.: Guideline – Enterprises in the critical food infrastructure) that "companies manufacturing packaging and packaging material for products (...)" as well as "suppliers and logistics service providers of the above-mentioned companies" are of equal status within the Guideline definition of "critical infrastructure for food". The cartonboard and folding carton industry and its suppliers are therefore classified as ‘systemically relevant companies’.
The current extraordinary situation poses great challenges for all of us. MM Karton is working at full capacity to ensure the timely delivery of packaging material to the industry, especially for food, pharma and hygiene products.
Download FFI Statement
Statement from Pro Carton President
It is essential that the supply of raw material, both virgin and recycled fibre, is maintained.
Download Pro Carton Statement
Guidelines for border controls: EU Commission calls for free flow of goods to secure supplies
The European Commission issued guidelines for border management on Monday 23.3.2020. The focus is on protecting the health of EU citizens and the availability of goods and essential services.
Download Communication from the European Commission
Statement MM Karton
Today further measures, restricting the public life of all of us, come into force in many European countries. All Mayr-Melnhof Karton mills continue as normal to maintain production.
The following measures have been implemented to maintain best possible security of supply:
- All Mayr-Melnhof Karton mills have in place procurement alternatives for raw materials and auxiliary materials, to assure continuous supply of our board according to our quality standards.
- Each mill has a contingency plan to ensure uninterrupted production (e.g. in case of staff shortages).
- All staff are regularly informed about health and safety precautions (e.g. business trip regulations) and rules of conduct (e.g. hygiene, recognition of symptoms) to minimize risk.
- Our already strict hygiene policies have just been reviewed, subsequently tightened even further and since communicated to all staff. Hand sanitizers have been made available at all MMK locations.
- Access to mills by third parties are now being managed restrictively.
- Mill visits in the immediate future are banned until further notice.
Mayr-Melnhof Karton qualities are produced on nine board machines at seven European sites. Thanks to our MultiMill concept, customers already benefit from the highest supply reliability.
Measures taken to ensure the logistics chain:
- To maintain our standard supply service, our 3rd party logistic partners have to formally agree to our strict hygiene policy before being awarded to move our materials.
- Only drivers free of coronavirus symptoms are permitted to transport our goods.
- At this time, cross border movement of goods are not affected by the new governmental measures. However, due to additional border controls, delays may occur.
- Furthermore, we encourage and support all measures from our customers, which help to prevent the further spreading of the virus, such as the supply of protective clothing (e.g. surgical masks) or questioning the drivers about their current health status – with respect to the coronavirus – before entering their sites.
We strongly recommend that you place your call-offs as soon as possible in order to prevent delays to your production.
European Commission Trade and Transport departments issued today COVID-19 Guidelines – for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services – to national governments.
The current exceptional situation is posing a challenge for us all. Together with you, we are working at full capacity to ensure the delivery of packaging material to the end-user.