The socio-economic and health impact of the pandemic has not just created a climate of uncertainty and frailty when the virus threatened human lives in full lockdown. Although the situation has now improved, all the contradictions of a global economy are emerging. During the first months of the pandemic, the price value of raw materials dropped by 20-30%, but has since skyrocketed considering the extreme difficulty when it comes to sourcing them. FreshPlaza has talked to Claudio Saviotti, sales manager for at Crown Italia, to understand the difficulties of the food&beverage sector in sourcing packaging.
"For a country like Italy, which does not produce raw materials, sourcing them has become a serious problem. Over the past few years, the Asian markets delivered lots of goods to the rest of the world. China in particular is playing a leading role during this phase of the pandemic as, having overcome the health emergency earlier than others, is safeguarding its domestic market by limiting the exports to stock up on was used up. The Chinese have therefore told traders and operators that there would be a halt to supply contracts in 2021, thus discouraging exports."
"Of course the entire steel and tinplate chains have been affected, also because of the lack of stock combined with high demand and prices 50% higher than last year."
Crown is a listed US multinational, leading on the international packaging market thanks to technological innovations such as the now massively-used easy-open lids.
Crown Holdings is among the main suppliers of steel and tinfoil tins and easy-open lids. The most popular product, i.e. tin lids, explains Crown's success also when it comes to sustainability, as steel and tinfoil boast exceptional characteristics: they can be fully recycled and reused an infinite number of times.
The difficulty of sourcing raw material does not just affect the food sector, but also all those sectors using commodities such as oil, copper, wood, aluminum, cobalt, iron, etc.
"Although we cannot deny it is a very difficult situation, we are able to honor the contracts stipulated with our clients. We will assess any additional supplies as they come. Anyway, we are hoping something will change, considering we do not have the raw materials nor the production capacity of meeting the extraordinary demand coming from global markets."