Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about "talking labels", which provide consumers with information on the fruit found in the packet. Unfortunately, however, this sector has been struggling over the past few weeks.
Gipea, Gruppo Italiano Produttori Etichette Autoadesive, as part of Assografici and Federazione Carta e Grafica within the Confindustria system, has raised the alarm as regards the risk deriving from the logistic crisis for supply chains, with an ensuing lack of labels caused by the current shortage in raw materials.
"Throughout 2021, label producers have witnessed a progressive increase in the cost of raw materials, especially cellulose ones, accompanied by a lack of materials and an increase in delivery times. What is more, there has been an unprecedented increase in the cost of electricity and gas, which has complicated the situation further."
In early 2022, there has also been a prolonged strike in Scandinavia within UPM, one of the leading paper producers in the world. "This has led to a considerable shortage on the market, leading to great difficulties in the sourcing of self-adhesive paper and prolonging delivery times."
"It's a paradoxical situation, as demand is high and label companies would have a lot of work but, increasingly often, they cannot meet demand due to the lack of raw materials. In some cases, companies have even had to stopped working."
"The main risk is for the entire chain to block due to the lack of labels. If this situation cannot be resolved soon, two of the leading industrial segments in Italy - the food and pharmaceutical sectors - will begin to struggle."
"This scenario will lead to a lack of self-adhesive labels, which will impede the packaging of many food products and, most of all, block the distribution of pharmaceuticals, as packets cannot be sold if they lack stickers."
Gipea cannot change the situation on its own, but it has raised the alarm through Assografici and Federazione Carta Grafica on the media and has written to the political authorities to urge them to find a solution.