Empack and Packaging Innovations don't take place in Brussels

Influence of terror threat on EC and Mabru not huge

The threat level in Brussels remains at the highest level: four. This was said by Belgian prime minister Charles Michel on Sunday night during a press conference, which was given after a discussion with National Security. The threat level for the rest of Belgium remains at three. This influences many things: including the trade in potatoes, vegetables and fruit.

The European Centre and the wholesale market in Brussels, Mabru, particularly notice that the atmosphere has changed. As of last week the trade has been calmer. Director Thierry Nuttin of the European Centre indicates that the influence isn't huge. "The market is focussed on professional companies and not the general public, so we're not involved in the closures. We are open and are not taking any special measures. The public markets were closed this weekend, so those stall holders aren't buying anything today. That is the largest influence on our market so far. It was only the local markets in Brussels that were closed, so the rest of the customers are still coming. Luckily, our market doesn't just function on Brussels."

He continues: "There were no special measures taken." He doesn't believe they are necessary. "We aren't focussed on the public. There also aren't a huge amount of people at our market. We don't have hundreds of customers wandering the halls. Our 'neighbours' Mabru haven't taken special measures either. Of course everyone continues to make sure nothing abnormal happens. There is an unpleasant atmosphere everywhere. We all hope it won't take too long and will be resolved quickly. It can't stay this way."

EC trader response

William Willems of Central Fruit: "A lot of our customers stuck with their trade this weekend and didn't come to the market today. People at Mabru are afraid they won't have many customers again tonight. The companies are open as usual. "There was normal supply for Central Fruit at the CE on Monday. We are taking it day by day and will make the decisions necessary for this. No extra measures have been taken for entering our market," he concludes.

Closing catering businesses
The impact of the heightened threat level and the closure of a lot of catering businesses is a 'heavy blow' for the Brussels cafés and restaurants. But there is still understanding for the measures, said Marc Van Muylders of Horeca Brussel on Monday in De Ochtend on Radio 1.

Empack and Packaging Innovations Brussels moved to Nekkerhal, Mechelen
With the authorities in Brussels and the exhibitors, fair organiser Easyfairs decided to move the packaging events Empack and Packaging Innovations to the Nekkerhal in Mechelen on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 December. In the interest of the packaging community Easyfairs has been forced to move Empack and Packaging Innovations. In response to the threat level 4 in Brussels, it is safer to move the events to Mechelen. The safety of the visitors and exhibitors is the main priority for Easyfairs. Even if the threat level were to be reduced, the organisation expects that both visitors and exhibitors will feel safer with the move to Mechelen. The Nekkerhal in Mechelen is outside of the Brussels area and isn't in the area with a heightened threat level. The Nekkerhal recently received a facelift and has all the services needed to facilitate Empack and Packaging Innovations.
All tickets for Brussels are still valid for Mechelen. Organiser Easyfairs reaches out to the visitors to encourage them to let these events go on for the good of the packaging industry.

For information on the relocation:
www.empack.be or www.packaging-innovations.be

Latest news on the terror threat
In Brussels police and the army carried out counter terrorism operations throughout Sunday night. The police asked the Belgian media to respect a media silence during the operations. Bystanders were also asked not to post anything on social media about what was visible during the operation. 19 searches were carried out in the districts of Molenbeek and Anderlecht in Brussels and three in Charleroi. 16 people were arrested. Salah Abdeslam was not among the arrested suspects. On Monday afternoon there was a new evaluation of the terror level. Prime minister Michel thanks the people for their understanding and hopes that life will return to normal as soon as possible.

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